Marlon Paz, a partner at Seward & Kissel LLP, regularly advises broker-dealers and other financial services firms in matters related to securities regulation, SEC and FINRA enforcement, internal investigations and examinations, compliance, and white collar crime.
Marlon has substantive expertise with federal securities laws, with particular expertise with issues related to the business of broker-dealers. Marlon served in senior positions during his six-year tenure at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he played a key role in developing the SEC’s positions on many important regulatory and enforcement matters. Marlon was part of the team dealing with the financial crisis and has worked on a number of regulatory measures, including fraud, anti-manipulation, credit ratings agency reform, the respective fiduciary duties of broker- dealers and investment advisers, hedge funds, and enhancements to capital and financial controls over broker-dealers. He handled a number of regulatory actions involving foreign financial institutions. During his tenure at the SEC, Marlon worked on more than 100 enforcement matters involving complex securities issues. He worked closely with senior members of the SEC on issues related to the oversight of the securities markets, broker-dealers, clearance and settlement, transfer agents, and credit ratings agencies.
Marlon has spent several years in private practice, focusing on complex securities litigation, corporate and fiduciary litigation, and corporate finance matters. In addition, Marlon served as the Principal Integrity Officer of the Inter-American Development Bank, where he led a team of lawyers and investigators in the development, investigation and prosecution of fraud and corruption cases, and had oversight over compliance procedures relating to issues such as integrity due diligence, anti-money laundering, offshore financial centers, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals List.
Marlon currently serves as the General Counsel to the D.C. Bar and as the Chair of the Trading and Markets subcommittee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. He has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential U.S. Hispanics” by Hispanic Business Magazine. He is a Past President of the Hispanic Bar Association of D.C. and a former National Vice-President of the Hispanic National Bar Association. He has been honored with the Leadership Award from the Hispanic National Bar Foundation and appointed an Ambassador by the American Bar Association Business Law Section.
Marlon is a member of the adjunct faculty of Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches a course on the U.S. regulation of financial institutions and the securities markets and a course on international business litigation and federal practice. In addition, Marlon has been a frequent speaker on the federal securities laws, white collar criminal defense, and internal investigations.
Select Experience with SEC Releases and Commission Initiatives
- Status as broker-dealer and registration requirements, particularly Rule 15a-6, Exemption of Certain Foreign Brokers or Dealers, 73 FR 39182 (Jul. 8, 2008); Application of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to broker-dealers.
- Interpretive/no action request under Regulation ATS.
- Short sale regulation and disclosure of short selling activity by money managers, such as Regulation SHO; Rule 10a-3T and Form SH, 73 FR 61678 (Oct. 17, 2008); short sale price tests. Regulation M – Anti-manipulation Rules Concerning Securities Offerings, Rule 105 – Short Selling In Connection With A Public Offering, 71 FR 75002 (Dec. 13, 2006).
- Use of soft-dollars by money managers – Commission Guidance Regarding Client Commission Practices Under Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 71 FR 41978 (Jul. 24, 2006).
- Clearance and settlement – The Roundtable on Proxy Voting Mechanics.
- Broker-dealer financial responsibility issues – Rule 15c3-1 (net capital) and Rule 15c3-3 (customer protection); Rules 17h-1T and 17h-2T (risk assessment); prime brokerage; PCAOB registration of broker-dealer auditors.
- Regulations of credit rating agencies – Proposed Rules for Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations, 74 FR 63866 (Dec. 4, 2009); References to Ratings of Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations, 74 FR 52374 (Oct. 9, 2009); SEC Roundtable to Examine Oversight of Credit Rating Agencies, 74 FR 17698 (April 16, 2009).
- Insider Trading Policies and Procedures – Section 15(f), Broker-Dealer Policies and Procedures Designed to Segment the Flow and Prevent the Misuse of Material Nonpublic Information.
- Self-Regulatory Organizations – Commission Guidance and Amendment to the Rules Relating to Organization and Program Management Concerning Proposed Rule Changes Filed by Self-Regulatory Organizations, 73 FR 40144 (July 11, 2008).
Select Representative Litigation Matters
- SEC enforcement action against certain registered broker-dealers and their executives charging fraud for failure to provide best execution.
- SEC enforcement action against large fund manager and its senior executives for improperly accepting travel, entertainment, and other gifts paid for by outside broker-dealers courting trading business generated by the money manager on behalf of mutual funds.
- SEC enforcement action against British trader charged with insider trading in United States using derivatives.
SEC enforcement action involving backdating of stock option grants. SEC enforcement action against a hedge fund for market manipulation.
- SEC enforcement actions against a life insurance company and its senior vice president for their roles in a late trading and market timing scheme.
- SEC enforcement action against certain financial professionals engaged in a Ponzi scheme. SEC enforcement action against publicly traded Mexican media company and its senior executive involving fraud, books and record violations and internal control deficiencies.
- SEC enforcement action against trader for fraudulent trading scheme involving inverse floating rate collateralized mortgage obligations.
- SEC enforcement action against broker-dealer for its involvement in fraud and unregistered offering of securities.
- Represented public pension fund in class action litigation alleging fraud by large publicly traded telecommunications company.
- Represented hedge fund in class action securities litigation alleging fraud by a large Italian dairy company.
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Federal Securities Regulation Committee, (Chair, Trading and Markets Subcommittee); International Business Law Committee (Chair, International Banking and Finance Subcommittee).
- American Bar Foundation (Fellow)
- Hispanic National Bar Foundation (former Director)
- Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (Past President)
- Delaware Bar Foundation (Former Director)
- Multicultural Judges and Lawyers, Delaware Bar Association (Former Vice-Chair)
- Hispanic National Bar Association (Former National Vice-President)
Honors and Awards
- Named to Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers (2013-2017)
- Recognized as one of the Top 20 Latino Leaders Under 40, Latino Leaders Magazine (2010)
- Named one of the 100 Most Influential U.S. Hispanics, Hispanic Business Magazine (2008)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Award, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (2008)
- Rising Legal Star, Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (2006)
- Ambassador, American Bar Association, Section of Business Law (2006)
- Regional President of the Year Award, Hispanic National Bar Association (2006)