From the February 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Broker/Dealer News

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has launched a Web site called Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA), that provides free access to a powerful central database of municipal bond market information. Says MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss, "EMMA provides easy and free access to a wealth of crucial information about municipal bonds, from real time trade data to bond disclosures, which helps investment advisors and their clients make smarter investing decisions." For example, she says, "real-time trade data on EMMA allows advisors to review the most recent trades for a bond and ensure that their client pays a fair price." EMMA provides the public free information that was once only available to institutional investors, and "really empowers individual investors to better understand the municipal bond market," Hotchkiss says.

National Planning Holdings, Inc. (NPH) has promoted Brian Sward to VP of due diligence. Sward will manage a team of analysts that facilitates the due diligence process for all product types across the NPH network. NPH says that Sward will also "continue to work closely with senior management from NPH and its four retail broker/dealers to control the risks associated with product selection and to monitor the products being offered by the network's firms."

Jim Livingston, president and CEO of NP, said in a statement that "due diligence is a critically important function for retail broker/dealers, particularly in the wake of the financial downturn."

Prior to joining NPH in 2005, Sward served as an investment advisory analyst at JPMorgan where he was responsible for organizing and analyzing 401(k) plans for large institutional clients.

Sorrento Pacific Financial, LLC, (SPF), a full-service broker/dealer and Registered Investment Advisor providing customized investment, wealth management, and insurance solutions to the financial industry, recently opened an East Coast regional office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and hired Allen Smith as executive VP and Skip Stanley as East Coast Regional Manager. SPF says the new office will address the company's "ongoing expansion of SPF's customer base along the East Coast in recent months," as well provide the growing number of community and regional banks that are developing investment and wealth management programs easy access to SPF's back-office support.

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