Browse Category: Women in Business

San Francisco Leader Helane Morrison

My name is Helane Morrison. I work for Hall Capital Partners LLC, a large investment firm in the Bay Area that is currently managing assets worth over twenty -four billion dollars. We manage assets for some of the wealthiest individuals and families in this region. Some of our clients include the late Warren Hellman who established Hellman and Friedman, a private firm that deals with equity. Another of our clients is John Fisher, whose father founded Gap, the clothing line, who we aid in managing his family’s wealth.


I am the managing director as well as the firm’s general counsel. I also serve as the chief compliance officer for the firm. I have worked at Hall Capital for the last five years. Previously, I worked as a daily newspaper reporter in South Florida and then practiced law at a San Francisco law firm where I dealt with business litigation and defended private securities before rising through the ranks to become partner. Later, I worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the capacity of District Administrator and also as Regional Director. Here I dealt with enforcing security, litigation and regulation for California and Northwest states. I then moved to San Francisco where I headed the Security Exchange Office dealing majorly with enforcement.


Our success at Hall Capital can be attributed not only to our strong returns, but also to our ability to conduct our services differently when compared to other financial firms. At Hall Capital, for instance, we have committed ourselves over the years to employ a workforce that is diverse not only in terms of background and educational qualifications, but also in terms of gender. There are three women at the helm of Hall Capital’s leadership. I am one of the three. The others are CEO and co-chief investment officer, Kathryn Hall and Sarah Stein, the firm’s president. Having three women in leadership is one of the fruits of these diversification efforts. This is making our firm attractive to the women workforce. In other firms, for instance, women are so scarce that they have to hold meetings specifically for women so that they don’t feel left out. Further, we have endeavored to create a work environment that promotes interaction and collaboration. These two attributes are important in running our affairs. As a testament to that, we have created open offices where anyone is allowed to come in. Due our different approach in offering financial services, we believe that our current success is only beginning.



Helane Morrison Standing Above The Rest

From what I can see, being a compliance officer these days, is no walk in the park. My research shows that compliance officers, hired to make sure traders adhere to the law, are themselves, currently facing increased scrutiny while on the job. 

Much of the increased legal interest focused on compliance officers comes after several were found responsible for a multitude of mistakes, that occurred while working for their individual firms. At the moment, New York City’s primary financial regulator is seeking the power to charge compliance officers as criminals in certain cases. In 2015, three dozen high-level compliance officers abandoned their work. Many of them were overlooking attempts to prevent money laundering along with additional financial crimes, and feel unfairly persecuted. One of the results of the financial meltdown was that multiple banks hired compliance officers to identify internal issues, some of which have been the root cause of huge fines. On top of that, compliance officers served to help usher in a new era of banking surrounded by an increase in regulations. Chief compliance officers are now earning an upwards of two million dollars per year. Those focused specifically in policing money laundering are said to earn nearly six-hundred thousand dollars or more.

Now there are regulators in place attempting to monitor who compliance officers report to themselves. They are looking to ensure compliance officers aren’t overlooking bad bank decisions, and that penalties against officers intentionally avoiding looking into bad behavior are adhered to.

One compliance officer who appears to be making a difference, is a woman named Helane Morrison, the Chief Compliance Officer for Hall Capital Partners LLC, and member of the company’s Executive Committee. She became a part of the firm in 2007, and before that, she led the San Francisco Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 1999 until she left the firm to become a part of Hall Capital Partners LLC. 

Morrison and her staff study of the records of investment advisors and brokerage firms, as well as enforce laws upon those cheating investors. Everything I’ve read suggests that it is hard workers like Helane Morrison who are maintaining order and integrity during changing times.

To learn more about Helane’s life and career, connect with her on LinkedIn or check her out on Crunchbase.