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FinTech 2019


Speaker(s): Amy M. Starr, Amy Reischauer, Andras P. Teleki, Annemarie Tierney, Barbara A. Stettner, Bjorn J. Hall, Daniel Alter, Daphna A. Waxman, Deborah Connor, Derek Newman, Donna M. Parisi, Gino Soave, Haimera Workie, Jeffrey S Davis, K. Brent Tomer, K. Susan Grafton, Lee A. Schneider, Neel Maitra, Robin Nunn, Rochelle K Plesset, Stephen T. Cohen, Watt Wanapha
Recorded on: Aug. 12, 2019
PLI Program #: 253841

Amy M. Starr is Chief of the Office of Capital Markets Trends in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to taking this position, Ms. Starr was a Senior Special Counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance from 2008 to 2010. From 2003-2008, Ms. Starr was Senior Special Counsel to the Director of the Division. She also has been a special counsel in the Division's Office of the Chief Counsel and in disclosure operations. Ms. Starr has been involved in many Commission rulemakings, including Securities Offering Reform, Regulation FD, Municipal Securities Rulemakings, and rulemakings under Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act regarding swaps and security-based swaps. Prior to joining the Commission in 1992, Ms. Starr practiced corporate and securities law for 11 years in New York City.


Amy Reischauer is Special Counsel in the Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The office assists companies seeking to raise capital through exempt or smaller registered offerings, and participates in and reviews SEC rulemaking and other actions that may affect small businesses. She also has been involved in the SEC’s Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative. 

Ms. Reischauer joined the SEC in 2012 in the Division’s Office of Health Care and Insurance. Before joining the SEC, she served as Associate General Counsel at drugstore.com, inc., a Walgreens company, and as Assistant General Counsel at Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc., a publicly traded REIT.  Previously, Ms. Reischauer practiced securities and corporate law at the Seattle office of Perkins Coie LLP.

She received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, her M.B.A. from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and her B.A. in International Studies from Vassar College


András Teleki is the managing member of the Teleki AML and Cybersecurity Law Firm based in Washington, DC.  He also serves as the Chief Legal Officer and Head of Compliance for M3Sixty Administration and oversees internal and external firm legal and compliance matters.  András Teleki received his Juris Doctorate from Tulane Law School in 1998 and is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.   He is a frequent speaker on topics impacting the investment management industry. 

Prior to founding the Teleki AML and Cybersecurity Law Firm and joining M3Sixty, Mr. Teleki was a partner at the law firm of K&L Gates where he was a member of the Investment Management group from 2001 to 2015.  His practice focused on regulatory and compliance issues facing registered investment companies, including mutual funds and closed-end funds, broker-dealers, investment advisers, unregistered funds, variable insurance product issuers and distributors, and related service providers. He also advised insurance companies on variable insurance and other registered products and financial institutions on anti-money laundering, OFAC, cybersecurity, privacy, social media and financial technology issues. Mr. Teleki also has experience conducting internal investigations and working on regulatory enforcement matters with the SEC and FINRA.


Barbara Stettner is a member of A&O’s global Financial Services Regulatory practice and managing partner of the Washington, DC office. She represents banks, asset managers, broker-dealers, and other financial institutions on regulatory obligations in domestic and cross-border matters involving securities distributions and fundraising activities, including through crowdfunding platforms and over the blockchain, Fintech and virtual currency/ICO trading, lending and advisory platforms, and other regulatory matters under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and the Bank Secrecy Act. Previously, Barbara was at the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, as Special Counsel in Office of the Chief Counsel, Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Risk Management, and Senior Counsel in the Office of International Affairs. According to Chambers USA, Barbara receives accolades for the reasoned regulatory compliance advice she provides to her clients: “she is a ‘real out-of-the-box thinker’ and is ‘one of the best to get in that area to answer your questions.’”


Brent is currently a Chief Trial Attorney with the Division of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the New York office. Brent supervises a team of trial attorneys and investigators and represents the Division in enforcement actions that are filed in the United States District Court. He has successfully prosecuted and negotiated settlements relating to a wide variety of actions, including matters sounding in manipulation, fraud, and trade practices. Brent regularly represents the Commission in actions and investigations related to digital assets and is the advisor of the Division of Enforcement’s Digital Assets Task Force. Brent is a graduate of Washington & Lee University School of Law.


Daphna A. Waxman is a Senior Attorney in the Cyber Unit of the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  She joined the SEC in 2001 and has investigated and prosecuted enforcement actions involving registration violations, insider trading, market manipulation, and offering and accounting fraud.  As a member of the Cyber Unit, her work focuses on matters related to distributed ledger technology, digital assets, and initial coin offerings.  She also served as Special Counsel to the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) within the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance from November through July 2019.  Ms. Waxman received her JD from Brooklyn Law School in 2001, where she served on the Law Review, and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1998.


Donna Parisi is global co-head of Finance at Shearman & Sterling and global head of the firm’s Derivatives & Structured Products practice.

Donna is a leading lawyer in the derivatives and structured products space, respected and recognized for the breadth of her knowledge of derivatives transactions and agreements, regulatory requirements and commercial considerations.

Donna advises clients on the full range of derivatives, structured products, securitization, capital markets and commodities matters. In particular, she has assisted clients in developing and structuring new financial products and has extensive experience in the negotiation and documentation of OTC derivative transactions across all asset classes. In addition, her practice includes the exchange-traded futures and options markets, as well as advising on a variety of investment management matters.

She is ranked as a leading attorney by all prominent legal directories, was recently selected as one of the world’s leading attorneys for Structured Finance and Securitization by Expert Guides and received a Finance Monthly Global award in recognition of her outstanding legal work.

Donna holds a JD from Boston College Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, and a B.A. from Vassar College. She frequently serves as a panelist at events organized by the Financial Times, Glass Hammer, Thomson Reuters and the Practising Law Institute, among others, and has published broadly on the global regulatory reforms following from the recent financial crisis.


Lee A. Schneider is General Counsel at Block.one, one of the world’s largest blockchain companies and creator of the EOSIO blockchain protocol.  In that role, Schneider is responsible for various aspects of the legal function as well as the company’s government affairs initiatives.

He joined Block.One after leading the blockchain, FinTech and broker-dealer practices at two major international firms.  Lee has been recognized as one of the leading voices in blockchain-related regulation and compliance and has played a role in structuring several of the largest and most successful blockchain-related projects.  He is the contributing editor of the Chambers and Partners 2019 FinTech Practice Guide.

Schneider co-hosts Appetite for Disruption, a bi-weekly FinTech podcast with former SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes, which features interviews with leading voices in the space.  Lee is also a co-founder of Genesis Block, a blockchain and start-up advisory firm.

Schneider holds a Juris Doctor degree from American University’s Washington College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan.  He is the father of two wonderful, exhausting teenage ladies and learns about Japanese art history from his wife.  


Annemarie Tierney is the Founder and Principal of Liquid Advisors, a consulting firm offering strategic advisory services around private placements and secondary liquidity structuring and regulatory requirements, including for digital or token-based securities.  Previously, Annemarie was the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel of Templum, Inc., a registered broker dealer/alternative trading system approved to conduct primary offerings and secondary trading in unregistered digital securities.  Annemarie is a seasoned financial services lawyer/strategist with substantial SEC, law firm, and in-house legal experience, as well as experienced in broker dealer regulation, blockchain legal and regulatory issues, securities transactional work, SEC rules and regulations, corporate governance, and international expansion.  Annemarie has led a broad range of regulatory and legislative thought leadership initiatives in the private issuer space and is a frequent speaker on a range of private market topics.  Annemarie previously served as Head of Strategy at Nasdaq Private Market and as the General Counsel of SecondMarket, Inc., now Digital Currency Group.  Annemarie has also worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, the NYSE and NYFIX.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of SEC Alumni and a former member of the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies.   She earned her BA/BS in Finance and International Relations from the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware and her JD from the Catholic University of America.  Annemarie is also FINRA series 7 and 24 licensed.


Bjorn is the General Counsel of Fundrise.

Prior to joining Fundrise, Bjorn spent over 8 years practicing securities and general corporate law, primarily at O'Melveny & Myers LLP and Venable LLP in Washington, DC, with short stopovers at the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Russian steel corporation.

Bjorn received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Dakota, and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.


Daniel Alter is a Shareholder in the New York office of Murphy & McGonigle, P.C., who advises clients on a wide range of fintech regulatory matters and represents them in related litigation.  Previously, Danny was the first General Counsel for the New York Department of Financial Services and was one of the primary architects of New York’s regulatory scheme for virtual currencies.  He was also General Counsel to itBit (now Paxos), which is a New York Stated chartered trust company specializing in blockchain solutions for the financial services industry that also provides a fully regulated crypto exchange platform.


Deborah Connor is Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section in the Criminal Division for the Department of Justice where she has served for more than three years. MLARS leads the Department’s asset forfeiture and anti-money laundering enforcement efforts, providing leadership in the prosecution and coordination of complex, sensitive, multi-district asset forfeiture investigations. In her role as chief, Deb supervises a section of over 80 prosecutors and 150 professionals responsible for civil and criminal enforcement of the money laundering statutes, forfeiture, and the Bank Secrecy Act. 

Deb has been a criminal prosecutor with the Department of Justice for over 22 years.  She served for more than 16 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.  While at the United States Attorney’s office Deb supervised and tried more than 100 criminal cases.  In her last five years with the office Deborah served as the Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section.  During her time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Deborah also served as the Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Unit, and a Deputy Chief in the Office’s Federal Major Crimes Section.

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Deb was a Trial Attorney in the Antitrust Division and an Associate at a large D.C. law firm.  Before attending law school, Deborah was an Assistant Vice President at a larger commercial bank in Chicago.  Deborah is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University Law Center where she is also an Adjunct Professor teaching trial advocacy.


Haimera Workie is the Head of Financial Innovation and Senior Director at FINRA.  In this capacity, he is responsible for leading FINRA’s Office of Financial Innovation, which focuses on analyzing financial technology (FinTech) innovations and emerging risks and trends related to the securities market. As part of these responsibilities, Mr. Workie works to foster an ongoing dialogue with market participants in order to build a better understanding of FinTech innovations and their impact on the securities markets.  Previously, Mr. Workie served as Deputy Associate Director in the Division of Trading and Markets at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Workie also previously served as Counsel in the SEC Office of the Chairman. Prior to joining the SEC, he was an associate at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, with a practice focusing on corporate law. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., M.S.) and Harvard Law School (J.D.).


Mr. Newman serves as Senior Regulatory Counsel at Motley Fool Wealth Management, LLC.   He advises the company and its advisory affiliates on a variety of regulatory, corporate and business matters, including compliance with U.S. laws and regulations governing the operations of registered investment companies and investment advisers.

Before joining Fool Wealth, Mr. Newman served as Associate General Counsel with a global asset management firm, followed by an assignment in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management. Mr. Newman spent most of his career as a corporate and securities associate in the Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong offices of a prominent U.S. financial services law firm.


Neel is a Senior Special Counsel and is the Crypto Specialist in the Division of Trading and Markets, where his work focuses on initial coin offerings, other blockchain-related matters and fintech issues, as well as broker-dealer, fund-related and exchange/ATS matters. Neel also serves as the point of contact for queries for the Division through the Commission’s FinHub.

Prior to this, Neel was part of the team in the Division’s Office of Market Supervision which reviewed the first filings to list cryptocurrency-based exchange traded products. He has also worked on several novel types of exchange-traded funds, alternative trading systems for digital assets, liquidity and incentive programs for market makers, and issues arising from the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II.

Neel received a Bachelor of Civil Laws degree from Oxford University in 2004, and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 2010, where he was a Stone Scholar. Prior to joining the Commission in 2016, Neel worked in the Washington D.C. office of Sullivan and Cromwell LLP, where his work included capital markets offerings, funds, derivatives and broker-dealer regulatory matters.


Susan Grafton leads Dechert’s Broker-Dealer, Securities Trading and Markets practice and co-leads its FinTech practice. She is consistently ranked nationally by Chambers USA in the Broker-Dealer (Compliance) and Broker-Dealer (Enforcement) categories. Among other comments, clients note her “problem-solving orientation. I find her to be very practical and she can work with us on getting to a positive resolution. She always has her client's goals in mind.” (Chambers USA 2017). Market observers call her “an excellent regulatory attorney” and note that “Susan’s work as always been very impressive.” (Chambers USA 2018). They also note that she is “very well connected in the industry, and is able to get the SEC and FINRA to be more responsive” (Chambers USA 2016). Clients also describe her as “a go-to attorney…especially in Regulation M issues and distribution type questions, [where] she's very knowledgeable” (Chambers USA 2015).

Ms. Grafton counsels a wide range of broker-dealers, including alternative trading systems, on all aspects of their business, including registration and changes in control; sales practices, including proposed Regulation Best Interest; trading and execution issues, including compliance with best execution, trade and order reporting, and Regulation NMS and SHO requirements; and Regulation M and FINRA’s corporate finance rules. Her practice also includes representing investment avisers, including hedge fund managers, on a variety of issues, including broker-dealer status issues and solutions to avoiding broker-dealer registration, the use of expert networks, handling material non-public information, and compliance with Rule 105 of Regulation M. She advises buy-side and sell-side clients on soft dollar issues and intersection between Section 28(e) and MiFID II.

In addition, Ms. Grafton frequently represents clients before the SEC and FINRA in connection with regulatory examinations and enforcement investigations pertaining to a wide range of issues.

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, and subsequently served as a vice president and associate general counsel of Goldman Sachs & Co. where she advised on a variety of strategic, regulatory compliance and operational issues related to the firm’s institutional equities sales and trading businesses.


Rochelle Kauffman Plesset is a Senior Counsel in the Chief Counsel's Office in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management. During her long career at the SEC, Rochelle has been involved in all major aspects of investment company and investment adviser regulation, participating in a variety of rulemaking and interpretive initiatives for the Division. Notably, she drafted rules under the Investment Company Act that address the status of asset-backed issuers and investment advisory programs under that Act, and is currently undertaking a review of interpretive issues relating to real estate investment trusts and other types of mortgage companies. Rochelle was primarily responsible for researching and drafting Chapter 1, The Treatment of Structured Finance under the Investment Company Act, in the Division’s 1992 report, Protecting Investors: A Half Century of Investment Company Act Regulation.  She also participated in the drafting of the staff report, Implications of the Growth of Hedge Funds. More recently, Rochelle was a prime drafter of the Division’s guidance on robo-advisers that was issued this past February.