Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Compliance Considerations for Digital Assets and Cryptocurrency Marketplaces

May 18, 2021
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM EDT
Get conference details

Course Description:

Initial coin offerings, digital asset exchanges, digital asset custody, digital asset ETFs, and Stablecoins are all growing developments drawing regulatory attention. What issues do digital assets raise in the context of regulation? What does the regulatory approach mean to compliance programs? This session will explain the many moving parts of the digital asset space and provide considerations your compliance program should include when participating.

Learning Objectives

After attending this session, you should be able to:

  • Analyze the current state of digital assets in the financial service industry
  • Develop a plan for addressing issues raised by digital assets in securities regulation
  • Explore best practices for policy and procedures related to digital asset and market participation

This virtual course is being taught as part of the Spring 2021 Virtual Compliance Conference. To learn more, visit our main conference webpage.

Kelley A. Howes
Of Counsel / Vice Chair of Investment Management Practice, Morrison & Foerster LLP


Kelley Howes is Vice Chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Investment Management practice and is based in the firm’s Denver office. She has experience with a wide range of legal, regulatory, compliance, corporate governance, insurance, and other matters relating primarily to the representation of U.S. registered and unregistered investment companies, offshore funds, registered investment advisers, transfer agents, and broker-dealers.

Ms. Howes counsels independent mutual fund directors on governance issues, and regularly advises funds and their advisers on transactional, compliance, disclosure and regulatory matters, including examinations and enforcement matters.

Ms. Howes has more than 25 years’ experience in investment management-related matters. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, she served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Janus Capital Group Inc., a NYSE-listed global asset management holding company. She also previously served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Janus Capital Management LLC, a U.S. registered investment adviser, and as President of Janus Distributors LLC, a limited purpose broker-dealer regulated by FINRA


William Brannan
CounselLowenstein Sandler LLP


Clients value Will’s experience across regulatory regimes and product offerings, and he draws on that background to strategically evaluate their business objectives and legal needs. He provides counsel to regulated financial technology companies navigating complex securities, derivatives, and cryptocurrency regulatory issues. Will regularly advises pre-IPO liquidity platforms and market participants with respect to product structuring and regulatory compliance. In addition, his practice focuses on advising cryptocurrency exchanges, custodians, and securities trading platforms with respect to federal securities laws, FINRA rules, security-based swap rules, state money transmitter licensing requirements, and the New York BitLicense.

Will counsels technology-focused broker-dealers on formation issues, product structuring, the FINRA membership process, and satisfying ongoing regulatory obligations. He also represents broker-dealers, hedge funds, and banks on various transactional issues, including with respect to structured products, derivatives trading strategies, private securities transactions, and security-based swaps.

Prior to joining Lowenstein Sandler, Will served as Assistant Vice President at Barclays Investment Bank, where he was responsible for negotiating derivative documentation with hedge funds, Investment Company Act of 1940 funds, pension funds, and corporate and insurance company clients.


Drew A. Ahrens
Senior ConsultantNRS


Drew Ahrens’ responsibilities as a Senior Consultant with National Regulatory Services include on-site compliance reviews, risk assessments, policies and procedures drafting and review, as well as other compliance related analyses for investment advisers, hedge funds and mutual funds.

Drew joined NRS in 2010 and has worked in the compliance field for the past 25 years. Prior to his current role, Drew has had extensive experience as Chief Compliance Officer with Atlantic Trust, FIM Group and Henderson Global Investors, and as CCO of their respective mutual fund companies. Most recently Drew had formed his own regulatory consulting firm, Crosswinds Consulting. Drew has over 20 years of direct experience working with mutual fund compliance and fund boards.

Drew has also worked for firms including PPM America as VP of Compliance, Cova Investment Advisory Corp. as Director of Investment Advisory Compliance and Van Kampen Asset Management in various compliance roles.

Drew’s unique background gives him a strong understanding of a firm’s regulatory and CCO responsibilities. He has exceptional experience with the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. He has worked with various financial products, some of which include fixed income, hedge funds, REITS, annuities, options, open-end and closed-end funds and private equity investments. Drew has also had experience with building successful compliance programs from the ground up.

Drew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University and has completed a mediation skills certificate program from Northwestern University.


For Whom: Designed to increase the professional competence of Investment Advisers.

Suggested Skill Level: Intermediate

Maximum Recommended Credit Hours for this session will include CLE, IACCP® and CPE.

CA MCLE = 75 minutes
IACCP® = 75 minutes
CPE = 75 minutes

For more information, check out the NRS Continuing Education Guide.