About Susan Light

Susan Light offers clients a universe of insights gained over 30 years as a senior leader and regulatory officer inside both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). That experience and knowledge allows her to handle any securities regulatory problem that may confront broker-dealers and other financial services firms. She is particularly well suited to advise on complex investigations of securities law violations, including those involving firmwide supervisory failures.

Efficient solutions from a regulator's perspective

Sue represents large and small broker-dealers, as well as hedge funds, investment banks and other financial services providers. She helps these clients understand the regulatory landscape, design procedures to avoid regulatory problems and resolve investigations and enforcement actions. Sue's experience at the highest levels of the NYSE and FINRA is the difference that allows her to deliver quick, efficient answers and top-quality representation. And in matters that involve regulators, her extensive network of contacts allows her to successfully engage with them on her clients' behalf.

At FINRA, Sue served as senior vice president and chief counsel of enforcement, where she oversaw all aspects of investigations and disciplinary hearings involving a wide variety of FINRA rules and federal securities laws. She occupied a similar role at NYSE Regulation, Inc. before its merger and integration with FINRA, a process that Sue helped to lead. Her positions also involved working in conjunction with state, federal, foreign and other regulatory agencies in joint initiatives and investigations.

Outside of her work on investigations, she helps broker-dealers and other clients with their full range of regulatory issues. She frequently advises on anti-money-laundering, fraud, market manipulation, supervision, unauthorized trading, insider trading, net capital and margin regulations. Clients also seek her advice on business matters from compliance concerns with trading strategies to the development of social media policies. Other issues that she sees repeatedly include questions around rogue employees, cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies and whistleblower investigations.

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Practice Focus

  • Broker-dealer regulation
  • Securities regulation, investigations and compliance
  • Whistleblower investigations
  • Anti-money laundering rules
  • Financial and operational rules (net capital, margin, customer protection)
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Cybersecurity

Representative Experience

  • While at FINRA:
    • Partnered with SEC Enforcement on dozens of global settlements involving microcap fraud, subprime, mutual fund revenue sharing, fee-based compensation, prearranged trading, and reverse convertibles.
    • Partnered with US Attorneys’ offices on investigations and prosecutions involving subprime fraud, specialist interpositioning and Ponzi schemes.
    • Partnered with state financial regulators such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Arizona, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky and NASAA on investigations into sales practice abuses, after-hours trading and mutual fund market timing.
    • Partnered with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) on investigations involving minimum denomination transactions, political contributions, bribery and municipal short positions.
    • Partnered with IRS on investigations into improper tax dividends granted to offshore clients through complex stock loan and swap transactions, inaccurate allocation of partnership profits, and issuance of false W-2s.
    • Led FINRA enforcement actions in large fine settlements and high-profile disciplinary actions concerning net capital, customer protection and financial reporting; fraud, anti-money laundering and the Bank Secrecy Act; prospectus delivery and reporting; subprime assets; complex products such as leveraged ETFs, reverse convertibles and Puerto Rico bonds; trading-ahead violations; supervision of consolidated reports; and minimum contingency offerings, private placements and research reports.
    • Managed FINRA Enforcement sales practice investigations, litigations and appeals performed under contract for NYSE, Nasdaq, Cboe and other Exchanges.
    • Partnered with foreign regulators on cross-national Ponzi schemes. Instructed other foreign regulators on implementing a securities regulation enforcement program.

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