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Ernesto A. Lanza

Senior Counsel
Office

Washington D.C.

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Suite 1300 South
Washington, DC 20004
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Fax: 202.552.2371
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Practice Areas
Banking & FinancePublic Finance
Industries
BankingInvestment Management
Education
J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1988, Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
B.A., cum laude, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985
State Bar Licenses
District of Columbia
Awards/Achievements
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, Deputy Executive Director 2011-2014; Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel 2008-2012; Legal Staff 1997-2008
Lecturer, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America (Securities Regulation: Compliance)
Membership
District of Columbia Bar Association
Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia
National Association of Bond Lawyers
SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society; SIFMA Municipal Division Legal Advisory Committee
College Savings Plans Network Legal and State Affairs Committee

Ernesto A. Lanza

Senior Counsel

Ernesto A. Lanza works closely with his clients to develop municipal market compliance solutions tailored to their business needs and the rapidly evolving regulatory and marketplace landscape. He provides advice on the securities law of public finance, with a particular emphasis on underwriting and municipal advisory compliance matters, new issue and continuing disclosure, conflicts of interest, secondary market trading, and market structure issues. His clients have included broker-dealers, municipal advisors, state and local governments, investors, trade groups, industry vendors and other market participants on a broad range of municipal bond, 529 college savings plan and related market matters. In addition, Ernie has transactional experience as bond counsel to state and local governments as well as underwriter’s counsel on numerous capital financings for a wide variety of public infrastructure, health care, single and multifamily, and other private activity projects totaling in excess of $10 billion. 

Previously, Ernie was the Deputy Executive Director for the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), the primary federal regulator of the municipal market. As second ranking MSRB executive, he served several key senior executive functions, including overseeing market structure matters, transparency initiatives, development of the MSRB’s economic analysis policy, research initiatives and governmental affairs functions. There, he led numerous policy initiatives that have helped shape the current municipal marketplace. Prior to his time as Deputy Executive Director, Ernie served as the MSRB’s Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel responsible for all organizational legal and rulemaking matters, including board and staff governance issues; regulatory and compliance issues; contractual, intellectual property and other corporate legal matters; and regulatory coordination with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He conceived and led the design, development and initial launch of the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website, which serves as the central transparency system for the municipal market, and was responsible for the MSRB’s strategic vision for municipal market transparency initiatives. He also developed the broker-dealer regulatory framework for the 529 college savings plan market and was responsible for interpreting the MSRB’s landmark pay-to-play rule that served as the prototype for SEC, FINRA and CFTC pay-to-play rules. 

Experience 

  • Represented a municipal underwriter and municipal issuers in connection with participation in the SEC Enforcement Division’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative
  • Advised issuers, underwriters and investors on municipal market disclosure matters on primary and secondary market transactions in light of the SEC’s MCDC Initiative
  • Represented broker-dealers and municipal advisors in connection with formal examinations and informal inquiries by the SEC and FINRA
  • Advised state housing agencies on Dodd-Frank mandated asset-backed securities disclosures under SEC Rule 15Ga-1
  • Represented traditional and non-traditional municipal advisors in achieving compliance with evolving SEC and MSRB municipal advisor rules
  • Advised broker-dealers on compliance issues relating to secondary market trading
  • Represented existing and potential new municipal market participants on market data and disclosure systems and related technology and process matters
  • Advised municipal market participants on municipal advisor implications of bank loan and derivatives activities
  • Represented financial markets trade associations in connection with municipal securities market regulatory initiatives, including preparing industry-wide model documentation and advising on comment letters to rulemaking proposals
  • Advised 529 college savings plan market participants on securities law regulatory compliance and plan management matters
  • Acted as bond counsel or underwriter’s counsel for numerous general obligation, tax and revenue anticipation, aqueduct and sewer, electric power authority, highway authority, housing finance corporation, ports authority, public buildings authority and other issues in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
  • Acted as bond counsel for a number of hospital and other health facility financings in Miami-Dade County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the State of New Jersey, as well as throughout the country
  • Acted as bond counsel for a number of issues of single family program bonds by the Maryland Community Development Administration
  • Acted as bond or underwriter’s counsel for tax-exempt, taxable and convertible bond issues and commercial paper programs for solid waste disposal/resource recovery facilities
  • Acted as counsel to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation in the structuring of and first bond offerings using Freddie Mac’s credit enhancement program in Georgia and California

Presentations / Publications 

Ernie has presented at more than 100 financial industry conferences, including SIFMA, BDA, NABL, GFOA, NAST, CIFA, CDFA, NAHEFFA, NAMA, NSCP, FINRA, ALI-ABA, PLI, Bond Buyer Conference, Strategic Insight/PlanAdviser, Financial Services Roundtable, American Bankers Association, Financial Services Institute, Financial Markets Association, Council of State Governments, CA Society of Municipal Finance Officers, Carolinas Municipal Advisory Council, OR Municipal Finance Officers, Philadelphia Bond Club, Florida GFOA, Municipal Advisory Council of Texas, College Savings Plans Network, State Debt Management Network and many others. He has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Associated Press, Bond Buyer and other financial markets and local press. Other activities of note include: 

  • Author, Book Chapter, "Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board," Broker-Dealer Regulation (2nd Edition), Practising Law Institute, 2015
  • Adjunct Faculty, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America (Seminar, Spring 2016: Securities Regulation: Compliance)
  • Oral History Interview, SEC Historical Society, Municipal Securities Regulation Gallery, Building a New Machine – Catalyst for Transparency, March 20, 2014
  • Oral and Written Testimony, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Field Hearing on the State of the Municipal Securities Market, Birmingham, AL, July 29, 2011
  • Oral Testimony, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Finance Committee, Hearing on House Bill 2738 – State Treasury: Campaign Finance/Investment Relations, Harrisburg, PA, August 19, 2008
  • Oral and Written Testimony, U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Federal Financial Management Subcommittee, Oversight Hearing on Section 529 College Savings Plans, Washington, DC, September 30, 2004
Experiences

Represented a municipal underwriter and municipal issuers in connection with participation in the SEC Enforcement Division’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative

Advised issuers, underwriters and investors on municipal market disclosure matters on primary and secondary market transactions in light of the SEC’s MCDC Initiative

Represented broker-dealers and municipal advisors in connection with formal examinations and informal inquiries by the SEC and FINRA

Advised state housing agencies on Dodd-Frank mandated asset-backed securities disclosures under SEC Rule 15Ga-1

Represented traditional and non-traditional municipal advisors in achieving compliance with evolving SEC and MSRB municipal advisor rules

Advised broker-dealers on compliance issues relating to secondary market trading

Represented existing and potential new municipal market participants on market data and disclosure systems and related technology and process matters

Advised municipal market participants on municipal advisor implications of bank loan and derivatives activities

Represented financial markets trade associations in connection with municipal securities market regulatory initiatives, including preparing industry-wide model documentation and advising on comment letters to rulemaking proposals

Advised 529 college savings plan market participants on securities law regulatory compliance and plan management matters

Acted as bond counsel or underwriter’s counsel for numerous general obligation, tax and revenue anticipation, aqueduct and sewer, electric power authority, highway authority, housing finance corporation, ports authority, public buildings authority and other issues in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Acted as bond counsel for a number of hospital and other health facility financings in Miami-Dade County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the State of New Jersey, as well as throughout the country

Acted as bond counsel for a number of issues of single family program bonds by the Maryland Community Development Administration

Acted as bond or underwriter’s counsel for tax-exempt, taxable and convertible bond issues and commercial paper programs for solid waste disposal/resource recovery facilities

Acted as counsel to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation in the structuring of and first bond offerings using Freddie Mac’s credit enhancement program in Georgia and California