By Cyril Tuohy
Federal, municipal and industry regulators have announced the opening of registration for the first compliance outreach program for municipal advisors on Nov. 3 in Chicago, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
The program, to be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, is free, and registration is open to all municipal advisors, according to a related posting on the Municipal Securities Rules Making Board website.
Preference will be given to employees of registered municipal advisors on a first-come, first-served basis and advisors planning to attend can sign up at the event's registration page.
“The outreach program will help reinforce the importance of complying with rules being developed for the municipal advisor community,” Lynnette Kelly, executive director of the MSRB, said in a news release.
The SEC, the MSRB and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority are sponsoring the program, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT.
“Similar to the compliance outreach programs for broker/dealers and investment advisors, the municipal advisor program will provide municipal advisor professionals a forum for discussions with regulators about risk management, regulatory issues and compliance practices,” the SEC said.
The program will be divided into four panels.
The first panel will discuss registration rules, exemptions from the municipal advisor definition, and separate processes for registering as a municipal advisor with the SEC and the MSRB. The second panel will discuss fiduciary duty under Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the proposed standards of conduct for nonsolicitor municipal advisors under MSRB’s Rule G-42. The third panel will cover supervisory responsibilities and recordkeeping obligations of municipal advisors; and the fourth panel will cover the examination process.
Kevin Goodman, national associate director of the SEC's broker/dealer and municipal advisor examination programs, said the briefing will offer newly registered municipal advisors a better understanding of the regulatory expectations required of them.
“The program will allow registered municipal advisors to interact with all three regulators, which is an important aspect of our overall outreach efforts,” Goodman said.
Mike Rufino, FINRA’s head of member regulation-sales practice, said the program would provide municipal advisor compliance experts “with the opportunity to hear directly from their collective regulators on the issues and expectations regarding municipal advisors.”
Outreach programs also provide regulators with the change to hear from advisors about compliance initiatives and challenges, he said.
A live webcast of the program will be available, with no registration necessary, the SEC said. Information about the webcast will be posted on the SEC website on the day of the event. For additional information visit the SEC, FINRA or MSRB websites.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at email@example.com.
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