Regulators to host joint event for muni advisors

BY SourceMedia | MUNICIPAL | 09/20/21 02:35 PM EDT By Kelley R. Taylor

Municipal advisors can now register for an Oct. 7 virtual program to hear from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on key regulatory and compliance matters.

The free compliance outreach program, which the agencies note is ?open to all,? will cover topics including conflicts of interest disclosures, operational considerations for registered municipal advisors, new issue pricing, and preparing for an examination. Optional training on the EDGAR system, which houses corporate filings, will also be presented.

The SEC's Office of Municipal Securities ?is pleased to participate in this event for municipal advisors in the virtual format,? said OMS Director Rebecca Olsen in a statement. ?Our goal...is to promote a greater understanding of and compliance with municipal advisor duties under the federal securities law.?

Daniel Kahl, acting director of the SEC?s division of examinations echoed that sentiment.

?With representatives of the SEC, MSRB, and FINRA, as well as industry participants, the program should provide an excellent learning opportunity for municipal advisors regarding their regulatory obligations from multiple perspectives,? Kahl said, adding, ?the open dialogue I expect at the event should serve to bolster compliance efforts and ultimately enhance investor protection.?

Gail Marshall, MSRB chief regulatory officer, considers the compliance outreach program to be a capstone to a series of virtual regional town halls that the MSRB held during the summer.

?Creating opportunities such as this to engage in thoughtful dialogue will better inform our work...? Marshall said, explaining in a statement that the MSRB is centrally focused on ?reducing unnecessary costs and burdens for municipal advisors while also finding impactful ways to support compliance.?

FINRA is handling registration for the event. Bari Havlik, FINRA?s executive vice president of member supervision, said that the hearing from regulators--through this program-- about oversight, compliance and a fair and efficient market, will ?enable municipal advisor firms across the country.?

Those who cannot attend the live virtual program, which runs form 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 7, will be able to access a recorded version, which will be archived on the SEC?s website for future reference.

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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