Daniel Nathan, Partner 
Daniel Nathan
T: (202) 803-5854
(202) 746-2680
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Recent Matters Speaking Engagements Selected Publications Rankings Prior Experience
Bar and Court Admissions Education

Daniel Nathan, a partner at Morvillo LLP, uses his deep enforcement and regulatory experience to represent U.S. and international financial institutions and individuals before financial regulators.  With a combined 25 years as a senior enforcement official with the SEC, CFTC and FINRA, three of the country's leading regulatory and enforcement authorities, he is a particularly effective advocate for those facing investigations and/or enforcement action by those regulators. 

Mr. Nathan’s intimate knowledge of broker-dealer regulation provides clients facing FINRA examinations and enforcement investigations with detailed guidance and counsel related to broker-dealer supervisory procedures, sales practices, anti-money laundering, product disclosure and supervision, and securities and broker registration.  His extensive experience includes the JOBS Act and Dodd-Frank Act, and he has led extensive efforts to help foreign banks establish programs for complying with the Volcker Rule.

Previously, Mr. Nathan served as the Vice President and Regional Enforcement Director of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), where he closely collaborated with FINRA’s Member Regulation examination staff. During his five-year tenure, he oversaw 70 lawyers across 15 offices responsible for bringing up to 900 disciplinary actions annually against broker-dealer firms, registered representatives and associated persons. This included many of FINRA’s most significant nationwide enforcement actions, including, actions and sweeps involving mutual fund breakpoints; structured products sales practices and supervision; auction rate securities advertising; disclosure and supervision; private placement due diligence and disclosure; mutual fund prospectus delivery; anti-money laundering procedures; and market timing.

In his 12 years at the SEC, Mr. Nathan served as Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement, where he supervised federal securities investigations of insider trading (including the investigation that resulted in the seminal case US v. O’Hagan), market manipulation, financial fraud and accounting misconduct. In nine years with the CFTC, he served as Deputy Director of Enforcement, with responsibility for oversight of the agency’s Enforcement Division. He also created the CFTC’s Office of Cooperative Enforcement, which dramatically expanded the joint enforcement efforts between the CFTC, the Department of Justice, the SEC and state authorities. In those roles, he supervised significant actions regarding market manipulation, trade practices, commodity trading advisor practices and foreign exchange dealer practices.

An oft-quoted authority on complex financial, legal and business issues, Mr. Nathan is frequently sought after to speak and write on the important issues confronting financial institutions, including broker-dealer sales practices; compliance and supervision; complex products; the Volcker Rule; cybersecurity; and anti-money laundering. He is co-chair of the ABA SEC Enforcement Subcommittee and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Investment Compliance.

Mr. Nathan is admitted to practice in New York and Washington, D.C.

Recent Matters


  • Commodities Exchange Investigation.
    Represented an energy marketing firm in a Chicago Mercantile Exchange investigation of possible market manipulation through physical and swaps trading.  The CME closed the investigation without action.
  • Derivatives Exchange Investigation.
    Represents an energy trader in an investigation of possible disruptive trading practices in natural gas trading.
  • SEC Investigation. 
    Represents an ETF promoter in an SEC investigation regarding various trading and '40 Act issues.
  • SEC Investigation. 
    Represents a former Chief Financial Officer of a public company in an SEC investigation and related class actions regarding financial reporting.
  • SEC Investigation. 
    Represents a Regional Center in an SEC investigation of EB-5 offerings.
  • SEC Investigation. 
    Represented a Chief Credit Officer of a financial institution in an investigation regarding accounting for impaired real estate loans.
  • SEC Investigation.
    Represented an individual in an investigation regarding insider trading and improper tipping.  The SEC did not bring action against Dan’s client.
  • SEC Investigation.
    Represented an individual in negotiating the settlement of a financial reporting case, with a focus on clawback issues under Sarbanes-Oxley.
  • LIBOR Investigation.
    Represented a former trader in the Department of Justice’s LIBOR investigation.
  • ISDAfix Investigation.
    Represents a broker-dealer supervisor in a FINRA investigation regarding supervision of the ISDAfix rate-settting process at a large bank.
  • ISDAfix Investigation.
    Represented several former and current traders in the CFTC’s investigation regarding the ISDAfix benchmark rate.
  • FINRA Registration.
    Represented an individual in successfully removing a NYSE bar from association with a broker-dealer.
  • FINRA Arbitration.
    Represents a broker-dealer in an arbitration related to excessive mark-ups on fixed income securities transactions.
  • FINRA Arbitration.
    Defended a foreign bank in a FINRA arbitration brought by a trading client who alleged failure to deliver on a substantial fixed income transaction.
  • FINRA Enforcement – ETF Trading issues.
    Represents a broker-dealer in a FINRA investigation regarding ETF creation and redemption processes.
  • FINRA Enforcement – Research Analyst Issues.
    Represented several broker-dealers in FINRA investigations related to research analyst issues raised by the Dodd-Frank Act and the JOBS Act.
  • FINRA Enforcement – Form U-4 Disclosure.
    Represented individual brokers in several FINRA investigations regarding the failure to disclose liens and bankruptcies on the broker’s Form U-4.
  • FINRA Enforcement – Private Equity.
    Represented a private equity fund accused by FINRA of failing to provide adequate disclosure to investors, and negotiated a substantially reduced sanction.
  • FINRA Enforcement – AML Action.
    Negotiated a substantially reduced sanction on behalf of a broker-dealer in a case alleging several AML violations as well as other violations.
  • Expert Witness – Broker-Dealer Compliance.
    Served as an expert witness regarding the scope and execution of the duties of a broker-dealer chief compliance officer.
  • Expert Witness – Broker-Dealer Registration.
    Served as an expert witness in a private action concerning registration requirements for individuals marketing ETFs on behalf of a broker-dealer.


  • Volcker Rule.
    Advised five different domestic and foreign banking entities on the establishment and implementation of Volcker Rule Compliance Programs.
  • EB-5 Visa Program.
    Advised real estate developers and issuers regarding requirements of the EB-5 visa program administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Securities Political Intelligence and Research procedures.
    Drafting compliance procedures for a firm engaged in providing political intelligence.

Speaking Engagements

  • Preparing Your Employees to be on the Compliance Front Line, Thomson Reuters Fall Compliance Conference, Boston, Sept. 13, 2016
  • Home Court Advantage: Recent Developments and Strategies for Litigants Concerning the SEC’s Increasing Use of Administrative Proceedings, PLI, Oct,. 2015
  • ABA National Institute on Securities Fraud
  • ALI-ABA Litigation Committee, Subcommittee on Self-Regulatory Organizations
  • SEC/FINRA Joint Regulatory Conference
  • Securities Enforcement Forum
  • Futures Industry Association
  • ABA Section on Futures and Derivatives
  • Bloomberg Law Securities Law Seminar
  • PLI Law and Compliance Program

Selected Publications

  • The Evolution Of Regulators’ Views On Bitcoin ETFs, Law360 (access requires a subscription) by Daniel Nathan, Jason Somensatto and Jorge Pesok, October 17, 2017
  • CFTC LedgerX Approval Is A Big Step For Bitcoin, Law360 (access requires a subscription) by Daniel Nathan, Jason Somensatto and Jorge Pesok, July 27, 2017
  • "Broker-Dealers and Their Auditors Face Increased Regulatory Scrutiny," by Daniel Nathan, Andrew Morris, and Ashok Ayyar, Bloomberg/BNA, October 24, 2016
  • "Practical Tips For Satisfying FINRA’s 'Culture' Concerns," Law360, June 7, 2016
  • “Cybersecurity – Emerging Trends and Regulatory Guidance,” ACC Docket 33, no. 4, May 2015
  • “FINRA, SEC Provide Broker-Dealers with Motivation, Tools To Get the Job Done” The Privacy Advisor, March 24, 2015
  • “Takeaways From Broker-Dealers’ Section 5 Inadequacies,” Law360, October 20, 2014
  • “Insider Trading – Broker-Dealer Compliance Requirements and Best Practices,” Financial Fraud Law Report, October 1, 2014
  • “Compliance Overseers Under Financial Regulatory Fire,” Law360, May 7, 2014
  • “Financial Regulatory Enforcers Expanding Claims Against Individuals,” The BD/IA Regulator, April 30, 2014
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  • “Morrison & Foerster discusses FINRA Analysis of Broker-Dealers’ Failure to Adequately Supervise Alternative Investment Sales,” The Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, April 9, 2014
  • “The Volcker Rule’s Trojan Horse for Smaller Banking Entities,” Bloomberg BNA, April 8, 2014
  • “FINRA Gives Member Firms a Thumbs Up on Suitability Rule Compliance,” Market Solutions, Vol. 22, No. 4, December 2013/January 2014
  • “Preparing for and Enduring a FINRA Exam,” The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation, Vol. 47 No. 2, January 22, 2014
  • “CFTC Again Charges Civil Perjury – This Time for Statements Made in an Off-the-Record Interview,” The BD/IA Regulator, January 14, 2014
  • “Morrison & Foerster discusses When Legal or Compliance Personnel May Be Subject to Failure to Supervise Liability Under the Securities Laws,” The Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog , December 23, 2013
  • “Is Exercising Employee Stock Options Illegal Insider Trading? Maybe,” New York Law Journal, December 5, 2013
  • “FINRA gives member firms a thumbs up on suitability rule compliance,” Journal of Investment Compliance, Vol. 14, Iss. 4, November 2013
  • “Broker-dealer e-mail systems must keep pace with firm growth, FINRA says,” Journal of Investment Compliance Vol. 14, Iss. 3, November 2013
  • “Insider Trading in Mutual Funds: Do Traditional Theories Apply?” Financial Fraud Law Report, October 2013
  • “The STOCK Act and the Political Intelligence Industry” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, 7/20/2013
  • “Shoot First and Ask Questions Later: Financial Regulators’ Use of Their Emergency Enforcement Powers” Financial Fraud Law Report, Vol. 4, No 10, November/December 2012
  • “Broker-Dealer AML Transaction Monitoring: The Devil’s in the Details” Securities Regulation & Law Report, 07/23/2012
  • “Pitfalls for Broker-Dealers: Selling Novel and Complex Products” Securities Litigation, ABA, Vol. 22 No. 3, Spring 2012


Ethisphere Institute -- Named in 2013 to the list of “Attorneys Who Matter” for Securities

Prior Experience

  • Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Vice President and Director of Regional Enforcement, FINRA
  • Deputy Director of Enforcement, CFTC
  • Assistant Director, Division of Enforcement, SEC

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State of New York
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York


  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1983
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.Sc., 1979


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