Annette Nazareth is a Senior Counsel of Davis Polk & Wardwell. She also currently serves as the Operating Lead of a private-sector-led international Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets. Until recently Ms. Nazareth headed the Trading and Markets practice in Davis Polk’s Financial Institutions Group, which is one of the most widely recognized practices in the field. She also served as head 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 has spent much of her career advising boards of directors on corporate governance matters and corporations that were subject to regulatory and enforcement actions. She also advised domestic and international clients, including broker-dealers, swap dealers, exchanges, clearinghouses, and other financial institutions, across a broad range of complex financial regulatory and legislative matters.
Ms. Nazareth has been a key player in financial services regulation for much of her career. She 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 the execution of 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. Earlier in her career, Ms. Nazareth held a number of senior positions at investment banks.
Ms. Nazareth is a frequent speaker and commentator and has authored numerous pieces on financial regulatory issues. She 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. She was the Contributing Editor of Getting the Deal Through: Financial Services Compliance 2019, published by Law Business Research Ltd, and co-authored a chapter in Digital and Digitized Assets: Federal and State Jurisdictional Issues, published by the American Bar Association in 2019.
Ms. Nazareth currently serves on the boards of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., Figure Acquisition Corp I, and Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. She also serves on several not-for-profit boards, including: Urban Institute (Chair, Real Estate Committee; headed Board’s efforts relating to Urban’s first move of its headquarters in 50 years); Watson Institute; Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation; St. Albans School of Public Service; Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School, Advisory Board of the Brown University Executive Master in Cybersecurity program; and the SEC Historical Society (President). She is also a member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Advisory Board of Bitfury. Ms. Nazareth previously served on the boards of Brown University (Chair, Audit Committee); National Cathedral School (Chair, Audit Committee); and Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys.
Ms. Nazareth has received numerous awards for her work in the financial industry. She received the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society 2019 Alfred J. Rauschman Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the compliance and legal communities and her dedication to the securities industry.
Ms. Nazareth 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 also 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 Ms. Nazareth 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 the recovery of the financial markets 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.