More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Trading Practices and Errors When SEC-registered investment advisors conduct annual audits of firm policies and procedures, they should pay close attention to trading practices. Though usually not required to, state-registered advisors should look at their trading practices and revise policies that do not fully protect clients.
- Client Communication and Miscommunication RIA policies and procedures must specify what type of communications should be retained. The safest course of action is for RIAs to retain all communicationsto clients, from clients, and about client accounts. To comply with fiduciary obligations, communications must be thorough and not mislead.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) announced Friday that its Municipal Securities Division has elected new officers and members of its Municipal Executive Steering Committee and outlined its priorities for 2013 — namely, ensuring that a final municipal advisor rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission doesn’t create a duplicate regulatory layer for market participants currently regulated.
Stratford Shields of Morgan Stanley & Co. will serve as division chair, Frank Fairman of Piper Jaffray & Co. and David Stephens of Bank of America Merrill Lynch & Co. will serve as vice chairs, and John Rolander of Fifth Third Securities will serve as treasurer.
Shields of Morgan Stanley noted that in the upcoming year, SIFMA’s Municipal Securities Division expects there will be “a significant number” of regulatory and public policy issues the industry will face. On the regulatory front, he said, “we will focus on the near term on the anticipated definition of a municipal advisor from the SEC as required by Dodd-Frank. Hopefully, given the unanimous passage of the Municipal Advisor bill sponsored by Congressman Bob Dold in the US House of Representatives in September 2012, the SEC has clear guidance on legislative intent so as not to try to include dealers functioning in their role as underwriters in the definition.”
The Municipal Securities Division also outlined its priorities for the 2013 calendar year, including:
• Preserving the federal tax exemption for municipal bonds;
• Ensuring a final municipal advisor rule from the SEC does not create a duplicate regulatory layer for market participants currently regulated;
• The recent SEC report on the structure of the municipal market;
• Finalizing the Volcker Rule and the definition of municipal securities within the Rule,
• Municipal issuer disclosure; and
• Ensuring a fair and level playing field for all market participants, dealers, municipal advisors and investors.
According to SIFMA, Shields is an industry veteran who has spent the last 16 years at Morgan Stanley and had been the head of the Public Finance division for five years until stepping down in September. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Shields had been a vice president in the municipal group at Prudential Securities and had been deputy director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management and president of the State Controlling Board.
New additions to the Municipal Executive Steering Committee of the SIFMA Muni Division include Mike Bartolotta, vice chair of First Southwest Company and former board chair of the Municipal Securities Rule Making Board, and Robert Baird, senior managing director at Raymond James Morgan Keegan.
Members of the Municipal Executive Steering committee for 2013 include:
Robert Baird Raymond James Morgan Keegan
Peter Bartlett Citi Global Markets, Inc.
Michael Bartolotta First Southwest Company
Frank Fairman, Piper Jaffray & Co.
Kenneth Gibbs Jefferies & Company, Inc.
Joe Hemphill Regional Brokers Inc.
Peter Hill Wells Fargo Securities LLC
James Lansing JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Mark Mesinger Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
Steve Milano Barclays Capital
John Rolander Fifth Third Securities, Inc.
Suzanne Shank Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. LLC
Stratford Shields Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC
David Stephens Bank of America Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
Ken Williams Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.