Contact: Leah Szarek, Chief External Relations Officer
MSRB ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF SERIES 54 EXAMINATION FOR MUNICIPAL ADVISOR PRINCIPALS
Washington, DC – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) announced today that 810 individuals at 474 municipal advisor firms across the country are now appropriately qualified as municipal advisor principals. MSRB Rule G-3 requires individuals engaged in the management, direction or supervision of their firm’s municipal advisory activities to pass the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54 Exam), in addition to the Series 50 baseline exam required of all municipal advisor professionals.
The MSRB developed the Series 54 as part of its comprehensive regulatory framework for municipal advisors in support of its mission to protect municipal securities issuers, obligated persons and other market participants.
Pursuant to MSRB Rule G-2, no firm is permitted to engage in municipal advisory activities without at least one individual appropriately qualified with the Series 54 exam as a municipal advisor principal. The MSRB continues to educate municipal securities issuers about the importance of verifying the registration of municipal advisor firms and the qualifications of municipal advisor professionals by checking the MSRB’s website. View a list of MSRB-registered municipal advisor firms with the names of their Series 50- and 54-qualified professionals.
All MSRB professional qualification exams, including the Series 54, are developed in accordance with the national Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, which involves extensive outreach to gather input from industry professionals about the appropriate content for the exam and the administration of a pilot exam to set the passing score and validate the bank of test questions.
To facilitate the transition to the new Series 54 professional qualification requirement, municipal advisor principals were initially given a one-year grace period to take and pass the exam. However, in light of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the compliance deadline was extended twice, with the final compliance deadline set at November 30, 2021. The MSRB also provided a temporary accommodation to allow individuals to take the Series 54 exam online.
"We wanted to make sure that all municipal advisor firms understood their regulatory obligation to have at least one qualified municipal advisor principal before the sunsetting of the grace period,” said Bri Joiner, Director of Regulatory Compliance. “We made it a priority to communicate with the municipal advisor community early and often and provide helpful information about the requirements, timeline and process for taking the Series 54 exam."
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) protects and strengthens the municipal bond market, enabling access to capital, economic growth, and societal progress in tens of thousands of communities across the country. The MSRB fulfills this mission by creating trust in our market through informed regulation of dealers and municipal advisors that protects investors, issuers and the public interest; building technology systems that power our market and provide transparency for issuers, institutions, and the investing public; and serving as the steward of market data that empowers better decisions and fuels innovation for the future. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.