The adoption of continuing education (CE) requirements for municipal advisors represents an important milestone in developing professional standards and CE requirements as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). The adoption of the amendments to establish CE requirements for municipal advisors furthers the MSRB’s mandate to protect investors, municipal entities, obligated persons and the public interest. The amendments to Rule G-3 help to ensure that those individuals engaging in municipal advisory activities on behalf of a municipal advisor, as well as those individuals that directly engage in the management, direction or supervision of the municipal advisory activities of the municipal advisor and its associated persons, remain current in their industry knowledge. The accompanying amendments to Rule G-8 promote compliance with a municipal advisor’s recordkeeping requirements related to the administration of its CE program. The rule amendments have an implementation date of January 1, 2018. A municipal advisor will have until December 31, 2018 to complete a needs analysis, develop a written training plan and deliver training to comply with the annual CE requirements for 2018.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 17-20 FINRA Requests Comment on the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Its Rules on Outside Business Activities and Private Securities Transactions
FINRA is conducting a retrospective review of the rules governing outside business activities and private securities transactions to assess their effectiveness and efficiency. This Notice outlines the general retrospective rule review process and seeks responses to several questions related to firms’ experiences with these specific rules.
On February 9, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved amendments to FINRA rules to conform to the SEC’s amendment to Rule 15c6-1(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (SEA) to shorten the standard settlement cycle for most broker-dealer transactions from three business days after the trade date (T+3) to two business days after the trade date (T+2) and the industry-led initiative to shorten the settlement cycle from T+3 to T+2. The amendments to these rules become effective on September 5, 2017.
SR-NASDAQ-2017-043 Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule 4702 (Order Types)
The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 4702 (Order Types) to modify the behavior of Post-Only Orders in certain situations.
MSRB Regulatory Notice 2017-09 MSRB Reminds Municipal Advisors that the Series 50 Exam Deadline is September 12, 2017
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is issuing this notice to remind municipal advisor firms of their obligation to ensure that every individual associated with the municipal advisor firm is qualified in accordance with the rules of the MSRB. Pursuant to MSRB Rule G-3, an associated person of a municipal advisor firm who engages in municipal advisory activities on behalf of the municipal advisor firm is required to be qualified as a “municipal advisor representative” by passing the Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50 exam).
In this notice, the MSRB: (i) summarizes several of the most important MSRB rules applicable to municipal advisors that undertake the solicitation of a municipal entity or obligated person (as discussed below) and includes references to various provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Exchange Act rules adopted by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC or “Commission”) that are applicable to the registration of such municipal advisors with the SEC; (ii) sets forth an exhaustive list of all the general MSRB rules applicable to such municipal advisors as well as the key administrative and definitional MSRB rules applicable to them; and (iii) refers to various MSRB and/or SEC resources for additional information on the content summarized herein and, more generally, to select additional resources that may be of interest to all municipal advisors. Because much of the content of this notice applies to municipal advisors generally, this guidance may be useful to non-solicitor municipal advisors as well.
Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule 4702 (Order Types) and Rule 4703 (Order Attributes)
The Exchange has amended Rule 4702 (Order Types) and Rule 4703 (Order Attributes) to specify the behavior of Midpoint Peg Post-Only Orders and Orders with Midpoint Pegging after initial entry and posting to the Nasdaq Book when the market is crossed, or when there is no best bid and/or offer. Nasdaq also proposes to change certain references to cancelling or rejecting orders in Rule 4702 and Rule 4703.
NASDAQ SR-2017-120 Notice of Filing of Amendments No. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Amended, to Establish the Third Party Connectivity Service
The Exchange proposes to adopt the third party connectivity service that will segregate connectivity to the Exchange and its proprietary data feeds from connectivity to third party services and data feeds, including the UTP SIP data feeds. Nasdaq states that this segregation is necessary because of increased capacity requirements, noting recent changes to the Consolidated Tape Association and Options Price Reporting Authority feeds as well as planned changes to the Unlisted Trading Privileges Plan data feeds.
This Notice provides guidance regarding the application of FINRA rules governing communications with the public to digital communications, in light of emerging technologies and communications innovations.
FINRA recently announced a new initiative—called FINRA360—to evaluate various aspects of its operations and programs to identify opportunities to more effectively further its mission. As part of this initiative, FINRA is requesting comment on the effectiveness and efficiency of its rules, operations and administrative processes governing broker-dealer activities related to the capital-raising process and their impact on capital formation. FINRA encourages all interested parties to comment on this Notice. Comments must be received by May 30, 2017.
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