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Helane Morrison Making Earth a Better Place

Helane Morrison is a lawyer who has been deeply focused on directing the enforcement program of the Exchange and Securities Commissions in San Francisco District Office. She is currently serving as an office administrator and vows to never relent with the office’s aggressive agenda. Her promotion was recently announced by the SEC chairman Arthur Levitt. She is privileged to be the first woman to work as a district’s chief.


Helane Morrison said in an interview that in the past few years, she had worked successfully with the enforcement officials to strengthen their impact and presence. Being the head of the office, she is eager to keep the momentum going. Being forty-six years old, she will be tasked with managing both the examination and enforcement programs that fall within the San Francisco office’s jurisdiction. She is set to cover a substantial part of the United States like Oregon, Washington, Northern California, Alaska, Montana, northern Nevada and Idaho.


David Bayless, the previous San Francisco’s office administrator, had served in that capacity for five years and volunteered to step down. He was offered a contract at the Morrison and Foerster law firm as a partner in San Francisco.


Morrison joined SEC in late 1996 and has presided over several investigations. Her major investigation was the one that ended up in the Republic Securities of New York facing enforcement actions. She has also been involved in stock brokerage firms and arbitrations defending brokers in suits presented by her clients. She was then a partner and major director of a San Francisco firm of Howard, Canady, Falk, Rabkin and Nemerovski.


Morrison was a bright student and a school leader. She graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law which is located at UC-Berkeley. She immediately began her career as the clerk to the United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. Her dedication to perfection was evident from the first day.


Only a few women have ever managed to be administrators within SEC, this includes;

  • Valerie Caproni, Pacific Region in Los Angeles administrator.
  • Mary Keefe, Midwest Region in Chicago administrator.
  • Carmen Lawrence, Northeast Region in New York City administrator.


With the increase of workloads, the employees of the San Francisco District Office have multiplied by two to deal with both examination and enforcement activities. The examination employees deal with records and books of registered entities like brokerage firms, mutual funds and investment advisors. Enforcement workers investigate and prosecute people who fraud investors.