Annette Nazareth

Annette Nazareth

Class of 2017


Annette Nazareth leads Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Trading and Markets practice in the firm’s Financial Institutions Group, which is one of the most widely recognized practices in the field.   She also serves as the Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Nazareth is an experienced financial markets regulator, former SEC Commissioner, and recognized authority on financial markets regulatory issues.  She regularly advises boards of directors on corporate governance and enforcement matters and nonfinancial sector corporations that are subject to government regulatory and enforcement actions. She also advises domestic and international clients across a broad range of complex legislative and financial regulatory matters.

Ms. Nazareth has been a key player in financial services regulatory reform for much of her career. Ms. Nazareth was a highly regarded financial services policymaker for more than a decade. She joined the SEC Staff in 1998 as a Senior Counsel to Chairman Arthur Levitt and then served as Interim Director of the Division of Investment Management. She served as Director of the Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets) from 1999 to 2005. As Director, she oversaw the regulation of broker-dealers, securities exchanges and clearing agencies. She also served as the senior staff member assisting the SEC Chairman on the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. In 2005, she was appointed an SEC Commissioner by President George W. Bush. During her tenure at the Commission, she worked on numerous groundbreaking initiatives, including execution quality disclosure rules, implementation of equities decimal pricing, short sale reforms, corporate debt transparency rules and modernization of the national market system. Ms. Nazareth also served as the Commission’s representative in international meetings as a member of the Financial Stability Forum from 1999 to 2008.

Since leaving the SEC in January 2008, she has served as Rapporteur for the Group of Thirty’s report, The Structure of Financial Supervision: Approaches and Challenges in a Global Marketplace and as Project Director for their report, Enhancing Financial Stability and Resilience: Macroprudential Policy, Tools and Systems for the Future. Earlier in her career, she held a number of senior legal positions at several investment banks.

Ms. Nazareth currently serves on several not-for-profit boards, including:  Urban Institute (Chair, Real Estate Committee; headed Board’s efforts relating to UI’s first move of its headquarters in 50 years); National Cathedral School (Chair, Audit Committee); Bishop Walker School; and the St. Albans School of Public Service.  She is a Trustee Emeritus of Brown University and chaired the Audit Committee for five years.

Ms. Nazareth has received numerous awards for her work in the financial industry. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Traders magazine’s inaugural “Wall Street Women of Excellence” awards. She was nominated by individuals in the trading community and was the only lawyer to receive an award.
She received the Women in Finance Lifetime Achievement Award from Markets Media in 2016, as well as the Security Traders Association—2008 Dictum Meum Pactum Award. In 2001 she received the President’s Award given by the Compliance and Legal Division of the Securities Industry Association to a regulator who has made significant contributions to the securities industry, and the Wall Street Letter’s Elan Award for Contributions to Regulatory Issues. The latter award was given in special recognition for her efforts relating to financial markets recovery after the attacks on September 11.
Ms. Nazareth graduated from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.