Tom Conner Brings Extensive Investment Management & Insurance Product Regulatory Experience to Financial Industry Group

(January 18, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – Reed Smith LLP’s Financial Industry Group (FIG) today announced the addition of W. Thomas Conner as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Mr. Conner is an authority in the exchange-traded funds area and assists clients in the launch and maintenance of both securities-based and commodities-based ETFs. He is also a leading practitioner in the area of insurance-based investment products, including variable annuities and variable life insurance.

“Tom extends Reed Smith’s capability for serving clients who sponsor and maintain ETFs and insurance-based investment products, both of which are highly specialized investment products,” said Perry Napolitano, chair of Reed Smith’s Financial Industry Group. “Because of the legal complexities associated with these products, very few lawyers are genuinely considered authorities by the industry, but Tom is one of that small group.”

Mr. Conner represents financial services companies that issue and sell ETFs, conventional mutual funds, variable insurance products and other financial products. His practice combines extensive regulatory experience with a commensurate understanding of the business of developing and maintaining these products. He guides clients in navigating the complex requirements governing insurance and securities products, including the federal securities laws administered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Trading Futures Commission (CTFC) and the rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the National Futures Association.

“The ETF industry has become globally oriented, with international institutional investors as well as individual investors increasingly interested in both securities-based and commodities-based exchange traded funds,” said Mr. Conner. “Reed Smith’s established investment management practice, combined with the firm’s global platform, will provide our clients who issue and sell these financial products with critical international regulatory expertise in key financial centers around the world.”

Mr. Conner was formerly a partner with Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP in the firm’s D.C. office. Prior to that, Mr. Conner was Vice President and General Counsel of the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) (formerly the National Association for Variable Annuities), where he was responsible for IRI’s regulatory affairs program and represented the industry in a number of significant regulatory matters. In this role, he appeared regularly before regulatory agencies including the SEC, FINRA and National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Mr. Conner was also formerly a staff member in the SEC’s Office of Disclosure and Investment Adviser Regulation and Office of Insurance Products. In 1989, Mr. Conner received his law degree and Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, after which he entered private practice in Boston with the law firm of Goodwin Procter and Hoar before joining the SEC staff.

Reed Smith has represented banks and financial institutions for more than 130 years. Reed Smith’s Investment Management Group provides a wide range of legal services to investment advisers, private and registered investment funds, banks, broker-dealers and other firms involved in the financial services industry. The group advises clients on regulatory issues, mergers and acquisitions, portfolio transactions, investment adviser activity, broker-dealer issues, trust and fiduciary matters, product development, and internal investigations and litigation.

“Tom brings the D.C. office an impressive range of in-demand investment management regulatory skills that many of our clients will benefit from,” said A. Scott Bolden, Reed Smith’s Washington, D.C. Office Managing Partner. “He has a tremendous reputation and extensive connections both inside and outside the Beltway, and we are looking forward to working with him as a colleague.”

About the Financial Industry Group (FIG)

Reed Smith’s Financial Industry Group is comprised of more than 220 lawyers organized on a cross-border, cross-discipline basis, and dedicated to representing clients involved in the financial sector, advising most of the top financial institutions in the world. As well as being authorities in their areas of law, FIG lawyers have a particular understanding of the financial services industry, enabling them to evaluate risks, and to anticipate and identify the legal support needed by clients. FIG lawyers advise on transactional finance covering the full spectrum of financial products, litigation, commercial restructuring, bankruptcy, investment management, M&A, consumer compliance, and bank regulation, including all aspects of regulatory issues, such as examinations, enforcement and expansion proposals. For more information, visit

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