March 22, 2011
We actively participated in the formulation of the comments submitted by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association on March 21, 2011. We strongly support the conclusions reached in those comments.
We believe that the current version of Rule G-23 has worked properly for almost 35 years and should not be amended. Federal fiduciary duty or not, conflicts can be appropriately resolved through disclosure and consent.
We are also especially conerned about an interpretation that presumes that an entity is acting as a municipal advisor unless demonstrated that it is acting as an underwriter. Underwriter conduct is clearly discernible as such transactions are formally concluded by a bond purchase agreement. No presumption as to status should be imposed.
Since the MSRB has publicly stated that it will be clearly monitoring the effects of any amended rule, if approved, we also strongly agree with SIFMA that a sunset provision is necessary in order for the MSRB to publicly justify any amended Rule's continuation.