PLI PLUS 2.0 is now available – click here to test drive the new platform.
Skip to main content

Hedge Fund Registration and Compliance 2012


Speaker(s): A. Duer Meehan, Barbara A. Stettner, Christian R. Sabella, Deborah Kaback, James A. Capezzuto, Joseph McGill, K. Susan Grafton, Mark K. Schonfeld, Michael R. Butowsky, Taki Vasilakis, Tram N. Nguyen
Recorded on: Jan. 31, 2012
PLI Program #: 35093

Deborah Kaback is a Managing Director and the Chief Legal Officer for Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc., a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. She is responsible for legal issues related to wrap programs, institutional advisory accounts and hedge funds and private equity funds. Prior to joining Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc in 2003, she was Executive Director at CIBC World Markets Corp, Vice President and Senior Counsel at OppenheimerFunds, Inc and Deputy General Counsel and Executive Vice President at Oppenheimer Capital.


Joseph McGill joined UBS Global Asset Management in June 2003 and is responsible for all U.S. and Canadian Compliance matters.

Prior to joining UBS Global Asset Management, Mr. McGill was Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management where he was responsible for U.S. legal and compliance advisory issues. Prior to joining JPMIM, he was a Vice President with Goldman Sachs Asset Management where he was responsible for U. S. institutional compliance.

Mr. McGill also served as Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and Counsel to J. & W. Seligman & Co. Incorporated. While at Seligman, he had overall compliance responsibility for several affiliated companies including a mutual fund family, two limited purpose broker-dealers and three registered advisory firms. Prior to that, Mr. McGill was the Assistant General Counsel at Prudential Securities Incorporated. At Prudential, Mr. McGill represented the Firm and its representatives in commodities arbitrations as well as investigations and proceedings initiated by the SEC, CFTC and other regulatory organizations. Mr. McGill also has experience as a Securities Examiner at the NASD and a Compliance Analyst at E.F. Hutton & Co.


Taki Vasilakis' previous professional experience includes being the CCO at Atticus Capital, Deputy US CCO at Tudor Investment Corporation, working at UBS Investment Bank in the Equities Regulatory Control Group for four years and at Goldman, Sachs & Co. for five years where he held various positions. Mr. Vasilakis also worked at the SEC for six years as a Securities Compliance Examiner and Branch Chief. In 1995, Mr. Vasilakis received the SEC's Examination Award of Excellence, and in 2008, he was named as one of the "20 Rising Stars of Compliance" by Institutional Investor News.

Mr. Vasilakis holds an M.B.A. from the NYU Stern School of Business and a B.B.A. in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University. Mr. Vasilakis joined FrontPoint in late 2010.


Barbara Stettner is the Head of Allen & Overy’s US Financial Services Regulatory Practice, a member of the Global Financial Services Regulatory Steering Committee, and a member of the Global Board. Barbara's practice focuses on advising U.S. and foreign financial institutions on their regulatory and compliance obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and the Bank Secrecy Act. Barbara has extensive experience representing foreign and domestic banks, asset managers, and broker-dealers on the various regulatory obligations of domestic and cross-border securities distributions and fundraising activities, including broker-dealer, investment adviser, finder and placement agent status questions, sales practice requirements, research, and custody arrangements. She regularly applies this experience in the Fintech and digital asset space to various custodians, “robo advisers,” “crowdfunding platforms,” and DLT (“blockchain”) or other digital securities distribution and trading platforms. She has a particular focus on the interstitial and complex regulatory issues that arise between bank, broker-dealer, and investment adviser affiliates who provide services to the same clients.

Before entering private practice, she worked at the SEC’s Division of Market Regulation (now Trading and Markets), where she served as Special Counsel in the Office of the Chief Counsel and as an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Risk Management and Control. She also served as Senior Counsel in the Commission’s Office of International Affairs, where she worked on a multi-country committee to produce the first IOSCO paper addressing cross-border securities transactions over the Internet.  At the SEC and in private practice, Barbara served with the Financial Services Volunteer Corp, providing pro bono technical assistance to emerging markets on the regulatory and supervisory systems of markets and market intermediaries, including Jordan, the UAE, Russia, and Romania. She is a current member of the Board of Advisors of the SEC’s Historical Society.  

Barbara is widely recognized as a leading regulatory lawyer, having been recognized in Chambers USA in both Securities: Regulation: Advisory and Financial Services Regulation: Broker Dealer (Compliance). According to Chambers USA, Barbara is described as "an amazing broker-dealer attorney" by market commentators and impresses with the breadth of her advisory practice, which encompasses state and federal broker-dealer regulations and securities laws. A client says: "She is extremely knowledgeable and also not afraid to push the envelope to improve the regulatory environment."


Christian Sabella is Deputy Director of the Division of Trading and Markets at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where he is responsible for the Offices of Market Supervision and Clearance and Settlement.  He joined the SEC in 2011 and has served in a number of roles, including as Associate Director for the Office of Clearance and Settlement.  Mr. Sabella has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.


Mark K. Schonfeld is a litigation partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Co-Chair of Gibson Dunn’s Securities Enforcement Practice Group.  He is also a member of the Crisis Management and the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Groups.

Mr. Schonfeld’s practice focuses on the representation of financial institutions, public companies, hedge funds, accounting firms and private equity firms in investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ), States Attorneys General, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other regulatory organizations.  Mr. Schonfeld also conducts internal investigations and counsels clients on compliance and corporate governance matters.

Benchmark Litigation recognizes Mr. Schonfeld as a “Litigation Star,” and he has been ranked as a leading lawyer in Securities Regulation and Enforcement by Chambers USA:  America’s Leading Lawyers for BusinessChambers highlighted client praise for Mr. Schonfeld’s “invaluable current knowledge of agency practice, procedure and personalities active at the SEC” and noted he is “a very strategic, seasoned professional. He’s measured, thoughtful and incredibly proactive in terms of keeping clients updated. He’s detail-oriented and produces extremely high quality work.”

Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Schonfeld concluded a 12-year career with the SEC, the last four years as the Director of the New York Regional Office, the largest of the SEC’s regional offices.  Mr. Schonfeld oversaw professional staff of nearly 400 enforcement attorneys, accountants, investigators and compliance examiners engaged in the investigation and prosecution of enforcement actions and the performance of compliance inspections of more than 4,000 SEC registered financial institutions in the region.  Mr. Schonfeld led the New York Office through one of the most vibrant and rapidly evolving periods in the history of the SEC and securities law enforcement and brought many of SEC’s major landmark cases dealing with complex accounting fraud, mutual fund trading, hedge fund abuses, foreign bribery, insider trading and market manipulation.

Mr. Schonfeld received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1988 and his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, and with Highest Distinction from the University of Rochester in 1984.  Following law school, Mr. Schonfeld was a law clerk for the Honorable Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Following his clerkship and before joining the SEC, Mr. Schonfeld was a litigator in private practice.

Mr. Schonfeld is a frequent public speaker to legal and industry practitioners and commentator on television and radio, and has participated in international training programs for foreign financial regulators and law enforcement agencies.  He is a past recipient of the SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence and the Capital Markets Award.  He is a member of the New York and Massachusetts State Bars, the New York State Bar Association and the Committee on White Collar Criminal Litigation, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Federal Bar Council. 


MICHAEL R. BUTOWSKY Partner, Jones Day, New York City.  Michael Butowsky’s principal areas of practice include advising investment advisers with respect to legal and compliance matters (including issues relating to registration and additional SEC filings, disclosure, conflicts of interest, soft dollars and best execution, allocations of investment opportunities, the structuring of compliance programs, and SEC exams); advising clients with respect to the formation of, and offering of interests in, private investment funds (e.g., hedge funds, private equity funds and other alternative investment vehicles) and investors with respect to investments in funds; broker-dealers with respect to regulatory matters, as well as the negotiation of soft-dollar and other brokerage arrangements; and companies with respect to investment adviser, broker-dealer and investment company “status” issues.

Mr. Butowsky has written extensively and is a frequent speaker at financial services industry conferences.


Tram N. Nguyen is a partner in the Investment Management practice of Paul Hastings. Ms. Nguyen represents hedge funds, private equity funds, and other private funds on all aspects of fund formation, fund structuring and capital raising. She has experience representing asset managers in structuring hedge fund-linked notes and customized single-investor funds. Ms. Nguyen also advises financial institutions and investment advisers on U.S. regulatory requirements, including registration and reporting requirements.  Prior to joining Paul Hastings, Ms. Nguyen was a partner at a U.S. firm and was the Branch Chief of the Private  Funds Branch at the SEC Division of Investment Management in Washington, D.C. At the SEC, she worked on developing and implementing rules for hedge fund and private equity fund advisers under the Dodd-Frank Act and the JOBS Act.


K. Susan Grafton counsels a wide variety of broker-dealers, including U.S. and multinational broker- dealers, full service firms, institutional and retail broker-dealers, equity and fixed income alternativetrading systems, investment banking boutiques, and private placement agents as well as securities exchanges. She has been ranked nationally by Chambers USA in the Broker-Dealer (Compliance) category since 2010 and is recognized in The Legal 500 US for fintech. In the most recent edition of Chambers, clients noted that "She helps us to think through complex issues with recent SEC issues and how to navigate them. She is a very keen listener and spends a lot of time trying to understand our business and the outcomes that we desire. She is a terrific lawyer who really supports her clients well." "Susan is an expert on broker-dealer regulation - thoughtful, engaging, knowledgeable and practical." Past editions noted that “the ‘very smart’ Susan Grafton demonstrates strength advising global broker- dealers and investment banks on a comprehensive range of regulatory matters. Her compliance expertise encompasses, among other areas, SEC, FINRA and CFTC regulations. A source says: ‘She has a wealth of experience and knows how to apply it practically to clients.’”

Ms. Grafton’s practice includes representing broker-dealers in all aspects of regulatory compliance,beginning with assisting them in registering with the SEC – as alternative trading systems as well as broker-dealers – and obtaining membership in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other self-regulatory organizations (SROs). As part of this process, she drafts all needed documents, such as written supervisory procedures, customer account documents, soft dollars and commission sharing agreements, and electronic access agreements. She also advises clients on new business initiatives and assists them in obtaining required SRO and state approvals. Similarly, she handles the regulatory approvals in connection with changes of control of broker-dealers. Ms. Grafton also advises clients on broker-dealer status questions for themselves and their employees, including compliance with the Rule 15a-6 safe harbor for foreign broker-dealers and drafts agreements and procedures related to the same.

Ms. Grafton’s practice is wide ranging and includes advising clients on regulatory issues related to nearly every aspect of a broker-dealer’s business, financial, operations and supervisory responsibilities. For example, she advises clients on compliance issues relating to Regulations ATS, NMS, SCI and SHO; sponsored access and other electronic trading issues; large trader and position reporting; suitability and standard of care issues; Regulation M and FINRA’s corporate finance rules; information barriers and insider trading; soft dollars and commission sharing arrangements; research, social media and other written communications; political contributions, outsourcing and expense sharing arrangements; the net capital and customer protection rules; cyber security and data protection issues; books-and-records requirements; and OATS and trade reporting. She is frequently consulted on strategic issues, including the implications of acquiring other financial institutions and developing compliant management and supervisory structures. Ms. Grafton has drafted firmwide and business- specific policies and procedures.

She also represents retail investment advisers, hedge fund and other private fund managers, research providers and trade associations representing the financial services industry. She has been involved in several key policy issues arising from the Dodd-Frank Act, including the uniform standard of care for broker-dealers and investment advisers, municipal advisor registration, private fund adviser registration, and compliance officer responsibilities under new CFTC rules.

Ms. Grafton frequently represents broker-dealers and investment advisers before the SEC and FINRA in connection with regulatory examinations and enforcement investigations pertaining to a wide range of issues, including most recently registration requirements; Rule 15a-6 “chaperoning” arrangements; outside business activities; best execution; markups and markdown, Regulations ATS, M, NMS and SHO; the net capital and customer protection rules; margin requirements; wrap accounts; disclosures; prospectus delivery; supervision; and marketing materials and advertising. She also regularly conducts in-house training on a variety of topics, including preparation for regulatory examinations.

Ms. Grafton has a unique combination of regulatory, in-house and law firm experience. She began her career with the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets (formerly Market Regulation) where she was responsible for interpretations and no-action relief with respect to the net capital and customer protection rules and broker-dealer books and records requirements. She also led several significant rulemaking initiatives, including the proposal and adoption of Regulation M and amendments to Rules 10b-18, and provided regulatory exemptions and interpretations that facilitated numerous multinational securities offerings, merger transactions, and exchange offers. Subsequently, Ms. Grafton served as a vice president and associate general counsel of Goldman Sachs where she advised on a variety of strategic, regulatory compliance and operational issues related to the firm’s institutional equities sales and trading businesses. Ms. Grafton is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the SEC Historical Society.

 


Duer Meehan joined FINRA in August 2012 as the Deputy Director of the Department of Market Regulation. In addition, he helps lead FINRA’s participation on the SRO Consortium that is developing the Consolidated Audit Trail NMS Plan. Prior to working at FINRA, Mr. Meehan worked in PwC’s Financial  Services Regulatory Practice, where he worked on engagements with broker-dealers, asset managers, exchanges, a clearing agency, a trade monitoring vendor and a rating agency. He helped these organizations with front-to-back regulatory reviews, regulatory governance assessments, controls related to quantitative high-frequency trading, the prevention of insider trading, regulatory reporting, the implementation of new regulations, the enhancement of trade surveillance tools, and the management of conflicts of interest. Prior to working at PwC, Mr. Meehan was the Associate Director of the Office of Market Oversight in the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. In this role, he was responsible for supervising the SEC's oversight inspections of the self-regulatory organizations’ regulatory programs with respect to trading, including their surveillance, examination and disciplinary programs. His group was also responsible for examinations of broker-dealers’ trading practices and operations, including alternative trading systems. In addition, he oversaw the SEC's examinations of credit rating agencies and managed the transfer agent examination program, as well as participated in examinations of investment advisers. Before becoming associate director, Mr. Meehan was an assistant director in OCIE’s broker-dealer group, managing examinations addressing multiple issues, including equity and debt securities trading and sales practices, supervision, internal controls and anti-money laundering. In addition, his responsibilities included helping manage the SEC's national examination program for broker-dealers. Mr. Meehan has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching the regulation of securities trading. His experience prior to working at the SEC includes implementing trading systems at Bloomberg.


James Capezzuto is the chief compliance officer for Oppenheimer Asset Management and its affiliated advisers. Previously, Mr. Capezzuto was an associate regional director at the Securities and Exchange Commission, responsible for the New York regional investment adviser and investment company exam programs. He has also served as a chief compliance officer at New York Life Investors,  US counsel and chief compliance officer at Aberdeen Asset Management, senior counsel at UBS Global Asset Management, chief compliance officer at Banc of America Alternative Strategies and senior counsel at Deutsche Bank/Morgan Grenfell Asset Management. Mr. Capezzuto received his JD from New York Law School and his BA in English from the University at Buffalo. He has over 25 years of legal and compliance experience in the asset management industry.