Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Services Observer monitors and reports on news, legal developments, litigation, and legislative actions affecting the financial services industry.  Written by members of Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Group, this blog is designed to help in-house counsel and industry executives stay abreast of major developments affecting their industry.  We hope this blog helps financial institutions and their legal and compliance teams navigate the evolving landscape of the financial services industry.

Financial Services Observer Editors

Arthur Don has more than 30 years of experience representing mutual funds, public investment companies, fund independent directors, investment advisers, private investment funds, private equity funds, real estate funds, broker-dealers and public companies in a variety of sophisticated securities transactions.  His experience includes various aspects of investment company practice, from organizing new funds through acquisitions and mergers of funds. Arthur has represented issuers and underwriters in numerous public offerings. He also frequently advises independent directors on fiduciary duties, and advises clients on compliance policy issues.
Steven Felsenstein is co-chair of the firm’s Investment Regulation Group and co-chair of the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice.   Prior to joining the firm, Steven was a staff member in the Division of Corporation Finance and served as a Branch Chief in the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.  Steven advises investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, investment advisers registered under the Investment Advisers Act, and other administrators and service providers involved in the industry.  Steven also represents broker-dealers and transfer agents registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and issuers of securities under the Securities Act of 1933.  Steven also represents clients in connection with administrative proceedings conducted by the SEC and FINRA, and participates in related actions.
Carl A. Fornaris is co-chair of the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice.  Carl is the immediate past General Counsel of the Florida International Bankers’ Association and sits on the Board of Directors of FIBA. Previously, he served as Head of Legal and Compliance for the Latin America region of Barclays Bank PLC, with responsibility for managing legal and compliance matters throughout the region of Latin America.  He began his legal career in Washington, D.C. with an international law firm.  Carl advises banks, their holding companies, investment advisers, securities broker dealers, money services businesses and other financial institutions on capital-raising transactions, Volcker Rule implementation, CFPB compliance, critical examination reports and enforcement proceedings, and compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act, FATCA, USA PATRIOT Act/BSA/AML and OFAC sanctions programs. Carl also advises former officers and directors of failed banks in connection with threatened or actual administrative and civil claims.
Jennifer L. Gray represents financial institutions in complex civil litigation, including class actions and regulatory enforcement proceedings.  Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer held a number of senior in-house positions at financial institutions.  Most recently, she was Head of Litigation at OneWest Bank N.A., where she handled class actions and other significant litigation, oversaw regulatory investigations, and managed large-scale compliance projects.  Prior to joining OneWest, she served as Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase, where she managed consumer financial services class action litigation.  Prior to moving in-house, Jennifer represented financial institutions in commercial litigation and enforcement matters.
Fred E. Karlinsky is co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions Practice Group. Fred has over twenty years of experience representing the interests of insurers, reinsurers and a wide variety of other insurance-related entities on their regulatory, transactional, corporate and governmental affairs matters. Fred is a recognized authority on national insurance regulatory and compliance issues and has taken a leadership position in many insurance trade organizations, has led many industry-driven legislative and regulatory initiatives, and is a sought after thought leader who has spoken and presented papers to insurance executives and governmental officials, both nationally and internationally.
Pete S. Michaels is co-chair of the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. He focuses his practice on financial services litigation and regulatory matters. He has spent many years representing multinational and regional financial services firms (including banks, investment advisers, mutual fund complexes, pension consultants, insurance companies, and traditional, independent, and discount broker-dealers) and their employees, directors and officers in a wide variety of matters throughout the United States. Pete has represented clients in matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, National Futures Association, American Stock Exchange, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and state securities regulators throughout the United States. He has also handled securities disputes, including class actions, in many state and federal courts, and before arbitration panels for over 25 years. He is often consulted on compliance-related matters, including internal investigations, and he has twice served as Outside Compliance Consultant in Massachusetts Securities Division matters. Pete frequently lectures on securities law, compliance, and corporate governance issues, and is a sought-after legal commentator who regularly appears on television, radio and in print media on a variety of financial services-related issues.
Gil Rudolph is co-chair of the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. Gil focuses his practice on the representation of finance companies, banks, mortgage originators and servicers, education lenders, title insurance companies and other consumer financial service providers in regulatory and litigation matters. Gil also represents various alternative financial service providers, including small dollar/short term lenders, check cashers, pawn and auto title lenders. He additionally represents various participants in the credit, debit, and prepaid card issuance and processing industries.