July 10, 2018 Articles

Are You in Compliance? Municipal Advisor Registration Obligations

What constitutes qualified "advice" under the rule, what is a "municipal entity," and who is an obligated person?

Regina P. Martorana, A. Katherine Curtis, and Natasha S. Cooper

Following the 2008 financial crisis, concerns arose surrounding the lack of regulation of the municipal securities market. Specifically, the Senate questioned this deficiency in stating that “[t]he $3 trillion municipal securities market is subject to less supervision than corporate securities markets.” See S. Rep. No. 111-176, at 38 (2010). In response to these concerns among many others, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to promote financial stability and transparency in the United States, and Congress included section 975 of the Dodd-Frank Act to address this lack of regulation in the municipal securities market. Section 975 specifically provides oversight of the municipal securities market by creating a new class of regulated persons: “municipal advisors.”

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