Helane Morrison is an accomplished lawyer who has spent the better part of her career as an enforcement officer for the SEC’s district office in San Francisco. She joined the SEC in 1996 as the enforcement head of the San Francisco SEC office. In 1999, she became the Regional Director in charge of litigation, securities enforcement, and regulatory matters for Northern California plus the five Northwestern States under her office.
Helane Morrison rose to become the SEC administrator in San Francisco at age 46. Arthur Levitt, the then SEC Chairman, announced her appointment making her the first female officer to hold the office. She succeeded David Bayless who held the position for five years. I am impressed by Morrison’s work ethic and dedication to her responsibility as an enforcement officer.
Her Accomplishments as Administrator
When she became the administrator of the San Francisco SEC office, Morrison doubled the staff, which led to an increase in the workload of the enforcement and examination officers. The latter is tasked with looking at the books, records, and files of registered entities that include mutual funds, investment advisors, hedge funds, and brokerage firms. They later refer fraudulent cases they identify to the enforcement team, which follows up on cases forwarded to them, collect evidence and sue culpable offenders.
During her stint, Morrison took a keen interest in online brokerage services due to its growing popularity. She provided valuable information on the official website of the SEC that aimed at informing investors about these services. The information protected potential investors from fraudulent individuals who preyed on unsuspecting victims.
Helane L. Morrison is a law graduate from the Boat Hall law school in UC-Berkeley. Upon her graduation, she worked as a legal clerk and served under two judges before joining Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin. Morrison represented clients that were facing SEC lawsuits including first action defendants and securities industry officials who were under investigation. She later became an arbitrator and defended stock brokerage firms as well as brokers who faced lawsuits from clients.
When Morrison joined the SEC in 1996, she oversaw several major investigations. She supervised over enforcement actions against Republic Securities (New York), California Micro Devices’ auditors, and Dean Witter. Apart from her law degree, Morrison has a journalism degree from Northwestern University. Today, she works at Hall Capital Partners LLC as the firm’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.