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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation

Panelist Biographies

A. Heath Abshure is the Arkansas Securities Commissioner. He was appointed Commissioner in December 2007 by Governor Mike Beebe. In this role, Mr. Abshure oversees the Arkansas Securities Department, the state agency charged with oversight of all aspects of the securities industry, as well as certain aspects of the mortgage lending and money services industries.  Mr. Abshure serves as Chairman of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Corporation Finance Section Committee. He is a board member of Economics Arkansas, a private, non-profit, educational organization founded in 1962 to promote economic literacy in Arkansas, and serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law School, William H. Bowen School of Law, teaching Securities Regulation. Mr. Abshure began his legal career with the Little Rock firm of Giroir Gregory Holmes & Hoover.  In 2000, Mr. Abshure joined the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served as Senior Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Administrative Law Judges.  In July 2002, he returned to Little Rock and joined the firm of Williams & Anderson, specializing in corporate securities and municipal bond issues. Mr. Abshure graduated, cum laude, from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  He obtained his law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law, with high honors.  While working at the SEC, Mr. Abshure attended the Georgetown University Law Center and obtained a Master of Laws with distinction in Securities and Financial Regulation.  

Luis A. Aguilar is a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Commissioner Aguilar represents the Commission as its liaison to both the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and to the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas (COSRA). He has served as the primary sponsor of the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee. Before his appointment as SEC Commissioner, Mr. Aguilar was a partner with the international law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, specializing in securities law. During his career, his practice included matters pertaining to general corporate and business law, international transactions, investment companies and investment advisers, securities law, and corporate finance. He also focused on issues related to corporate governance, public and private offerings (IPOs and secondary offerings), mergers and acquisitions, mutual funds, investment advisers, broker-dealers, and other aspects of federal and state securities laws and regulations. Commissioner Aguilar's previous experience includes serving as the general counsel, executive vice president, and corporate secretary of INVESCO, with responsibility for all legal and compliance matters regarding INVESCO Institutional. He also was INVESCO's managing director for Latin America in the late 1990's. His career also includes tenure as a partner at several prominent national law firms and an earlier tenure as an attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Commissioner Aguilar has successfully completed Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 examinations in connection with serving as president and a director of a registered broker-dealer. Commissioner Aguilar is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, and also received a master of laws degree in taxation from Emory University.

Professor C. Steven Bradford is the Earl Dunlap Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law. He teaches in the areas of securities regulation, corporate law, and accounting for lawyers. Professor Bradford is the author of numerous articles on securities regulation, including Does Size Matter? An Economic Analysis of Small Business Exemptions from Regulation, 8 J. Small and Emerging Bus. L. 1 (2001); Securities Regulation and Small Business: Rule 504 and the Case for an Unconditional Exemption, 5 J. Small and Emerging Bus. L. 1 (2001); Expanding the Non-Transactional Revolution: A New Approach to Securities Registration Exemptions, 50 Emory L. J. 437 (2000); and Transaction Exemptions in the Securities Act of 1933: An Economic Analysis, 45 Emory L. J. 591 (1996). His latest article is Crowdfunding and the Federal Securities Laws, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916184. Professor Bradford received his B.S., summa cum laude, from Utah State University, an M.P.P. from Harvard University, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Professor John C. Coffee, Jr. is the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School and Director of its Center on Corporate Governance. He is a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been repeatedly listed by the National Law Journal as among its “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” Professor Coffee has been a member of the Legal Advisory Board to the New York Stock Exchange, the Legal Advisory Board of the NASD, the Market Regulation Committee of the NASD, and the Economic Advisory Board to Nasdaq. He served as a reporter to the American Law Institute for its Principles of Corporate Governance: Analysis and Recommendations, was a member of the SEC’s Advisory Committee on the Capital Formation and Regulatory Processes, and served as Chairperson of the Section on Business Associations of the Association of American Law Schools. Professor Coffee has testified repeatedly before Committees of both the Senate and the House during the drafting of the PSLRA, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Dodd-Frank Act and on other occasions. Professor Coffee is the author or editor of several widely used books and casebooks on corporations, securities regulation, takeovers, and business organization and finance, including Coffee and Sale, Cases and Materials on Securities Regulation (11 th ed. 2007), Choper, Coffee and Gilson, Cases and Materials on Corporations (7 th ed. 2008), Klein and Coffee, Business Organization and Finance (10 th ed. 2007), and Coffee, Gatekeepers: The Professions and Corporate Governance (Oxford University Press 2006) and Coffee, Lowenstein, and Rose-Ackerman, Knights, Raiders and Targets: The Impact of the Hostile Takeover (Oxford University Press 1988). Professor Coffee has also been a visiting professor of law at Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Virginia law schools and at several foreign law schools and began his teaching career at Georgetown University Law Center. According to a recent survey of law review citations, Professor Coffee is the most cited law professor in law reviews in the combined corporate, commercial, and business law field. Before entering academia, he practiced corporate law as an associate with the firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City. He is a graduate of the Yale Law School and Amherst College.

Meredith B. Cross is the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to joining the staff in June 2009, Ms. Cross was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Washington, D.C., where she advised clients on corporate and securities matters and was involved with the full range of issues faced by public and private companies in capital raising and financial reporting.  Since rejoining the staff, Ms. Cross has led a broad array of key initiatives, including changes to the proxy rules and a concept release on the U.S. proxy system, and revisions to the disclosure, reporting, and offering process for asset-backed securities.  Currently, Ms. Cross is leading the Division’s efforts to implement a wide assortment of provisions enacted under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Ms. Cross also worked in the Division of Corporation Finance prior to joining WilmerHale.  She began her previous tenure at the SEC in September 1990 as an Attorney Fellow in the Office of Chief Counsel, and served in a variety of capacities within the Division, including Deputy Chief Counsel, Chief Counsel, Associate Director, and finally, Deputy Director.  Before her previous tenure at the SEC, Ms. Cross worked in private practice in the securities department of King & Spalding in Atlanta.  She earned her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Duke University in 1979, and her law degree in 1982 from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Daniel M. Gallagher is a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before his appointment as SEC Commissioner, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of WilmerHale. Commissioner Gallagher’s first tenure at the SEC began in January 2006, serving as a counsel to SEC Commissioner Paul S. Atkins and later as a counsel to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. He worked primarily on major matters before the Commission involving the Division of Trading and Markets and the Division of Enforcement. After joining the Division of Trading and Markets as a Deputy Director in 2008, he played a key role in the SEC’s response to the financial crisis and other key issues before the Commission at the time, including credit rating agencies and credit default swaps. He served as Co-Acting Director of the Trading and Markets Division from April 2009 to January 2010. Prior to his initial SEC service as a staff member, Commissioner Gallagher was the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Fiserv Securities, Inc., where he was responsible for managing all of the firm’s legal and regulatory matters. Commissioner Gallagher began his career in private practice, advising clients on broker-dealer regulatory issues, and representing clients in SEC and SRO enforcement proceedings. Commissioner Gallagher earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Catholic University of America, where he was a member of the law review. He graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English.

Stephen M. Graham is Co-Chair of Fenwick & West’s Life Sciences Practice, is a partner in the corporate group and is a member of the firm’s executive committee. He is resident in the firm’s Seattle office, where he is the Managing Partner. Mr. Graham focuses his practice in the areas of private and public mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements, and corporate governance matters, including advising boards of directors and audit, compensation and nominating/corporate governance committees, preparation and filing of periodic SEC reports, and other securities law compliance, including Sarbanes-Oxley Act matters and disclosure issues with respect to Rule 10b-5 and Regulation FD. His diverse practice is focused on the representation of emerging and established high growth companies. Mr. Graham has represented companies and investment banks in numerous initial public offerings, a wide variety of merger and acquisition transactions, and private offerings of debt and equity. Mr. Graham has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top corporate and mergers and acquisitions lawyers in Washington State. He is also a “Super Lawyer” award recipient, 2000–2011, was ranked as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in 2005 by Washington Law & Politics, received the Top Lawyers award from Seattle Magazine in 2003, is listed in Who’s Who in America by Marquis Biographical Reference, and is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha. He is active in community affairs, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Institute for Systems Biology and the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association. Mr. Graham also serves as a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Council of Iowa State University. Prior to joining Fenwick & West, Mr. Graham was a corporate partner with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where he was the Chair of the global Corporate Practice Group. Mr. Graham received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.S. from Iowa State University.

Kathleen Weiss Hanley is Deputy Director and Deputy Chief Economist of the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ms. Hanley assumed her current position at the Commission in 2011.  Prior to that time, she was a Senior Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and a senior financial economist at the SEC.  She has been on the faculty at the University of Maryland as an associate professor (with tenure) and at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor.  Hanley has written extensively on the topic of corporate finance with an emphasis on initial public offerings, price stabilization, short selling, disclosure, litigation risk and closed-end funds. Her research has been published in leading finance journals such as the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Intermediation, and Financial Management. She has been an associate editor at the Journal of Financial Research and a Practitioner Director of the Financial Management Association. She received her Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Florida and her undergraduate degree from Indiana University.

John D. Hogoboom is a founding member of the Lowenstein Sandler Specialty Finance Group. Mr. Hogoboom specializes in mergers and acquisitions, public and private securities offerings, private equity investments and general corporate and securities law. Mr. Hogoboom is listed among The Best Lawyers in America in the 2007-2012 editions of the publication in both the corporate law and securities law categories. Mr. Hogoboom received his B.S. degree, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where he served as Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Lona Nallengara is the Deputy Director–Legal and Regulatory Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Nallengara oversees the Division of Corporation Finance’s Offices of Chief Counsel, Enforcement Liaison, International Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions and Small Business Policy and is involved in the Division's extensive rulemaking agenda. Prior to joining the Commission in March 2011, Mr. Nallengara was a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York, where he advised public companies and financial institutions on capital raising activities, corporate governance, public reporting and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Nallengara earned his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.

Troy A. Paredes is a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before his appointment as SEC Commissioner, he was a tenured professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. He also held a courtesy appointment at Washington University's Olin Business School. Commissioner Paredes primarily taught and researched in the areas of securities regulation and corporate governance. During his tenure as a professor, Commissioner Paredes made presentations around the country on securities law and corporate governance, and he served as an expert on various legal matters. As a professor, Commissioner Paredes has authored articles addressing these topics, and he is also a co-author (beginning with the 4th edition) of a multi-volume securities regulation treatise with Louis Loss and Joel Seligman entitled Securities Regulation. Before joining Washington University's faculty in 200l, Commissioner Paredes practiced law at prominent national law firms. As a practicing lawyer, Commissioner Paredes worked on a variety of transactions and legal matters involving financings, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance. Commissioner Paredes received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Chairman Mary L. Schapiro is the 29th Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Chairman Schapiro was appointed by President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in on January 27, 2009. She is the first woman to serve as the agency’s permanent Chairman. Before becoming SEC Chairman, she was CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)—the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public. Chairman Schapiro joined the organization in 1996 as President of NASD Regulation, and was named Vice Chairman in 2002. In 2006, she was named NASD’s Chairman and CEO. The following year, she led the organization’s consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA. Chairman Schapiro previously served as a Commissioner of the SEC from December 1988 to October 1994. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, reappointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, and named Acting Chairman by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She left the SEC when President Clinton appointed her Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served until 1996. A 1977 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Chairman Schapiro earned a Juris Doctor degree, with honors, from George Washington University in 1980.

Yoichiro (Yokum) Taku is a corporate and securities partner in the Palo Alto office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Yokum represents technology and growth companies at all stages of development, through private financings, strategic transactions, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. He also represents investors in venture capital financings. Yokum has advised numerous entrepreneurs from initial company formation to liquidity event. At any time, Yokum typically represents numerous start-up companies seeking venture financing, private companies that have received financing, and publicly traded companies.  Yokum also closely works with several incubators. He maintains a personal blog at www.startupcompanylawyer.com.  Yokum is the Chairman of the Angel Venture Financing Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Business Law Section Committee on Venture Capital and Private Equity.  Yokum received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1990 and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1993.

Elisse B. Walter is a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She served as Acting Chairman during January 2009. Before her appointment as an SEC Commissioner, Ms. Walter served as Senior Executive Vice President, Regulatory Policy & Programs, for FINRA. She held the same position at NASD before its 2007 consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation. Ms. Walter coordinated policy issues across FINRA and oversaw a number of departments including Investment Company Regulation, Member Education and Training, Investor Education and Emerging Regulatory Issues. She also served on the Board of Directors of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Before joining NASD, Ms. Walter served as the General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Before joining the CFTC in 1994, Ms. Walter was the Deputy Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She served on the SEC's staff beginning in 1977, both in that Division and in the Office of the General Counsel. Before joining the SEC, Ms. Walter was an attorney with a private law firm. Ms Walter graduated from Yale University with a B.A., cum laude, in mathematics and received her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

David Weild, IV oversees Capital Markets and Institutional Acceptance at Grant Thornton, a “‘Global Six’ Audit, Tax and Advisory Firm.” He is also Chairman and CEO of Capital Markets Advisory Partners, a firm that specializes in equity capital markets advice to issuers. He is a former Vice Chairman and executive committee member of The NASDAQ Stock Market, where he had line responsibility for the global listings businesses of NASDAQ.

David and co-author, Ed Kim, are noted for their work that was first to identify how changes in stock market structure are harming capital formation and job growth in the United States. Their studies Why are IPOs in the ICU? and Market structure is causing the IPO crisis–and more; A wake up call for America have been cited in over 100 articles, including articles in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Financial Times. These studies have also been cited by Congressmen, Senators and the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, including most recently in the Interim Report of the White House’s Job Council, led by Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, and the IPO Task Force Report to the U.S. Treasury, led by Kate Mitchell, former Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). David was also a member of the NYSE and NVCA’s Blue Ribbon Panel to restore liquidity in the U.S. venture capital industry, and his work was cited in the NVCA’s final report. David has testified in Congress and at the CFTC-SEC Joint Panel on Emerging Regulatory Issues. Prior to NASDAQ, David spent 14 years at Prudential Securities in senior management roles, including President of PrudentialSecurities.com, Head of Corporate Finance, Head of Technology Investment Banking and Head of Global Equity Capital Markets. He oversaw more than 1,000 IPO's, follow-on offerings and convertible transactions and was an innovator in new issue systems and transaction structures. David holds an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. He studied on exchange at The Sorbonne, Ecole des Haute Etudes Commerciales and The Stockholm School of Economics.

Greg Wright is CEO of ThinkEquity LLC, an investment bank focused on the growth sectors of the economy.  ThinkEquity provides research, equity financing, M&A advisory, institutional sales and trading, wealth management and asset management services to institutional investors, corporate and private clients, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and financial sponsors.  As a Panmure Gordon company, ThinkEquity accesses the combined financial expertise of professionals based in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Liverpool, and Geneva.  Previously, Greg worked for Merrill Lynch’s investment banking group as a Managing Director and Head of Corporate Finance for Merrill Lynch in Europe.

Gregory C. Yadley is a partner and Chair of the Corporate Practice Group in the Tampa, Florida, office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. His principal areas of practice are securities, mergers and acquisitions, banking, corporate and general business law. Mr. Yadley has represented business entities of all sizes, including closely-held and family businesses and large and small public companies. He regularly represents these clients in financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiations and disputes, strategic planning, legal compliance and general corporate matters. He has extensive experience in securities matters, including advising clients with regard to their private and public offerings of securities (including initial public offerings) and their ongoing disclosure obligations. Mr. Yadley is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, a frequent lecturer and contributor to legal periodicals, Chair of the American Bar Association Business Law Section Middle Market and Small Business Committee and past Chair of the Florida Bar Business Law Section, Co-Editor of The Florida Bar Florida Corporate Practice Manual and Co-Director of the annual Federal Securities Institute. Mr. Yadley obtained his B.A. degree, cum laude, with Highest Honors in English from Dartmouth College and received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from George Washington University.



Modified: 11/07/2011