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Financial Advisory Relationship: Blanket Agreement
Financial advisory relationship: blanket agreement. I refer to your letter of December 4, 1980 and a subsequent conversation regarding the application of rule G-23(d) to the participation by your client, a municipal securities dealer, in the underwriting of securities to be issued by the County referred to in your letter (the "County").
Rule G-23(d) provides in pertinent part that no municipal securities dealer "that has a financial advisory relationship with respect to a new issue of municipal securities shall acquire as principal ... from the issuer all or any portion of such issue ..." unless the dealer complies with certain specified provisions of the rule. You indicate that your client has a financial advisory agreement with the County which provides that your client will furnish financial advisory services from time to time at the County’s request. You state, however, that your client was not requested to furnish financial advisory services with respect to the particular issue of securities which the County now proposes to sell and was selected by the County after responding to an advertisement for underwriters. You request our concurrence in your opinion that a financial advisory relationship with respect to the proposed new issue does not exist.
For purposes of the rule, a financial advisory relationship is deemed to exist when a "municipal securities dealer renders or enters into an agreement to render financial advisory or consultant services to or on behalf of an issuer with respect to a new issue or issues of municipal securities ..." (emphasis added). Therefore, where a dealer has entered into a blanket agreement to render financial advisory services, a financial advisory relationship with respect to a particular issue of securities may be presumed to exist despite the fact that the municipal securities dealer does not furnish any financial advice concerning such issue. Whether or not your client has a financial advisory relationship with respect to the proposed new issue referred to in your letter is a factual question which we are not in a position to resolve. Therefore, we are unable to concur in your opinion. MSRB interpretation of January 5, 1981.