When the market crashed in 2007-2008 it took almost everyone by complete surprise. Overnight the United States was plunged into absolute financial chaos as all the institutional giants that millions of people normally relied on were seemingly caught off guard with what was eventually determined to be the biggest case of bank and financial fraud since the great depression of the 1930s. And that is the kind of world that Helane Morrison stepped into. You wouldn’t necessarily know who Helene was if all the events that put her on the scene had happened differently but they didn’t. She did not start out to change the world of finance and corporate compliance, in fact, she began her career as a journalism student. But that career path soon changed. It changed mostly because of the institutional theft that was revealed by digging into and uncovering the massive amounts of fraud and deception that the financial players in the U.S. had been involved in for years. Investigators uncovered falsified records, phony audit claims, lies, deception and even money laundering and stock fraud. The results for the economy and America were massive home foreclosures, unemployment, trillions of dollars lost in the markets and a crippling insecurity that no one living at the time had ever felt. And the words that were on many people’s lips then were, “Who can I trust?” and, “Where can I put my money to guarantee its safety?”
With these momentous events occurring all around her Morrison struck out to complete her journalism degree. She then moved to Berkeley California to attend the school of law there and work on her Juris Doctors Degree. On passing the bar exam she gained valuable experience and legal insight by working with Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Justice Blackmun’s commitment to overturning institutions that had a penchant for discrimination and fraud has rubbed off on her and not only guided her actions as a jurist but also in her work as a corporate compliance lawyer. From the record, it is obvious that there is no room in her world for corporate shenanigans.
Her legal career also took her to other firsts including being asked to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commissions regional enforcement division in San Francisco California in 1996. She was later appointed its regional director and held sway over all investigations and enforcement actions in Northern California, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Idaho and Northern Nevada. She made news in several high profile investigations that uncovered violations involving stockbrokers and dealers, investment advisers and cases involving the defrauding of senior citizens. According to WSJ, she was valued during her time there and made giant changes in the industry that are still being implemented today. Today she is the chief compliance officer and general counsel of Hall Capital the largest investment advisory firm in San Francisco California.
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