SEC Commissioner Defends the Integrity of Honest Compliance Officers

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In recent years, there were enforcement cases brought against chief compliance officers (CCOs) by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission because of misconduct and other unethical practices. The CCO community is concerned, but Commissioner Luis Aguilar says honest and competent CCOs shouldn’t fear and be discourage to perform their duties. According to Financial News, over 30 senior bank compliance executives resigned from their positions. There may be various reasons for the resignations, including fear and perhaps, regulatory violations. Whatever the cause for the uproar in the chief compliance officer community, Commissioner Aguilar wants to reassure reputable CCOs to continue to do their jobs with integrity.

Who knows the responsibilities of chief compliance officers better than Helane Morrison, Chief Compliance Officer, Managing Director, and General Counsel of Hall Capital Partners LLC. Morrison journey to becoming a CCO began years ago by receiving a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law. For 10 ten years, Helane practiced law at the San Francisco Law Firm and by 1996, headed enforcement for SEC in San Francisco. In 2007, Morrison joined Hall Capital as CCO with responsibilities of ensuring investors and employees are protected based on SEC laws and regulations.

The demand for compliance officers is increasing by corporate structures to help ensure new regulations are implemented properly and enforced. JP Morgan, for an example, revealed in an Annual CEO Shareholder letter in April 2015 that 8,000 compliance employees were hired. Thousands of CCOs are hired by banks, investment advisors, and investment companies to find solutions for internal issues that resulted in hefty fines. Morrison worked for SEC for nearly 11 years and has expertise concerning securities regulations. Presently, Morrison helps oversee $28.9 billion in investments for Hall Capital.

Commissioner Aguiar is concerned about the misconceptions perceived within the CCO community and wants to reassure SEC support for the role of honest CCOs, like Helane Morrison. Within the last five years, there have been fewer cases charging CCOs with non-compliance of regulations. Based upon facts provided by the Commissioner, there are more cases charging investment advisors and investment firms of violations compared to CCOs. Most compliance violations aren’t committed by chief compliance officers. In 2014 there were 130 enforcement cases, with only eight involving CCOs.

Learn more about Helane’s life and career by visiting the following link >>



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