Fixed Income Retail Roundtable

May 17, 2018

Wells Fargo Advisors

Agenda

Download Agenda (.pdf)

Recap

On May 16th-17th, the BDA held its 2018 Municipal Market Seminar followed by the annual Retail Roundtable in St. Louis, Missouri. The event included a networking reception co-hosted with the St. Louis Municipal Bond Club and dinner at Kemoll's hosted by Edwards Jones on the evening of Wednesday, May 16th.

The Wednesday, May 16th seminar featured Lynnette Kelly, President, and CEO of the MSRB, Cynthia Friedlander, Senior Director, Fixed Income Regulation within FINRA Regulatory Operations and Ahmed Abonamah, Senior Counsel to the Director, Office of Municipal Securities. The discussion, attended by over 50 fixed-income leaders, covered the current regulatory environment, including Retail Confirmation, Minimum Denominations and the FinCEN Customer Due Diligence Rule.  The discussion was followed by Q&A.

The Thursday, May 17th Roundtable was hosted by Wells Fargo Advisors and was attended by over 35 retail fixed-income leaders from middle-market dealers, platforms, and technology vendors. The Roundtable was sponsored by Bondwave, Tradeweb Direct, Lumesis and Build America Mutual.

The roundtable included an active discussion of the biggest issues facing middle-market dealers in the retail fixed-income markets, including the retail confirmation markup disclosure rule and the SEC extension of FINRA Rule 4210.

Roundtable Recap:
Thursday, May 17th
Wells Fargo Advisors
St. Louis, MO

Market and Regulatory Discussion Topics

Featured Discussion Leader: John Fechter, Managing Director of Taxable Fixed Income Trading, Wells Fargo Advisors.

The Roundtable started with a conversation on the current state on the municipal market.  This included a recap of the tax reform efforts of 2017 and the current state of the infrastructure conversation and where tax-exempt advance refundings stand.

The discussion then turned to the current state of play in the regulatory environment:

Retail Confirmation Rule:

  • Discussion of problems with implementation
  • Discussion of best practices of implementation
  • Educating advisors and customers
  • Group progress report three days into the new rule
  • Discussion of PMP and waterfall problems
  • FINRA and SEC status on enforcement

SEC Extension for FINRA Rule 4210

  • BDA staff discussed plans to continue work with the SEC on the "Capital Charge Proposal"
  • Discussion of Capitol Hill strategy and next steps
  • Discussion of what data can be used to implement the "Capital Charge Proposal"
  • Additional work and development of MSFTA agreements

SEC Fiduciary Duty

  • Discussion of expected outcomes from court ruling on DOL Rule
  • Next steps for the SEC
  • Discussion of the best practices for implementation and how the rule will continue to affect practices even if not fully implemented

Weighted-Average/Special Pricing Formula Trade Modifier (.W Modifier)

  • Discussion of the expansion of the .W modifier and how the requirement has worked at different firms
  • Discussion of the effective uses of the .W modifier
  • What, if anything, should be altered about the current system

FINRA 360

  • Participants discussed FINRA's efforts to change training methods for examiners
  • Members provided feedback to BDA staff on the issues that should be addressed in the report