Ellen McCarthy, an accomplished attorney with over 25 years of experience in legal, risk management, and compliance leadership, has established a strong and consistent record of advocating for initiatives that transform organizations and ensure operational excellence. Ms. McCarthy is the CEO and Founder of Sustainable Compliance Strategies, LLC, providing compliance and risk management consulting for the financial services industry. Previously, Ellen served as Executive Vice President and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer of the American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (AST), where she directed all corporate compliance and risk functions throughout the U.S and Canada for AST and its affiliated operating entities, including CST Trust Company and DF King. An active member of an industry-wide Risk and Compliance Committee as well as AST’s Trust Indenture, New Business Acceptance, and New Initiative Approval Process Committees, Ellen provided leadership and subject matter expertise to clients and the Board, and led a senior executive team composed of CCOs, CROs, AML officers, and privacy officers in the U.S. and Canada.
Prior to joining AST, Ms. McCarthy advanced through increasingly responsible Senior Counsel roles with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), holding key positions on several committees that focused on driving continuous improvements through cross-functional collaborations with internal and external stakeholders, and advanced the organization’s diversity, inclusion, and educational initiatives. During her tenure with NYSE and FINRA, she planned and executed high impact regulatory investigations, including know your customer (KYC) and suitability, anti-money laundering (AML), cyber security/protection of sensitive customer data, complex structured products, alternative investments, initial public offerings (IPOs), conflicts of interest, and private placements.
Ellen earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Business Management from Saint Joseph's College, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was class Valedictorian, and a Juris Doctor from Saint John's University School of Law. She is a Bar Member of the State of New York and is currently on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute. She received Working Mother Magazine's "Working Mother of the Year Award" in 2013.
Born and raised in Brooklyn Heights, NY, Ms. McCarthy currently resides in Breezy Point, NY with her husband and two teenaged sons. Active in her community, Ellen serves as Chair of the Board of the Saint Matthias Catholic Academy and is a past Board member of the Cobble Hill Health Center and Stella Maris High School.
PUBLICATIONS, SPEECHES, AND PRESENTATIONS
•“Enterprise Risk Management – A Cornerstone to Detect and Prevent Unscrupulous Conduct,” Securities Transfer Association Newsletter (October 2016).
•“SEC Enforcement Trends,” Securities Transfer Association Newsletter (July 2016).
•“How do the Comment Letters to the SEC Concept Release Stack Up?” Securities Transfer Association Newsletter (April 2016).
•“Privacy Compliance – What Does it Mean for Transfer Agents?” Securities Transfer Association Newsletter (January 2016).
•“Reviewing Risk Framework Requirements and Moving Towards Operational Risk Being Raised to an Equal Visibility as Credit and Market Risk,” Center for Financial Professionals 6th Annual Risk Americas Convention 2017 (May 2017).
•“Creating an Effective Compliance Program: Cutting Edge Issues - Corporate Compliance Career Services Panel,” Fordham University School of Law (November 2016)
•“Foundational Compliance and Risk Management Elements in Financial Services,” Practicing Law Institute Financial Services Industry Regulatory Compliance and Ethics Forum 2016 (November 2016)
•“Regulatory Issues Update Panel,” 2015 AST Executive Forum (October 2015)
•“Issuer Risks and Liabilities Panel,” 2014 AST Executive Forum (October 2014)
•“Enforcement Case Studies Panel,” 2013 Annual FINRA Advertising Regulation Conference (October 2013)
•“Public Communications Workshop,” 2013 FINRA Enforcement Conference (October 2013)
•“Alternative Investments Panel,” 2011 Annual FINRA Advertising Regulation Conference (October 2011)
•“Single Broker/Pro Se Respondents Workshop,” 2011 FINRA Enforcement Conference (October 2011)
•“Emerging Regulatory Issues Panel,” 2008 FINRA Enforcement Conference (October 2008)
EDUCATION AND HONORS
J.D., Saint John’s University, School of Law
B.A., History and Business Management, Saint Joseph’s College, Summa Cum Laude, Valedictorian
COURT ADMISSIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
New York State Bar
Admitted to Practice Before the United States Supreme Court
Advisory Council, Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA)
Compliance & Legal Society, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
Risk and Compliance Committee, Securities Transfer Association (STA)
100 Women in Finance
Faculty, Practicing Law Institute (PLI)