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Chartering FinTech Companies - Regulation in an Evolving Financial Landscape

Speaker(s): Alan W. Avery, Gaurav Vasisht, Jonah Crane, Richard Neiman
Recorded on: Apr. 16, 2021
PLI Program #: 326127

Alan Avery is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Mr. Avery is a member of the Corporate Department and the Financial Institutions Group, and he heads the firm’s US bank regulatory practice. Mr. Avery concentrates on federal and state regulation of banking organizations, advising domestic and foreign banking institutions concerning the impact of US federal and state banking laws on their global operations.  He advises domestic and foreign banks on a wide range of US regulatory issues, including the Bank Holding Company Act (BHC Act), as well as related corporate, litigation matters and investigatory matters.

Mr. Avery has represented many US and non-US financial institutions with regard to federal and state regulatory approval requirements for bank formations, office establishment and licensing, internal reorganizations, and mergers and acquisitions. He also advises transactional practice groups worldwide on US banking regulations. Additionally, Mr. Avery has represented sovereign wealth funds and private equity funds with respect to investments in US financial institutions.

Mr. Avery regularly counsels bank clients on a wide variety of matters, including permissible activities and investments, forms of organization, internal reorganizations, internal compliance and controls programs, product and geographical expansion, margin regulations, capital adequacy requirements, fintech issues, anti-tying rules, privacy regulation, affiliate transaction regulation, BHC Act issues, corporate governance issues, state law fiduciary qualification and regulation issues, USA PATRIOT Act compliance, the Bank Secrecy Act and related anti-money laundering regulations, and pending legislation relevant to their US operations. Mr. Avery represents clients before the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Reserve Banks, the Department of the Treasury, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Mr. Avery also regularly counsels financial institutions and other parties on a wide variety of matters related to US financial regulatory reform under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including the Volcker rule, systemic risk regulation, enhanced prudential standards, “living will” resolution planning requirements, regulatory capital requirements, derivatives regulation, and the regulation of bank and thrift holding companies and depository institutions.

Gaurav Vasisht is a financial services regulatory and public policy lawyer with substantial federal and state-level experience across banking, insurance, securities, and emerging financial technologies. He has served as an adviser to a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as a lawyer to three Governors of New York, and in key roles at the New York Department of Financial Services ("NYDFS"), its predecessor, the New York Insurance Department, and the New York Attorney General's Office.

As Senior Vice President and Director of the financial regulation program at the Volcker Alliance ("Alliance") from 2014 to 2020, Gaurav advised former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker and numerous Volcker Alliance board members on financial stability and regulatory matters. He also guided the development of reform proposals and promoted the Alliance's policy priorities before the federal government, including the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the House Financial Services Committee, and an array of financial regulatory agencies. 

Before joining the Alliance, Gaurav spent a decade in New York State government. Most recently, he served as Executive Deputy Superintendent of the NYDFS, heading the agency's Banking Division. In this role, Gaurav supervised all state-chartered depository institutions, most U.S.-based branches, agencies, and representative offices of foreign banking organizations, and all of New York's mortgage bankers, brokers, servicers, money transmitters, and finance companies. Gaurav also co-directed DFS's anti-money laundering and international sanctions enforcement initiative, assisted in the supervision of independent monitors, and vetted financial technology companies' applications for licensure under NYS Banking Law.

Gaurav's service in NYS government extends beyond DFS. In addition to serving as Senior Deputy Superintendent of DFS's predecessor agency, the NYS Insurance Department, Gaurav worked as First Assistant Counsel and Assistant Counsel to three Governors of New York and as Assistant Attorney General in the Investment Protection Bureau of the NYS Attorney General's Office. In the Governor's Counsel's Office, Gaurav provided legal advice and counsel to the Governor and senior executive staff on banking and financial services policy and spearheaded New York's legislative response to the 2008 foreclosure crisis. As Assistant Attorney General, Gaurav was part of a team that conducted Martin Act and Donnelly Act investigations and brought enforcement actions for securities fraud and antitrust violations. He was previously an attorney in private practice.

Gaurav is co-author of "What Makes a Regulator Excellent?" in Achieving Regulatory Excellence, a book edited by the University of Pennsylvania Law School and published by the Brookings Institution Press. A graduate of New York University and St. John's University School of Law, Gaurav has worked on pioneering initiatives discussed in a leading law and policy textbook and covered in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. Gaurav has been a Non-Resident Fellow at the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke Law School, is a contributor to Penn Law's Regulatory Review, and frequently speaks on issues of relevance to the financial services industry.


Jonah is an experienced advisor to financial institutions and financial technology companies. He provides strategic advice to companies with innovative products or business models. He advises clients on regulatory licensing strategy, bank partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory compliance. Klaros Group has advised several FinTech companies in their application for national bank charters. Jonah has also worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to assist financial regulators around the world in developing policy frameworks to facilitate innovation and financial inclusion.

Jonah served as a Senior Advisor and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Treasury Department from 2013-2017, with responsibility for financial stability and regulatory coordination. He previously served as an advisor to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer on financial regulatory policy, including the Dodd-Frank Act and the JOBS Act. Prior to joining Sen. Schumer’s office, Jonah was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Milbank LLP in New York City.


Richard leads regulatory and government affairs.

Richard has over 30 years experience in the financial industry spanning the business and regulatory sides. Previously, he was Vice Chairman of the Global Financial Services Regulatory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and he’s held senior positions with Citibank and TD Waterhouse (now TD Ameritrade). On the regulatory side, Richard served as the Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York from 2007 to 2011. Richard was also appointed by the Congress to serve on the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP from 2008-2011. Richard began his career with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, D.C. where he served as Special Assistant to the Chief Counsel.

Richard serves as an advisor to the Washington, DC - based Bipartisan Policy Center’s Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative. He is also on the advisory council of the Institute for Financial Market Regulation and on the advisory board of Columbia Business School’s Chinese Business Initiative. Richard received his bachelors degree from American University School of Government and his JD from Emory University School of Law.