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Financial Services Conflicts of Interest & Fiduciary Duties 2018: Navigating the Emerging Regulatory Maze


Speaker(s): Andrew J.(Buddy) Donohue, David W. Blass, Emily P. Gordy, Gwendolyn A. Williamson, Julie M. Riewe, Robert E. Plaze
Recorded on: May. 10, 2018
PLI Program #: 221107

Andrew J. Donohue, widely known as Buddy Donohue, has over 40 years of experience in both senior government and private sector roles, having recently served as SEC Chief of Staff to Chair Mary Jo White (2015-2017). He is best known for his service as Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management (2006-2010) (where he was effectively the most senior regulator for the U.S. funds industry). Buddy was most recently at the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP (2017-2019) and also served as Global General Counsel at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (2003-2006), Executive Vice President and General Counsel at OppenheimerFunds Inc. (1991 – 2001) and Investment Company General Counsel at Goldman Sachs (2012-2015).

Buddy is currently an independent Director of certain BNY Mellon Funds (2019 to present) and has been an officer, director and counsel for numerous investment advisers, broker-dealers, commodity trading advisors, transfer agents and insurance companies. He also has served on the boards of business development companies, registered open-end funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds, Cayman funds and Dublin-based and Luxembourg-based UCITS. He has  served as Chairman of the ABA Investment Companies and Investment Advisers Subcommittee, and as an Editor of the ABA Guide for Fund Directors. He also sits on the Board of the Mutual Funds Directors Forum (2018 to present).

Buddy is an acknowledged and highly respected thought leader within the industry, having published, lectured and delivered talks on a variety of investment fund topics. He currently is also an Adjunct Professor teaching investment management law at Brooklyn Law School.


Gwen Williamson is a Partner in the Investment Management Practice Group at Perkins Coie LLP.  Gwen represents investment advisers, boards of trustees, investment companies, business development companies, and family offices.  She also represents and serves on the board of a variety of nonprofit organizations. 

Gwen’s 15 years of experience in the asset management industry includes work with: registered fund launches and liquidations; fund and adviser compliance and vendor oversight programs; SEC registrations, examinations and investigations; annual compliance and risk assessments; routine and special shareholder disclosures; conflict of interest issues; cybersecurity oversight and monitoring; annual fund contract renewals and independence evaluations; large-scale fund and adviser changes in control; applications for exemptive relief; reporting under the federal securities laws; and negotiating advisory agreements, fund selling and servicing agreements, credit facilities, securities lending arrangements and other contracts germane to the asset management industry.

Gwen is a member The Investment Lawyer editorial board and is an active writer and public speaker. Her recent publications and speaking engagements include: “A Legal Overview of Investing for Small and Emerging Public Charities,” in the December 2017 issue of The Investment Lawyer; “Compliance Concerns Amidst Industry, Regulatory Change,” in the September 14, 2017 edition of Fund Board Views; and “Cybersecurity Breaches and Compliance Challenges on the Horizon,” a November 10, 2016 Investment Adviser Association Workshop.

Gwen earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999, and a J.D. from the University of Georgia in 2005.


Julie M. Riewe is a litigation partner and a member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. Her practice focuses on securities-related enforcement and compliance issues and internal investigations, and she has significant experience with matters involving private equity funds, hedge funds, mutual funds, business development companies, separately managed accounts and other asset managers. Ms. Riewe was recognized as a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting in 2018.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Riewe was Co-Chief of the Asset Management Unit of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. Ms. Riewe oversaw a nationwide program of investigations focusing on investment advisers, investment companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and other investment vehicles managed by investment advisers. She co-led a team of nearly 80 attorneys, industry experts and other professionals in all 12 SEC offices, and was responsible for directing the SEC’s asset management-related enforcement efforts. In recognition of her leadership and integrity, she received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2015.

Before her appointment to Co-Chief, Ms. Riewe was Deputy Chief and Assistant Director of the Asset Management Unit in 2012 and 2010, respectively. From 2008 to 2010, she was Branch Chief in the Enforcement Division in Washington, D.C. Ms. Riewe joined the SEC in 2005 as a staff attorney in the Enforcement Division In 2007, she earned the Ellen B. Ross Award for her performance at the SEC.

From 2000 to 2004, Ms. Riewe was a litigation associate with a major international law firm, prior to which she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Diana E. Murphy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from 1999 to 2000.

Ms. Riewe earned her J.D. and M.P.P. from Duke University School of Law in 1999, where she was a member of the Duke Law Journal and Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. She received her A.B. from Duke University in 1993.


Robert E. Plaze is a partner and a member of the Registered Funds Group at Proskauer. He advises investment advisers and investment companies on an array of matters, with a particular focus on regulatory and compliance matters arising under the federal securities laws.

Bob previously served as Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During his nearly 30 years of service with the Commission, he was responsible for policy development and management of many of the key regulatory initiatives during that period affecting investment companies and investment advisers under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, including rules governing fund and adviser compliance programs, fund corporate governance, personal trading, custody and brokerage practices, prohibitions on “pay to play” practices, and protection of investor privacy. Most recently, Bob was responsible for rulemaking to implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act affecting investment advisers, including rules requiring advisers to hedge funds and other private funds to register with the Commission, rules implementing new exemptions from registration and rules requiring reporting by certain exempt investment advisers.

Bob is one of the nation’s leading experts in the regulation of money market funds. While a Commission official, he was responsible for the Commission’s money market regulatory program, including amendments to rule 2a-7 adopted in 1991, 1996 and 2010. Bob represented the Commission on several interagency committees of the Financial Stability Oversight Board dealing with systemic risk issues and the regulation of money market funds.

Bob joined the Commission in 1983 as an attorney in the Division of Investment Management. During his tenure with the Commission, he held several positions of responsibility in the Division, including Special Counsel, Assistant Director, Associate Director for Regulatory Policy and Deputy Director.


Emily counsels broker-dealer and investment advisor clients, and is a member of the firm’s commercial litigation practice team. Through her wide-ranging regulatory experience, Emily has developed extensive contacts in the securities regulatory community, including regulators (state, federal, and SRO), in-house, and the defense bar.

Drawing from her wealth of experience at all levels of securities regulation, she handles a wide range of compliance and enforcement issues affecting broker-dealers, investment advisors, investment companies, and public companies. Emily has extensive anti-money laundering (AML) experience, as well as substantial knowledge in other regulatory areas, including supervision, suitability, disclosure, books and records, membership application, and statutory disqualification. Emily is also well-versed in examination and enforcement practices and policies of the financial services regulators.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Emily served as Deputy General Counsel, Executive Vice President for one of the largest retail investment advisory firm and independent broker/dealers. She also worked as a Financial Industry Regulator, having served as a Senior Vice President with responsibilities for various functions within the Enforcement Division of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA). Additionally, she was Policy Director in the Member Regulation Department of the National Association of Securities Dealers, as well as Deputy Chief Counsel of the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

While at FINRA, Emily provided guidance on privacy regulatory obligations and enforcement cases involving data breaches. As in-house counsel, she provided counsel on the firm’s data privacy and security efforts, advising on compliance measures, incident response, regulatory examination, and notification of regulators in the event of a breach.


David Blass is a Partner in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s Investment Funds Practice. David is a leading regulatory lawyer in the funds industry and has advised on matters involving innovative registered funds products, Investment Advisers Act compliance, SEC examination and enforcement matters, and broker-dealer regulatory compliance.

Prior to joining Simpson Thacher, David served as General Counsel of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), where he was responsible for the full range of legal and regulatory matters affecting the asset management industry, including investment company, capital markets, pension and tax issues.

Before joining ICI, David held a number of senior positions for over a decade at the Securities and Exchange Commission. From 2011 to 2014, David was Chief Counsel and Associate Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets. In that role, David led a team of 45 attorneys responsible for legal and policy decisions on matters affecting the securities markets and broker-deals generally, and the private equity industry specifically. In that role, he authored several no-action letters, including an important letter for M&A brokers. Before that, he was the Associate General Counsel, advising the SEC Chair and Commissioners on legal policy matters for the agency’s asset management, trading and markets, examination and international programs. Previously, as Assistant Director in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, he managed the office in charge of investment adviser regulation, which included private fund advisers. David has also spent time in private practice, having worked at two other international law firms.

David has a strong reputation as a thought leader and speaker. David has advocated for the asset management industry before countless domestic and international regulators, and he has testified on industry’s behalf before Congress. He is a sought-after speaker in asset management and broker-dealer conferences. He has written and delivered speeches outlining broker-dealer issues on transaction fees for the private equity industry and rulemaking impacting the asset management industry, including private funds and their advisers and the recent SEC suite of rulemakings targeting asset managers and funds.

David received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Alabama. David is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.