Helane Morrison: Lawyer, SEC Division Head, And The Quintessential Compliance Officer

Modern companies face many problems is the production and marketing of their products. There are local, state, and federal regulations, workers rights, environmental laws, and public concerns to consider. A growing number of companies now hire compliance officers to ensure their production processes are in line with all the rules they must follow. Compliance officers assess systems and monitor workers to make sure the rules are being followed. Without the compliance officers it is often easy for workers and companies to slip into practices and procedures that can endanger employees and the public and leave companies open to steep fines and expensive litigation.

In the past, only companies working in a few industries employed compliance officers. They were generally limited to companies involved with making medical devices or involved in making weapons. But with increased regulations in a number of other industries, the hiring of compliance officers has become widespread. These new compliance officers must be detail oriented and have a clear understanding of the laws, rules, and regulations that apply to the company with which they are employed and industry in general. It also helps if they have a genuine concern for the public and for the environment.

Helane Morrison is a compliance officer that came to the job with the ideal set of qualifications, skills, and experience. This Brooklyn, New York native has a law degree from the University of California, Berkley, has worked with Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges, and was a practicing attorney for over 10 years. Her intelligence, attention to detail, work ethic, and love for and understanding of the law led her to become a partners at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, a law firm based in San Francisco.

In 1996, Morrison accepted a position with the Securities and Exchange Commission. She became head of enforcement for the San Francisco regional office of the SEC. The job required Morrison to investigate business throughout Northern California, Northern Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska looking for fraud, insider trading or any other violations of federal business law. While with the SEC, Morrison brought cases against several major companies and was embraced by the public as a champion for the rights of the common man.

In 2007, Morrison left the SEC and became Chief Compliance Officer at the financial services company Hall Capital Partners. Her training and experience made her perfect for the job.

Visit Helane Morrison‘s profile on LinkedIn.

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