February 19, 2015
Steven Peyser, President of PRAG, spoke at the The Bond Buyer’s National Outlook 2015 Conference held February 18 in New York City. A highly debated topic on his panel, “Municipal Advisors Assuming a More Regulated Role,” was the Independent Registered Municipal Advisor, or IRMA, exemption, part of the SEC’s municipal advisor, or MA, registration rule, which went into effect last year. The exemption allows an underwriter to avoid having to register as a MA as long as the issuer retains, as its own MA, an advisor that doesn’t have ties to an underwriting firm and says that it will rely on the MA’s advice. Mr. Peyser discussed tweaking the exemption including the idea that the SEC grant another exemption for sophisticated issuers, which have historically used IRMAs, a suggestion that has garnered support from the industry. Regulators recognized that the new MA rules may still have to be developed, as apparent by SEC Chief Counsel Rebecca Olsen’s statement there was “a lot of work left to do” on the rules in 2015. For more information on this panel and on The Bond Buyer’s National Outlook 2015 Conference please see the article “Municipal Advisors Concerned About IRMA Exemption” published in the February 18, 2015 The Bond Buyer.