Corporate Law Center Announces Fall Colloquium Schedule

The YLS Center for the Study of Corporate Law has announced its Fall 2017 schedule for the Marvin A. Chirelstein Colloquium on Contemporary Issues in Law and Business. The series brings leading members of the corporate bar, business and investment communities, judges and regulators to the Law School to discuss emerging practice and regulatory issues. Consistent with the mission of the Center to enhance the quality of students’ educational experience and of faculty research, this term’s Colloquium topics will include SEC retail investor protection and handling activist investing from the perspective of a board of directors. The Colloquium will also touch upon international finance, specifically on the complexity of structuring Islamic financial instruments. Finally, the Colloquium will focus on entrepreneurship and financial technology, including the challenges of operating in highly regulated spaces.

The Colloquium schedule is as follows:

September 20 – Tracey L. McNeil, Ombudsman, Securities and Exchange Commission, “The Importance of Investor Protection.”

Tracey L. McNeil is the first Ombudsman for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a position she was named to in September 2014. As required under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Ombudsman acts as a liaison in resolving problems that retail investors may have with the Commission or with self-regulatory organizations. The Ombudsman also establishes safeguards to maintain the confidentiality of communications with investors.

October 25 – Fred P. Phillips IV ’90, Chief Executive Officer, Innovative Card Systems, “Islamic Finance: Historical Roots and Contemporary Applications.” Co-sponsored by the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization.

Fred P. Phillips IV ‘90 is the Chief Executive Officer of Innovative Card Systems, which is a financial technology company that has developed technology to link debit cards to both cash and securities, thereby transforming securities into digital currencies to pay for card transactions. Since his YLS graduation, Fred has had a wide-ranging career in government (clerked on the Ninth Circuit and worked in the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice), in private practice, in business (at ABN AMRO Bank and at The Carlyle Group), and as a fintech entrepreneur. He has served on the boards of more than a dozen companies, including those that now have multi-billion-dollar market caps.

October 31 – Jack “Rusty” O’Kelley III ’92, Managing Director, Russell Reynolds Associates, “Preparing for an Activist Investor Before There is One: A Conversation with Rusty O’Kelley.”

Rusty O’Kelley is a Managing Director and the Global Leader of the Board Consulting and Effectiveness Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. He advises corporate boards and CEOs in the areas of corporate governance (U.S. and global), board succession planning and refreshment, board assessments and CEO succession planning. Rusty advises Fortune 500 companies in all major industries. After YLS graduation, he started his career at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where he specialized in bank mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, and corporate governance, which he left to pursue a consulting career.

November 9 – Daniel Simon ’14 (J.D./M.B.A.), Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Bread Finance, “Starting a Startup in a Regulated Space: One FinTech’s Narrative.”

Daniel Simon ’14 (J.D./M.B.A.) is Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Bread Finance, a consumer financial technology startup in New York backed by Bessemer Venture Partners and other venture capital firms, which was recently featured in Forbes magazine for its successful fundraising of $126 million. Simon cofounded the company along with Josh Abramowitz '97 while a student at YLS/SOM. Prior to law school, he spent several years as a principal at financial technology consultancy Lab49, where he led teams to design and build systems for Wall Street banks, asset managers, and hedge funds, and then spent a year as Chief Architect of Quantitative Systems for UBP Asset Management. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University.


All Chirelstein Colloquiums are held at Yale Law School and are open to the Yale Community. Details are available at the Center’s website at

Marvin A. Chirelstein inspired numerous students to pursue careers in the business and tax fields while he was the William Nelson Cromwell Professor at the Law School from 1965–82. A master teacher and distinguished scholar, Chirelstein’s pathbreaking casebook with Victor Brudney on Corporate Finance (first ed. 1972) introduced modern finance into the law school business law curriculum and his guide to Federal Income Taxation, now in its 13th edition, continues to illuminate the arcane tax world to law students, for which all tax teachers are forever grateful.