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Ellen McCarthy

Ellen McCarthy, VMS Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer, is an accomplished C-level executive, attorney, and business partner with a proven track record of providing leadership, strategy, execution, and subject matter expertise in meeting regulatory requirements and mitigating risk across enterprises. Leveraging her deep regulatory compliance expertise in leadership roles at NYSE/FINRA as well as in-house, Ellen founded Sustainable Compliance Strategies, LLC ™ in 2017 to transform organizations by offering tailored, sustainable solutions that provide safety and soundness to the financial services industry, and her company is now partnering with VMS to provide compliance and risk management consulting.

With over 25 years of experience in regulatory, risk management, and compliance leadership, Ms. McCarthy has established a strong and consistent record of advocating for initiatives that transform organizations and ensure operational excellence. Previously, Ellen served as Executive Vice President and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer of the American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (AST) where she directed all corporate compliance and risk functions throughout the U.S and Canada for the company and its affiliated operating entities, including CST Trust Company and DF King. An active member of an industry-wide Risk and Compliance Committee as well as the company’s Trust Indenture, New Business Acceptance, and New Initiative Approval Process Committees, Ellen provided leadership and subject matter expertise to clients and the Board, and led a senior executive team composed of CCOs, CROs, AML officers, and privacy officers in the U.S. and Canada.

Prior to joining AST, Ms. McCarthy advanced through increasingly responsible Senior Counsel roles with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), holding key positions on several committees that focused on driving continuous improvements through cross-functional collaborations with internal and external stakeholders, and advanced the organization’s diversity, inclusion, and educational initiatives. During her tenure with NYSE and FINRA, she planned and executed high impact regulatory investigations, including know your customer (KYC) and suitability, anti-money laundering (AML), cyber security/protection of sensitive customer data, complex structured products, alternative investments, initial public offerings (IPOs), conflicts of interest, and private placements.

Ellen earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Business Management from Saint Joseph’s College, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was class Valedictorian, and a Juris Doctor from Saint John’s University School of Law. She is a Bar Member of the State of New York and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Ms. McCarthy is on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute and LexVid Continuing Legal Education Services. She received Working Mother Magazine’s “Working Mother of the Year Award” in 2013.

Born and raised in Brooklyn Heights, NY, Ms. McCarthy currently resides in Breezy Point, NY with her husband and two teenaged sons. Active in her community, Ellen serves on the Lawyers Committee and Hearing Committee of her residential cooperative. She was Chair of the Board of the Saint Matthias Catholic Academy and is a past Board member of the Cobble Hill Health Center and Stella Maris High School.

Ms. McCarthy’s publications, speeches, and presentations may be found here:  https://www.strategicompliance.com/speeches-and-publications

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