Ernesto A. Lanza

Of Counsel He / Him / His
Washington, DC

Ernesto A. Lanza has more than three decades of experience as a securities regulatory and public finance attorney in private practice and as high-ranking in-house counsel and executive at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). His focus on public finance matters includes an emphasis on securities law, disclosure, and municipal securities market structure issues.

Ernie represents broker-dealers, municipal advisors, investors, other key market participants and industry vendors on municipal market, Dodd-Frank, FINRA, and other legal and compliance matters, including in the high‐stakes context of regulatory examination and enforcement activities. He provides regulated clients with insight into how regulatory mandates translate into on‐the‐ground, practical implementation and compliance.


Representative Matters

  • Conceived and led design, development, and launch of the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system – the official disclosure and transparency venue that serves as the municipal market’s counterpart to the SEC’s EDGAR system – which revolutionized practices in the municipal market
  • Worked with Senate Banking Committee staff during enactment of the Dodd‐Frank Act to preserve the MSRB’s existence, expand its rulemaking authority to include municipal advisors, and strengthen its transparency mandate
  • Led the MSRB transition team to adapt the organization to new Dodd‐Frank governance and regulatory mandates

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

District of Columbia Bar

Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Speaking Engagements

Ernie has been a speaker at more than 100 municipal market events, including SEC, FINRA and MSRB regulatory conferences and industry events hosted by SIFMA, Bond Dealers of America, National Association of Municipal Advisors, National Association of State Treasurers, Government Finance Officers Association, National Association of Bond Lawyers, American Bankers Association, Financial Services Roundtable, Council of Development Finance Agencies, International Municipal Lawyers Association, National Society of Compliance Professionals, Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities, Risk Management Association, XBRL International, Practising Law Institute and other organizations.

He served as lead municipal market legal panelist for SIFMA’s two Fixed-Income Best Execution and Markup Disclosure Seminars to prepare member firms and data and technology vendors for new MSRB/FINRA rules


Book chapter author, “Chapter 37E: Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board,” Broker-Dealer Regulation (PLI, 2d ed. 2018)

Author, “Municipal Advisor Regulatory Compliance – The Seven-Year Milepost,” NSCP Currents, September 2017 Special Reprint

Author, “The Municipal Advisor Regulatory Framework – Where We Are and Where to Next,” Journal of Investment Compliance, Vol. 18 No. 1, 2017

Author, “Disclosure Obligations of Broker-Dealers that Market 529 College Savings Plans,” Journal of Investment Compliance, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2002



University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D. 1988)
University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Editor

Harvard University (B.A. 1985)
Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government (Executive Education Program, Strategic Management of Regulatory & Enforcement Agencies, 2011)


Conversational in Spanish


District of Columbia