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Financial Services Conflicts of Interest & Fiduciary Duties 2017: Navigating the Emerging Regulatory Maze

Speaker(s): Allison E. Wielobob, Craig Friedman, Jennifer L. Klass, Jonathan Kay , Joseph J. Sheirer, Mary C. Downie, Panayiota K. Bougiamas, Priya Udeshi Crick, Robert N. Sobol
Recorded on: Apr. 26, 2017
PLI Program #: 185827

Allison Wielobob is General Counsel at the American Retirement Association.  Allison brings nearly 20 years of experience—both in government service and private practice—with a broad range of employee benefits issues under ERISA and the Code.  Allison served as a legislation counsel for the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress and was on the staff of the Office of Regulations and Interpretations of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.  After leaving the Labor Department, Allison worked at Eversheds Sutherland (US) in Washington, DC.

Jennifer L. Klass serves as the Co-chair of Baker McKenzie's Financial Regulation and Enforcement Practice in North America. Jen is an experienced investment management lawyer with particular focus on investment adviser regulation and the convergence of investment advisory and brokerage services. She regularly represents clients before the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), both in seeking interpretative guidance and in managing examination and enforcement matters. Jen is a leading practitioner in digital investment advice and the use of FinTech in the asset management industry.

Jen provides practical advice that is informed by her experience as Vice President and Associate Counsel at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she represented the asset management and private wealth management businesses.

Practice Focus

Jen counsels financial services firms on regulatory and compliance matters arising under federal and state securities laws, including fiduciary duty and conflicts of interest, standards of conduct, disclosure and internal controls, advertising and social media, regulatory examinations and enforcement defense. She also has deep experience counseling clients in the development and operation of managed account (or wrap fee) programs and in performing strategic business reviews designed to review and benchmark existing business and compliance practices.

Jen's practice tends to focus on the retail and wealth management businesses of investment advisers and dual registrants, her clients include the full range of asset managers, broker-dealers, and sponsors of private investment funds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds.

Joseph J. Sheirer currently leads FINRA’s national Member Supervision Firm Examination Program. Mr. Sheirer previously oversaw the Woodbridge, Boston and Philadelphia district offices, developed and oversaw FINRA’s national Membership Application Program group, and worked in varying capacities in a number of other FINRA departments including Risk Oversight & Operational Regulation, Continuing Education, Testing, and Qualifications & Registration. Mr. Sheirer is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and Drew University and is a member of the Bars of the States of New York and New Jersey.

Mary C. Downie is an Associate General Counsel of BMO Financial Group, where as the Chief Lawyer for Personal Wealth U.S. she leads the national team of lawyers advising the firm on all legal matters impacting the U.S. personal wealth businesses of BMO Wealth Management, including the trust and investment business of BMO Harris Bank N.A., BMO Delaware Trust Company, the broker-dealer BMO Harris Financial Advisors, and registered investment advisories including CTC myCFO, LLC.  Prior to joining BMO Financial Group, she spent more than 18 years in private practice in major law firms, where she focused her practice exclusively on ultra-high net-worth and high-net-worth estate planning, estate and trust administration, advising owners of closely held businesses, and estate and trust litigation.

Ms. Downie is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and while in private practice was named an Illinois Super Lawyer in the area of Estate Planning and Probate. She is a frequent author and lecturer on estate planning matters, estate administration, contested estate matters, and ownership succession issues. Ms. Downie has presented numerous seminars for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE®) including several presentations for the Illinois Estate Planning Annual Short Course, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the National Business Institute, and several institutional clients. She has published articles in the National Law Journal, the Illinois Bar Journal, and the Illinois State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section Newsletter. Ms. Downie has been a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Counsel, the Illinois State Bar Association and its Trusts and Estates Section Council, is the former Chair of the Estate and Gift Tax Division of the Federal Taxation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, and is a former member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. She is a member of the American Bankers Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. Ms. Downie was a member of the IICLE® planning committee for the 58th, 57th, 56th, and 49th Annual Estate Planning Short Courses and has coauthored chapters in IICLE®’s RETIREMENT BENEFITS ISSUES IN ESTATE PLANNING, its LITIGATING DISPUTED ESTATES, TRUSTS, GUARDIANSHIPS AND CHARITABLE BEQUESTS, and its ILLINOIS ESTATE ADMINISTRATION. Ms. Downie received her B.A. summa cum laude from Albion College, where she was a Fellow, and her J.D. magna cum laude from The John Marshall Law School, where she was a member of The John Marshall Law Review and received numerous academic honors.

Priya Udeshi Crick is an Associate General Counsel at New York Life Insurance Company and counsels their retail and institutional investment advisers.  She is also Legal Officer for the New York Life Foundation.  She was formerly an Executive Director in Morgan Stanley’s Legal and Compliance Division, advising on investment advisory programs and services with over $350 billion in AUM for institutional and retail clients. Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2006, she was a corporate associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York for five years, primarily in the capital markets group advising Fortune 500 companies on domestic and international securities offerings.

Ms. Udeshi Crick has been a speaker for and participates in industry groups on issues such as asset management, financial planning, leadership and career development.

Ms. Udeshi Crick was a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Fellow and graduated with First Class Honors in Law from the University of Cambridge (U.K.) receiving the Sir David Williams and Ivor Jennings prizes for academic excellence.  Prior to Cambridge, she was a recipient of the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship awarded to graduates to foster leadership in the world community.

Craig is a senior manager in the Investment Management practice for Deloitte Advisory and a lead member of the Deloitte’s DOL Fiduciary Rule team. Craig has consulted on the impact of the DOL Fiduciary Rule and the design and implementation of compliance programs with wealth managers, broker dealers and asset managers. DOL topics on which he has consulted include evaluation of revenue at risk; development of Rule compliance strategies; workflow design to meet the best interest standard; and recommendations on enhancements to policies, procedures and controls to enforce the Impartial Conduct Standards.

Craig has over 15 years of experience consulting to the financial services industry, with a focus on managing large and transformational regulatory and operational initiatives. Prior to Deloitte, Craig worked in various professional services roles at SS&C Technologies and Advent Software. 

Craig has an MBA from New York University and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a certified Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute.


MBA, New York University

BA, University of California at Berkeley


Project Management Professional (PMP)

Mr. Kay has been the Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s New York Regional Office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) since August 2005.  Prior to becoming Regional Director, he served in several management positions since joining the Agency in 1996.  At EBSA he has been responsible for overseeing the Regional Office’s civil enforcement program which seeks to obtain compliance with the fiduciary, reporting and disclosure provisions of Title I of ERISA.  He is also responsible for the Office’s criminal enforcement program which is handled in conjunction with the US Attorney’s Offices as well as state and local prosecutors.

Prior to joining EBSA, he served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor in New York for 18 years.  He is a graduate of Tufts University and New York Law School.

Panayiota (“Toula”) K. Bougiamas is an Assistant Regional Director in the SEC Division of Enforcement’s Asset Management Unit. Toula is based in the New York Regional Office and oversees a staff of attorneys and industry experts. Toula and her group specialize in investigating and litigating matters involving investment advisers, investment companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and other investment vehicles managed by investment advisers. Prior to joining the Asset Management Unit in 2010, Toula investigated and litigated a number of diverse matters, including several financial fraud cases. Toula joined the New York Regional Office in 2001 after a two year clerkship in the United States Court of International Trade. She received her B.S. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a member of the Brooklyn Law Review and Editor of the Second Circuit Review.

Rob has been in the securities law industry for over 25 years.  His legal expertise ranges from the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (including robo-advice, managed account programs and registered investment advisory) to the Securities Act of 1933, the Exchange Act of 1934, international cross-border securities law, ERISA and technology matters.   He joined TD Ameritrade in 2009.  His responsibilities include Distribution and Other Matters Relating to Alternative Investments and Mutual Funds, SDBA (Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts for Retirement Plans), WPS (Workplace Solutions – including Designated Brokerage and Stock Plan Services), and ERISA and 529 matters.  He has authored numerous securities law articles, particularly for the Journal of Investment Compliance and has been cited by Seligman Loss , and in law school textbooks and legal decisions. . His B.A. in History is from Temple University and his J.D. is from Widener University School of Law, where graduated cum laude and was a member of,  and published on,  law review (The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law).