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Alumni Spotlight: Chris Sacco, Executive Director - Legal and Compliance, Morgan Stanley

March 7, 2022
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Update us on your current role.

I am currently an executive director in the legal and compliance group at Morgan Stanley. My team is responsible for covering all FINRA arbitrations involving branches/brokers in the Southeast Region, and covering retail-related regulatory inquiries both within our region and firmwide.

 

What is the most interesting trend in your industry?

The SEC has signaled a more aggressive enforcement stance under Gary Gensler’s leadership. What this might mean for Morgan Stanley and the Street at large remains to be seen, but the regulatory environment is definitely more active.

 

What did your time at Carlton Fields teach you?

I am still an active litigator, and I credit my success to the training I received from some great trial lawyers during my time with the firm – Tom Roehn, Nancy Faggianelli, Steve Dupre, Ellen Lyons, just to name a few.

 

What keeps you motivated?

Counseling! In my current role, I not only manage several matters but also counsel the business on the various things I’ve learned while managing those matters. Those insights help to shape policy and practice going forward. It’s the part of my job I most enjoy, because it makes me feel like an integral component to the overall success of Morgan Stanley.

 

What advice would you give to attorneys considering a career in your industry?

I think you really have to love and embrace the financial services world. There is an expectation on the business side that our lawyers will have a working understanding of the financial markets and specifically Morgan Stanley’s (and, now, E-Trade’s) role in those markets. This could also apply more broadly to any industry — expect to immerse yourself in the business.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I’m an avid runner, although the time I have to devote to running is severely crimped by my 3-year-old! So I guess my answer is “raising a 3-year-old son.”

 

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show/podcast?

My favorite book is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I love his plaintive writing style, and I think the book best captures how the America we live in today was shaped by the mass exodus to suburbia in the 1950s.

 

What is one thing that is on your bucket list?

To learn to speak Italian fluently so that I can retire on a vineyard in Tuscany!


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