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SEC Sets Up Temporary Registration for Municipal Advisors

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday, September 2, adopted a temporary rule that allowed municipal securities advisors to get a jump start on registering with the Commission, which the Dodd-Frank Act said they must do by October 1. The SEC expects to propose a permanent rule later this year.

“We have acted expeditiously to create a temporary registration system to gather key data and provide transparency about municipal advisors,” said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, in a statement. “As a result, regulators, investors, and state and local governments will have a much better understanding of those who provide services in the municipal market.”

Municipal advisors can now access and complete the new registration form (Form MA-T) on the SEC’s Web site, Municipal advisors are encouraged to begin the registration process as soon as possible, the SEC says, “because of the impending registration deadline and the requirement that applicants first obtain an ID and password.”

As the SEC explains, municipal advisors provide advice to state and local governments and other borrowers involved in the issuance of municipal securities. The advice typically relates to municipal derivatives, guaranteed investment contracts, investment strategies or the issuance of municipal securities. Municipal advisors also solicit business from a state or local government for a third party.

Subject to certain exemptions, the definition of municipal advisor under the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC says, includes financial advisors, guaranteed investment contract brokers, third-party marketers, placement agents, solicitors, finders, and certain swap advisors that provide municipal advisory services.


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