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David Markowitz ’93 leads team of 30 lawyers as chief of New York Investor Protection Bureau

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo named David Markowitz ’93 chief of the state’s investor protection bureau in April, charging him with oversight of its 30 lawyers.

The bureau enforces the New York State Securities Law, also known as the Martin Act, which protects the public from fraud by regulating sales of investment securities in the state. It also requires brokers, dealers, salespeople, and investment advisers to register with the State Attorney General’s office.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to run such a distinguished unit,” says Markowitz, a history graduate.

His office had already completed $50 billion in settlements by the end of August with Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, J.P.Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia, UBS, and Citigroup, settling allegations that the firms misrepresented the risk of auction-rate securities.

“It’s an around-the-clock type of job with different issues coming up all the time,” he says.

Previously, Markowitz was assistant regional director in the New York office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among his victories were charging New York Stock Exchange specialist firms for unlawful proprietary trading. In addition, he prosecuted one of the early cases of fraud for short selling in “pipe” transactions.

Markowitz, who as a student spent time at a New Jersey law firm through Lafayette’s externship program, says that students have a distinct advantage in being so close to New York City.

“There are great opportunities to do externships and internships in the financial capital of the world, and you’re only an hour away,” he says.

He believes his undergraduate years gave him the tools to tackle tough problems on the job.

“The Lafayette education really helps you think creatively and deal with problem-solving,” he says. “At the investor protection bureau, we are very much about trying to solve problems.

“Professors [Bob] Weiner and [the late Howard] Marblestone stand out as professors who really had an influence on me in terms of intellectual curiosity and always striving to learn more.”

Markowitz received his J.D. from New York University School of Law.

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