How Helane Morrison is making a mark in the murky waters of business finance industry

It takes a strong personality to maintain moral integrity during the course of their life. Apparently, we all aspire to do the right things, and we know the essence of adhering to the rules. However, many people lack the robust personality to keep themselves and others around them on the straight and decent path, particularly in the business and finance industry. Step forward Helane Morrison. After impressive service at SEC, Helane Morrison is taking another direction in her career by leaving government service and joining an investment advisory company in San Francisco as its general counsel and chief compliance officer.


Since Helane Morrison joined San Francisco Office of US Securities and Exchange in 1999, her list of achievements has been more than eye-catching. Acting as the head of enforcement, I learned that her role involved protecting companies and individuals against fraud while guaranteeing complete disclosure of information and upholding high standards of honest transactions when investing. During her years of service at SEC, she headed several, prominent enforcement actions involving the alleged ‘untouchable’ senior executives from major corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Google, HBO and NextCard Inc.


Most recently, Morrison played a key role in backdating federal investigations against Silicon Valley and other technology companies that were involved in the manipulation of stock option policies. Her drive and catalog of achievements were so remarkable that SEC gave her the position of Head of Commission and Regional Director. Notably, I discovered that she was the first woman ever to serve in that capacity.


Born and bred in Brooklyn, Morrison earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and law from Northwestern University and University of California Berkeley School of Law respectively. She gained significant working experience as a law clerk for the 7th circuit at the US Court of Appeals. She later moved on to work with Supreme Court Justice, Blackmun. In 1986, she went into private law practice where she practiced for a decade before moving to join SEC.


 Morrison is leaving SEC to join Hall Capital, the biggest and most thriving investment advisory company in San Francisco. Despite having over $24 billion in assets and managing the funds for wealthy people and companies, it’s the pioneering spirit of Hall Capital that lured Morrison away from SEC. Until only recently, Hall Capital was called Offit Hall.