Event Recap: Public Finance Leadership Roundtable October 24th – Chicago, IL

On Thursday, October 24th, the BDA held its Public Finance Leadership Roundtable in Chicago, IL, which was sponsored by Build America Mutual and Lumesis. The Roundtable was attended by over 25 representatives at BDA member firms, which provided a venue for information sharing and discussion on the most recent market and regulatory topics.

At the roundtable, the discussion focused on the issues in the municipal securities market that were challenging for middle-market banks and dealers in 2019, including changes in compensation structure, growing a new generation of public finance leaders, and possible regulatory changes.

You can view the roundtable agenda here.

Roundtable Recap
Thursday, October 24th
Chicago, IL

Shifting Regulatory Burdens: Recent Memo on G-42  and Pending SEC MA Exemptive Relief

Discussion Leaders:
Brett Bolton, Bond Dealers of America, Dan Deaton, Partner, Nixon Peabody
  • The Roundtable began with a discussion on the pending SEC request for comment in response to both the advisory firm PFM and NAMA requests for guidance on private placement activity.
  • The discussion leaders walked the group through prior BDA actions, as well possible next steps by the organization in response to the request and was followed by a legal analysis of the request.
  • The group also discussed what should be included in the next BDA letter and what potential actions should be taken, including on Capitol Hill and through op-eds.
  • Also included in the conversation was a recent legal memo regarding Rule G-42 and common misunderstandings in the market about the extent to which Rule G-42 and Rule G-23 restrict the ability of dealers who serve as municipal advisors to municipal entities to trade in municipal securities.

Zero Commission Retail Accounts: How Has the Dynamic Changed for Both Issuers and Investors 

Discussion Leader: Guy Yandel, Raymond James

  • The group discussed the recent trend of offering trades at “zero” commission.  These companies are working on finding more efficient ways of doing business ie: electronic trading platforms, minimal human interfacing, and more specialized activity to bring up yields.
  • Public Finance leaders may soon look at scenarios where MA’s and Issuers see “zero commission” and wonder – why can’t we have that too?
  • The group discussed the best way to approach these future questions and compared old practices/vs new that can help the industry stay competitive without drastic compensation changes.

Best Practices for Integrating the New Generation of Public Finance Leaders

Discussion Leader: Dennis Hunt, Stephens Inc.

  • This discussion centered on best practices by the Head of Public Finance both in management of staff and clientele.
  • The group was asked What advice would seasoned heads of public finance give to several of the new leaders?
  • Questions such as when did leaders give up personally producing and taking care of clients (or do they give it up) and how often do you visit branch offices vs using skype or other technologies to stay in touch with branches were discussed.
  • A survey was also conducted on the allocation of responsibilities for public finance leaders.
  • The results can be viewed here.

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