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A. Valerie Mirko

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A. Valerie Mirko is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Financial Regulation and Enforcement Practice Group in North America. Valerie has substantial experience in federal and state securities laws and regulations affecting the financial services industry, with a focus on the investment adviser and brokerage industries. Valerie has a background in both regulatory advice and enforcement counseling. Immediately prior to joining the Firm, Valerie was General Counsel of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). As General Counsel, Valerie advised NASAA’s Board of Directors on developments in the federal securities laws and their impact on state securities regulations. Valerie provided advice on, among other areas, the SEC Regulation Best Interest rule set, fiduciary duty/standards of care, preemption, retail enforcement issues, investment adviser oversight, and data privacy. She also supervised all of NASAA's securities-related legal work and was a resource on multistate enforcement investigations and settlements. Valerie also provided governance support on key NASAA Regtech projects and regulatory coordination initiatives between state and federal regulators. Valerie was a frequent speaker at regulator-only roundtables and training events. Earlier in her career, Valerie advised broker-dealers and investment advisers on regulatory matters and enforcement investigations as an associate at a Washington law firm and held legal and compliance roles at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., and Merrill Lynch (now BofA Securities). Valerie is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at the George Washington University Law School and a subcommittee chair within the DC Bar Corporation, Finance, and Securities Law Community.

In the latest episode of the Global Financial Industry Podcast, Baker McKenzie associates discuss: Sovereigns series – key principles of investment treaty protection. The episode covers recent examples of sovereign wealth fundsSWFs bringing investment treaty claims and how others can obtain access to these protections. The episode also analyzes why investors should consider investment treaties as part of their decision-making process.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently published a request for information and comment on how broker-dealers and investment advisers use digital engagement practices (DEPs) — behavioral prompts, differential marketing, “gamification,” and other design elements and features that firms use to engage with retail investors through digital platforms and mobile applications.

In this special edition, Eva-Maria Segur Cabanac, a partner in our Vienna office and global sustainability lead for financial institutions, and Jennifer Klass, a partner in our New York office and co-chair of the financial regulation and enforcement practice in North America, talk with Ying Yi Liew on how the COVID-19 pandemic led to the prioritization of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations among financial institutions (FIs).

The Global Financial Institutions Industry Podcast includes 13 episodes on the following topics: Operational Risk, Risk Management Guidelines, Fintech, Financial Institutions, Insurtech, Insurance and Financial Sponsors.

Episode 12: Singapore – MAS Revises Technology Risk Management Guidelines The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently revised its Technology Risk Management Guidelines 2021 after feedback from a 2019 public consultation and engaging with cyber security experts. In this episode, Stephanie Magnus, Ken Chia, and Ying Yi Liew take a closer look at compliance, regulator expectations, cyber threats, and other important considerations — taking into account that financial institutions encompass large multinational banks, insurance companies and small fintech startups.

Episode 11: Fintech – Trends, Investments, and M&A In this episode, We share observations on recent innovations and take a closer look at various strategies behind the increase in investment and M&A activity. Fintech players, once seen as market disruptors, are becoming essential and critical in the future of financial institutions.

On 1 February 2021, FINRA issued its 2021 Report on FINRA’s Examination and Risk Monitoring Program (“FINRA Report”) and a bit more than a month later, the SEC’s recently renamed Division of Examinations issued its own 2021 Examination Priorities (“Exam Priorities”). Each of these documents is quite long, with the FINRA report at 44 pages and the Exam Priorities document at 36 pages, and although there are some differences in focus and scope, we did find some common themes, which we have chosen to highlight in what we hope will be a helpful summary.

Episode 9: Financial Institutions in Post-COVID Africa This episode puts the spotlight on Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Wildu du Plessis, a partner in our Johannesburg office and head of Africa, talks about the situation in Africa, in the context of the current pandemic…

Join Baker McKenzie regulatory and enforcement practitioners as we navigate this uncertain time and work together through the challenges ahead. We offer practical advice and real-time analysis of the changing landscape across the United States, Europe and Asia. Inform Global Discussion Series The New Framework for Investment Adviser Marketing June…

Episode 9: Financial Institutions in Post-COVID Africa This episode puts the spotlight on Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Wildu du Plessis, a partner in our Johannesburg office and head of Africa, talks about the situation in Africa, in the context of the current pandemic…