Gail C. Bernstein is General Counsel of the Investment Adviser Association. She joined the IAA from the law firm of WilmerHale in Washington, DC, where she had been a Special Counsel in the Securities Department. While in private practice, Bernstein counseled clients on all aspects of financial and securities regulation. Bernstein earned her B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. After law school, Bernstein clerked for the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and was an associate at the Boston law firm of Mintz Levin.
Myles Blechner is a Senior Director at Foreside and provides senior-level compliance consulting services to retail and institutional broker-dealers, RIAs, registered investment company advisers, and private fund advisers. His areas of expertise include regulatory examination guidance and management, policies and procedures drafting, advertising and marketing review, and internal examinations, including mock SEC examinations. Blechner has held positions on corporate advisory boards and is a frequent speaker at national industry conferences and webinars, specializing in building on a culture of compliance, regulatory updates and changes, and utilizing technology for automation of processes. He currently holds FINRA Series 4, 7, 9, 10, 24, 53, 55, 63, 79, and 99 Registrations.
Monique S. Botkin is Associate General Counsel of the Investment Adviser Association. Prior to joining the IAA in 2004, she was an associate in the financial services groups at Dechert LLP in Newport Beach, CA and Alston & Bird LLP in Washington, DC. While in private practice, Botkin represented investment advisers, registered investment companies, private funds, and broker-dealers in corporate, securities and investment management matters. Botkin also served as an attorney in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management disclosure review office from 2013 to 2014. She earned her B.A. in government and politics from the University of Maryland at College Park and her J.D., cum laude, from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, where she was an editor of the Law Review.
Sarah Buescher joined the Investment Adviser Association in 2017 as Associate General Counsel. She is responsible for ERISA and pension issues as well as core Investment Advisers Act issues. Before joining the IAA, Buescher served as a Branch Chief in the Investment Adviser Regulation Office in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management. She also worked in the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel and started her legal career in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management. Between 1999 and 2009, Buescher worked at Vanguard, first in the Legal Department as Associate Counsel and Senior Counsel, and later as Manager of International Compliance in Vanguard’s Compliance Department. She earned her B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
Lewis Collins is a partner of GW&K Investment Management and serves as the firm’s general counsel with responsibility for managing the firm’s legal, regulatory compliance, and risk matters. Prior to joining GW&K, Collins was with Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (AMG) amd also a corporate associate at the law firm of Ropes & Gray. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from Williams College. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and is active in investment management industry organizations. Lewis is a board member of Good Sports and Inward Bound Mindfulness Education.
Crista DesRochers is a Partner, ESG Advisory with ACA Group. Crista joined ACA’s ESG Advisory team from ACA’s Performance Services team, where she provided Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) consulting and verification services to investment managers across the globe. She brings more than 15 years of investment management consulting experience to the ESG Advisory team and specializes in ESG assurance-related services. Des Rochers is an active volunteer with CFA Institute. She is currently a member of the GIPS Standards Technical Committee and the ESG Verification Subcommittee, and a former member of the United States Investment Performance Committee (USIPC).
Lance C. Dial is a Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. With more than a decade of experience as senior in-house counsel with global investment managers, Dial has a deep understanding of mutual fund law and operation and is fluent in the myriad regulations applicable to investment managers. He is well versed in the creation of investment products and environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability matters. Hs works extensively on regulatory policy matters engaging with various financial services regulators, including the U.S. SEC, U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Department of Treasury.
Mark Dowdell is Assistant Regional Director for the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office and serves as Co-Chair of the Marketing Sales Practices Working Group within the National Exam Program. He has conducted and/or reviewed more than 1,000 investment adviser and 85 mutual fund examinations, and has participated in nearly 50 enforcement referrals. Previously, Dowdell worked at Merrill Lynch, where he served as Vice President/Audit Manager in their Corporate Audit Division and was responsible for managing and conducting audits of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and its subsidiary companies. He worked for the SEC prior to Merrill Lynch as well, and rejoined the SEC as a Branch Chief in 2002.
Marshall Gandy is a Senior Officer and National Associate Director of the Investment Adviser and Investment Company examination program in the SEC’s Division of Examinations, and he continues to serve as the Associate Regional Director for Examinations in the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. Gandy joined the SEC’s Fort Worth office in 1999 as a staff attorney and trial counsel in the Division of Enforcement before taking the role of Senior Regional Counsel in Dallas District Office of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2008. Gandy began his legal career in Dallas County as Criminal Court Judge and an Assistant District Attorney. He obtained his J.D. from Southern Methodist University.
Kurt L. Gottschall is the Regional Director of the SEC’s Denver Regional Office. Gottschall began working as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement in 2000, before becoming a Branch Chief in 2003, and an Assistant Regional Director in 2010. He also previously supervised the SEC’s enforcement program in Denver as the Associate Regional Director. Before joining the SEC, he worked as a litigation associate at Sherman & Howard LLC. and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. Gottschall earned his law degree with honors from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law, and his bachelor’s degree in economics and government with honors from Claremont McKenna College.
Louis Gracia, CFE, is an Associate Regional Director in the Investment Adviser – Investment Company Examination Program in the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office. He has been with the Commission for over 27 years and has investigated and referred findings for Commission enforcement action on several ’40 Act-related issues including Ponzi schemes, misuse of soft dollars, undisclosed principal transactions, false hedge fund valuation, false/misleading advertising, custody rule non-compliance, failure to supervise, and inadequate compliance policies and procedures. Gracia has also represented the SEC at numerous examiner recruitment and investor outreach events. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He currently holds a CPA license in the state of Illinois.
Amy Greer is a Partner at Baker McKenzie and Co-Chair of their North American Financial Regulation and Enforcement Practice. She also serves on the steering committees of their Global Financial Services Regulatory and Global Financial Institutions Groups. Previously, she served as chief trial counsel at the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office and managed a team of lawyers overseeing a wide variety of enforcement matters. Greer advises all manner of financial industry clients and SEC reporting companies, in connection with regulatory enforcement investigations and examinations, as well as internal investigations. She provides guidance to clients on matters as diverse as conflict of interest disclosures, sales practices concerns, insider trading/market abuse, and more.
Laura L. Grossman is Associate General Counsel of the Investment Adviser Association. Prior to joining the IAA in 2012, she was in private practice for over 10 years in the New York office of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. (now Norton Rose Fulbright), where she advised registered investment adviser, mutual fund and private fund clients on matters arising under the Investment Advisers Act, the Investment Company Act and other federal securities laws, the Commodity Exchange Act and associated regulations, and a wide range of compliance issues. Grossman received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Rutgers College, and she received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
John Holzwarth, CAIA, is a Senior Principal Consultant in ACA’s Regulatory Compliance practice and member of the private markets practice group. Holzwarth leads investment adviser mock examinations and compliance program reviews and provides comprehensive regulatory consulting services to a broad range of alternative investment firms, facilitating compliance with regulatory obligations and industry best practices. He brings over a decade of experience in finance and regulatory and operational compliance matters relating to SEC and FINRA registrants in the private markets and broader alternative investments asset classes. Holzwarth holds a Master’s in Law, cum laude, from Fordham Law School. He earned undergraduate degrees with distinction in Economics and Spanish Literature from University of Maine.
Kevin M. Kelcourse is Associate Director for the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the SEC’s Boston Regional Office. He leads a staff that conducts inspections and examinations of investment advisers, investment companies, hedge funds, private equity funds, broker-dealers, municipal advisers, transfer agents, and other securities firms in New England. Kelcourse previously worked for the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, including as Assistant Director in the Division’s Asset Management Unit, where he investigated and litigated matters involving federal securities laws. Prior to the SEC, he was a federal prosecutor with the Justice Department and an Associate with O’Melveny & Myers. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Georgetown University.
Michael B. Koffler a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP, guides investment advisers, broker-dealers and investment funds in their compliance with federal and state securities laws and regulations, and SRO rules. Koffler advises clients on the full spectrum of business operations, including portfolio management, marketing, trading, internal controls, custody, compensation, compliance programs, mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs and responding to regulatory examinations and investigations. He counsels various types of advisers, including advisers that manage registered and unregistered funds and institutional accounts, as well as advisers that operate wrap, SMA, UMA, multi-manager or Rep-as-PM programs or provide model management services.
Sanjay Lamba is Associate General Counsel at the Investment Adviser Association. Prior to joining the IAA, Lamba worked at SEC headquarters for 10 years, beginning his service in the rulemaking office of the Division of Investment Management before transferring to the Office of Chief Counsel (Legal Branch) in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations in 2010. Prior to the SEC, he was in private practice advising registered investment adviser and mutual fund clients on a wide range of matters arising under the federal securities laws. He received his B.S. degree in Finance from George Mason University in 1994 and his law degree from Boston University in 1997.
Mena Larmour, Partner at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, focuses her practice on counseling registered investment companies (including mutual funds, closed-end funds, interval funds and exchange-traded funds), independent trustees and investment advisers on a wide range of regulatory, corporate, and transactional matters. Her practice includes assisting clients with the development and launch of new funds and share classes, fund restructurings, reorganizations and mergers, regulatory and compliance matters relating to existing funds, fund governance issues, and the applicability and interpretation of federal and state securities laws. Larmour graduated from Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she was a Beasley Merit Scholar and staff member for the Temple Law Review.
Michele Wein Layne is the Regional Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office. Prior to her appointment in 2012, Layne served as the Associate Regional Director of the Los Angeles Regional Office’s enforcement program. She has conducted and supervised investigations and litigation involving financial reporting fraud, insider trading, misconduct by investment advisers and brokers, market manipulation, FCPA and other securities law violations. Before joining the SEC staff, she worked as a litigator in private practice. She received her law degree from the University of Southern California and her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Rosa Licea-Mailloux is a Vice President and Director of Corporate Compliance at MFS Investment Management (MFS). Previously, Licea-Mailloux worked at Natixis Investment Managers, holding several roles, including chief compliance officer for the Loomis Sayles Funds, Natixis Funds, and Natixis ETFs, and senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Natixis Investment Managers – US Distribution. She began her career in financial services in 2001 as a compliance specialist with Putnam Investments. Licea‐Mailloux earned B.A. degrees in biology and economics from Boston University and a J.D. degree from the Northeastern University School of Law. She is an adjunct professor of financial sector compliance at New England Law in Boston.
Richard Marshall, a Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, advises financial services clients on regulatory issues and represents financial institutions and executives subject to investigations by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA and state securities regulators. Marshall served as a branch chief in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in Washington, DC, and as a senior associate regional administrator in the SEC’s New York office, overseeing inspections of investment companies and investment advisers, and instituting enforcement actions against those entities. He also assists clients with internal investigations, self-reports to regulators and applications for interpretive and exemptive relief. Marshall is a frequent writer and speaker on investment adviser matters.
H. Edward McConnell is Assistant Regional Director of Examinations in the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. Beginning in 2006, he served as a Chief Compliance Officer responsible for developing and implementing a compliance program for over 950 investment adviser representatives managing $3.2 billion in assets under management. On the heels of the 2008 financial crisis, he worked as a Chief Compliance Officer for two smaller registered investment advisers before joining the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, now the Division of Examinations, in 2010. McConnell was later promoted to Exam Manager in 2014, and then to Assistant Regional Director in 2017, currently managing a staff of 7 examiners and 2 Exam Managers.
Michael W. McGrath, is an Asset Management and Investment Funds partner at K&L Gates LLP based in the Boston office. His practice focuses on counseling global asset managers across a broad spectrum of asset classes in the formation and operation of investment funds, regulatory compliance, and securities and commodities law. McGrath has extensive experience advising clients with respect to the formation and operation of private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate funds, credit funds, separate accounts, and mutual funds. He frequently helps clients navigate the regulatory and structuring challenges associated with developing novel investment products, implementing strategic transactions, and arranging joint ventures and seed investments.
Alpa Patel is a Partner in the Investment Funds Group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Previously, she served as Branch Chief of the Private Funds Branch of the Investment Adviser Regulation Office in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management where she was the key adviser on all private fund-related projects and priorities. Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Patel was in private practice where she advised clients on the structuring, formation, and private offering requirements of onshore and offshore private funds, as well as provided counsel to investment advisers in regulatory, compliance, and corporate matters. She earned a B.B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.
Mark D. Perlow, Partner at Dechert LLP, represents registered funds, hedge fund managers, fund independent directors, investment advisers, and broker-dealers on regulatory and transactional matters. He has extensive experience structuring, forming and reorganizing registered funds and hedge funds; preparing and negotiating fund documents and agreements; and assisting clients on adviser and fund mergers, acquisitions, and adoptions. Perlow has counseled both fund sponsors and fund investors on regulatory aspects of and issues posed by alternative funds, derivatives, short selling, market structure, and exchange-traded funds. He also advises investment advisers and fund sponsors on fintech matters and has considerable experience with SEC rule-making, submissions, enforcement, examinations and compliance activity.
Mari-Anne Pisarri is a partner with Pickard Djinis & Pisarri LLP. She specializes in regulatory issues pertaining to investment advisers (including asset managers, research services and proxy advisory firms), NRSROs (registered credit rating agencies) and service providers to the securities industry. In this regard, she advises clients on federal and state securities laws and rules, and related ERISA matters; processes registrations for financial market participants; designs compliance programs and assists with both internal compliance reviews and SEC compliance examinations; advances clients’ interests before regulatory and policy making bodies; and represents regulated entities in disciplinary proceedings. In addition, she speaks and writes extensively on securities regulatory issues.
John Pollard is the Global Chief Compliance Officer for EJF Capital LLC and oversees compliance matters and regulatory affairs related to the firm’s investment advisory services. Pollard serves on the board of the Washington DC Compliance Round Table, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and supporting financial compliance professionals in the DC area. Prior to joining EJF, Pollard worked at the SEC Division of Examinations for over 10 years. During this time, Pollard developed and led national initiatives that guided over 500 examinations, conducted by 400 examiners across 11 regional offices. Pollard also led examinations of various registered investment advisers including advisers to private funds, registered investment companies, and individual client accounts.
Janice Powell, MBA, IACCP®, serves as a Senior Compliance Consultant at Core Compliance & Legal Services, Inc. With over 19 years of industry experience, Powell focuses on developing, implementing, and maintaining a risk-based compliance program, including risk assessments, conflicts of interest inventories, and development of policies and procedures, supervisory structures and controls. Her experience in a multitude of business models from hybrid advisers, multi-family offices, dual registrants, bank-owned advisers and broker-dealers, advisers to mutual funds, trust companies and independent advisers provides for a broad knowledge of the Investment Advisers Act, Investment Company Act, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Securities Act of 1933, ERISA, Non-Deposit Investment Products, alternative investments, and private funds.
Erin E. Schneider is the Regional Director of the SEC’s San Francisco Office. Schneider began working in the San Francisco office in 2005 as a staff attorney. She previously served as Assistant Regional Director in Enforcement’s Asset Management Unit and as its Associate Regional Director. Prior to joining the SEC, she worked as a litigation associate in the Washington, DC and San Francisco offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Schneider earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995, and her law degree cum laude from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in 2001.
Linda Shirkey is a Managing Director of the Bates Compliance team based in Houston, TX, and President and Founder of The Advisor’s Resource, Inc. A former institutional stock broker covering money managers and major corporations, Shirkey was with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., for 10 years. Prior to her position with Charles Schwab, Ms. Shirkey worked in banking and legal services in product development, marketing and corporate finance. Ms. Shirkey is involved with the National Society of Compliance Professionals, Houston Compliance, and the DFW Compliance Roundtable. She is often invited to speak as an expert in applying current compliance requirements effectively and efficiently. She graduated magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Neil A. Simon is the Investment Adviser Association’s Vice President, Government Relations. He has a leading role in the formulation and communication of IAA’s views on legislative and regulatory issues and is responsible for advocacy before the U.S. Congress. Before joining the IAA, he was Director of Government Relations for the Financial Planning Association and served as executive director of the National Franchise Council. Prior to that, he was counsel in the law firm of Hogan & Hartson LLP (now known as Hogan Lovells). He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Clark University, his J.D. from Georgetown University, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Arjuman Sultana, an Assistant Regional Director at New York Regional Office Investment Adviser/Investment Company Examination Program, has worked at the SEC since 2001. During her tenure at the SEC, Sultana has led and supervised complex examinations of investment advisers, including both private equity and hedge fund firms, as well as investment companies to ensure compliance with specific federal securities laws such as the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. Sultana earned her B.S. in Business Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Gwendolyn A. Williamson, a partner at Perkins Coie LLP, represents registered investment companies and their independent directors, as well as investment advisers, family offices, and nonprofit organizations. She advises clients on governance and compliance responsibilities under the federal securities laws, including the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. She has significant experience in the ESG and principles-based investing space. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999, and her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2005. She is a member of both the Georgia and Washington, DC Bar Associations.