Don’t Forget! Now You Can Register for the Series 50 Permanent Exam

As of September 12, 2016, the MSRB has opened the Series 50 permanent exam for municipal advisor firms to register their municipal advisor representatives. Continue reading

As of September 12, 2016, the MSRB has opened the Series 50 permanent exam for municipal advisor firms to register their municipal advisor representatives.

Here are a few things to remember:

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  • If you are required to take the Series 50 exam, you have a one-year grace period (ending September 12, 2017) during which you can engage in municipal advisory activities before you must pass the exam.
  • If you took the Series 50 pilot exam and did not pass, your first attempt at the Series 50 permanent exam is free.
  • The passing score for the Series 50 exam is 71%.
  • You have 180 minutes to complete the test.
  • The exam fee is $265.
  • If you used Solomon’s pilot exam study materials and did not pass, we will renew your materials at no charge. Just give us a call at 503-601-0212.

Visit http://apps.finra.org/testcenter/1/locations.aspx to find a testing location near you!

Now Effective: MSRB Rule G-37

On August 17, 2016, MSRB Rule G-37, known as the “pay to play” rule, will be extended to apply to municipal advisors. Continue reading

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On August 17, 2016, MSRB Rule G-37, known as the “pay to play” rule, will be extended to apply to municipal advisors.

The rule has two main components. First, it prohibits municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors from engaging in certain types of business with a municipality if they have made political contributions to an official of the municipality. This ban on business lasts two years from the date of the triggering contribution. Second, the rule requires municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors to disclose specific information related to political contributions.

The pay to play rule does carve out an exception for small contributions in elections by municipal finance professionals (MFPs) and municipal advisory professionals (MAPs) who are entitled to vote for an elected official. MFPs and MAPs are allowed to contribute up to $250 per election in which they are entitled to vote.

MSRB Rule G-37 is covered in Solomon Exam Prep Series 50, Series 51, Series 52, and Series 53 study materials. For more information, visit www.SolomonExamPrep.com or call us at 503-601-0212.

New MSRB Rule G-42: Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors

MSRB Rule G-42, Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors, will be effective June 23, 2016, and was recently added to the outline for the Series 50 exam. Continue reading

G-42MSRB Rule G-42, Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors, will be effective June 23, 2016, and was recently added to the outline for the Series 50 exam.

The rule requires that municipal advisors meet certain standards of conduct in their dealings with municipal entities, which includes fulfilling two duties: a duty of care and a duty of loyalty.  Though G-42 goes into great detail about municipal advisor responsibilities, the duties of care and loyalty are the basis for everything included in the rule.

In order to fulfill its duty of care, the municipal advisor must:

• Have enough knowledge and expertise to give informed advice to the municipal entity

• Reasonably inquire into all relevant facts before allowing a municipality to proceed on a particular course of action or before giving advice

• Undertake a reasonable investigation to determine that its advice is not based on materially inaccurate or incomplete information

In order to fulfill its duty of loyalty, a municipal advisor must:

• Be honest and act in good faith

• Put the municipal client’s interests before its own financial or other interests

• Not perform municipal advisory activities for the client if its conflicts of interests will prevent it from acting in the client’s best interests

The rule requires municipal advisors to put their municipal advisory relationships in writing “prior to, upon or promptly after” the relationship begins, and requires them to disclose all conflicts of interest in writing to the municipal client.

Finally, Rule G-42 provides a list of specifically prohibited activities and explains how a firm must respond if it inadvertently provides advice to a municipal entity.

The rule was written to conform to the fiduciary duty placed on municipal advisors by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Solomon Exam Prep has helped thousands pass the Series 6, 7, 63, 65, 66, 24, 26, 27, 50, 51, 52, 53, 62, 79, 82 and 99 exams. For more information visit http://www.solomonexamprep.com/