One of the world’s leading financial services litigation lawyers is to make a keynote address at the IMCA annual conference in Sydney (on December 3) and Melbourne (December 4).

Joel Cohen, a former federal prosecutor in New York, well-known for his role in prosecuting Jordan Belfort “The Wolf of Wall Street”, will be speaking at the Dockside venue in Sydney and the RACV Club in Melbourne.

Cohen, a litigation lawyer with Gibson Dunn in New York, will tell of his experience of tackling securities fraud and in particular the Belfort case, with a view to presenting what controls investors need for their investment advisers and fund managers.

The tale of how Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker and founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont Inc. defrauded victims to the tune of $110.4 million and was then jailed, was made famous in the Martin Scorcese film The Wolf of Wall Street.

Cohen has gone on record as criticising the way Belfort has been depicted in the film and he has also criticised the new business Belfort has created as a motivational speaker.

Writing in the New York Times DealBook section he said: “True to form for Mr. Belfort, when he wrote his books years later, he invented much. No one ever called him the Wolf of Wall Street until he created this name as a title for his books. He aggrandized his importance and reverence for him by others at his firm.”

Cohen is a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, who has led or participated in 24 civil and criminal trials in federal and state courts.

Jeff Rogers, IMCA conference committee chair, said: “I hope to gain insights from Mr Cohen about how good ethical and governance standards can help to protect investors from fraud and unfair incentive structures.”

“IMCA strives to enhance the quality of Australian investment advice from institutional and retail providers through its Certified Investment Management Analysts program. Our objective for the conference is to discuss the challenges facing the superannuation and investment management industry at both the macro and micro level, and to encourage debate between asset owners, service providers, and our clients about ways to make the industry more efficient and equitable. “

The conference starts on each of its days with a networking lunch at 12pm before proceeding to Joel Cohen’s session at 1pm.

There then follows an interactive session on the Financial System Inquiry’s recommendations, followed by a progress report on the best current options for investors seeking retirement incomes. David Bell, chief investment officer of AUSCOAL, will chair this session which has David Knox, senior partner, Mercer, Wade Matterson, head of Australia, Milliman and Jeremy Cooper, chairman retirement income, Challenger as panellists.

The conference concludes with a repeat of last year’s popular asset consultant and their clients session.

To register for the conference click here

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