Helane Morrison and the Change that Compliance Officers are making

There are many people that don’t know what a compliance officer is or what they do, but this is nothing to feel bad about, as this job has only been around a relatively short time and is not very well known. While it is not a well known job, that is changing as it’s ranks continue to grow. Roy Snell, is the CEO of the non-profit professional membership organization, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. Snell has said that the profession has seen much growth within the last 20 years, as it has gone from zero to tens of thousands in compliance officers, who preform vastly different functions. And this is shown to grow even more state and federal rules, and with regulations that are cascading down on business, there is a much bigger demand for compliance professionals. Cathy Mackenzie, who is on the general counsel and the vice president for the Island View Casino Resort of Gulfport, said that she heard at a conference she attended recently that compliance is the most rapidly growing career path and is one of the best opportunity for career advancement. Mackenzie is in charge of handling big ticket items such licenses for the casino and the property’s owners. And the Island View’s compliance director and the staff is in charge of handling the day-to-day duties that including work permits for employees and changes to the casino’s surveillance cameras layout. Snell has said that the role of the compliance officer is generally not understood and the fact is that it is often misunderstood. People often think the they are punitive and that they make up rules, however there are many myths like this, none of which are true. It is also important that individuals that are perusing a career as a compliance officer should have technical and people skills, but most importantly they should be able to influence the company’s leadership. It was estimated by Snell that a couple dozen universities now have formal degree programs for individuals who want to be challenged in a career as a compliance officer. The profession has grown not just domestically, but also internationally. He has said that the organization has gained about 1,000 members that are outside of the United States and are in around 75 countries. Snell said that companies don’t need more attorneys, auditors or risk assessors.

Helane Morrison is the Chief Compliance Officer, as well as the General Counsel and the Managing Director for the Hall Capital Partners LLC. Ms. Morrison has been responsible for litigation, securities enforcement and regulatory matters in Northern California and for five Northwest states. From 1996 to 1999, Morrison was the head of enforcement at the SEC office in San Francisco. While at SEC, she represented the company in business, legal and financial communities, as well as working with news media and other government agencies. Helane has also practiced law with the San Francisco law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk and Robkin from 1986 through 1996 While at the law firm she focused on defense of private securities actions, business litigation and SEC matters.

In addition to her work at Hall Capital Partners, Helane Morrison is also a member of the Board of the Regional Parks Foundation. She is a member of the Hedge Fund Subcommittee for the American Bar Association. Helane is also a periodic speaker for the topics of compliance and the legal issues that affect private funds and investment advisers. In her early days, Helane Morrison received her B.S. in Journalism at Northwestern University, and earned her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law. While at the University of California at Berkeley, she also worked at the Editor-In-Chief for the California Law Review.