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Annette L. Nazareth
Ms. Nazareth is a Davis Polk partner practicing in the firm’s Financial Institutions Group in the Washington DC office. She advises clients across a broad range of complex regulatory matters and transactions. She also works closely with Davis Polk’s SEC enforcement practice, counseling nonfinancial sector corporations that are subject to government regulatory and enforcement actions.

Ms. Nazareth was a key financial services policymaker for more than a decade. She joined the SEC Staff in 1998 as a Senior Counsel to Chairman Arthur Levitt and then served as Interim Director of the Division of Investment Management. She served as Director of the Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets) from 1999 to 2005. As Director, she oversaw the regulation of broker-dealers, exchanges, clearing agencies, transfer agents and securities information processors. In 2005, she was appointed an SEC Commissioner. During her tenure at the Commission, she worked on numerous groundbreaking initiatives, including execution quality disclosure rules, implementation of equities decimal pricing, short sale reforms and modernization of the national market system rules. Ms. Nazareth also served as the Commission’s representative on the Financial Stability Forum from 1999 to 2008.

Since leaving the SEC in January 2008, she has served as Rapporteur for the Group of Thirty’s report, The Structure of Financial Supervision: Approaches and Challenges in a Global Marketplace and as Project Director for their report, Enhancing Financial Stability and Resilience: Macroprudential Policy, Tools and Systems for the Future. Earlier in her career, she held a number of senior legal positions at several investment banks.


  • Band 1, Nationwide: Securities: Regulation – Chambers USA 2012-2013
  • 2013 BTI Client Service All-Star
  • Star Individual, Nationwide: Financial Services Regulation: Broker-Dealer (Enforcement) – Chambers USA 2012-2013
  • Leading Lawyer – IFLR1000

  • Ms. Nazareth received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Traders magazine's inaugural “Wall Street Women of Excellence“ awards. She was nominated by individuals in the trading community and was the only lawyer to receive an award.

Of Note

  • Co-Chair, Workstream on Capital Markets (including the Volcker Rule), the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Urban Institute, the National Cathedral School and Brown University

Professional History

  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2008-present
  • Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission, 2005-2008
  • Director, Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets), Securities and Exchange Commission, 1999-2005
  • Senior Counsel, Chairman Arthur Levitt; Interim Director, Division of Investment Management, Securities and Exchange Commission, 1998-1999
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 1981-1986


  • 901 15th Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20005
    P: 202-962-7075
    F: 202-962-7086
  • 450 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY10017
    P: 212-450-4804
    F: 212-701-5804

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • State of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit


  • A.B., History/Economics, Brown University, 1978
    • magna cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • J.D., Columbia Law School, 1981
    • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar