The national advocacy group for academic governing boards has tasked Hogan Lovells with keeping trustees of higher education institutions free from Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regulations.
Hogan is advocating for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) on legislation that would exempt the trustees from registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as municipal advisers and submitting to the agency's oversight, according to lobbying registration paperwork the firm filed with Congress this week. The organization has argued that the regulations, which aren't finalized, are intended for external advisers who receive compensation for their advice, not trustees, who are volunteers and might talk about municipal bonds at board meetings.
"It's really just to find a narrowing of that definition to a more appropriate level," Hogan partner Scott Lilienthal said of his client's goal. He is handling the account with Hogan partner James Wickett.
"We support the goals of the Dodd-Frank Act and the SEC of ensuring appropriate oversight of advisors to municipal entities and conduit borrowers," Geringer said. "However, it is imperative that the quality of institutional governance not be compromised by counterproductive, needless, burdensome, and off-putting regulation of trustees acting in their fiduciary capacity."
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the municipal adviser exemption bill by voice vote on September 19, sending it to the Senate for consideration. But the legislation would prove unnecessary if the SEC addresses the matters raised in the measure. The SEC is expected to issue a final rule on municipal adviser registration before the end of the year.
Hogan is the first firm to lobby for AGB, according to congressional records that date back to 1999.