Ellen McCarthy

Managing Director and Chief Compliance & Risk Officer


Ellen McCarthy is an accomplished C-level executive, attorney, and business partner with a proven track record of providing leadership, strategy, execution, and subject matter expertise in meeting regulatory requirements and mitigating risk across enterprises. Leveraging her deep regulatory compliance background in leadership roles at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), as well as in-house, Ellen founded Sustainable Compliance Strategies, LLC™ in 2017 to transform organizations by offering tailored, sustainable solutions that provide safety and soundness to the financial services industry. In 2018, Ellen’s company entered into a strategic
alliance with VMS, LLC, a trusted partner to top-tier financial services organizations worldwide, and Ellen joined VMS as Managing Director & Chief Risk Officer to head the VMS compliance and risk management advisory and consulting offering.

Previously, as Executive Vice President and Chief Risk & Compliance Officer of the American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (AST), Ms. McCarthy directed all corporate compliance and risk functions throughout North America for AST and its affiliated operating entities, including CST Trust Company, Donlin Recano, and D.F. King. An active member of an industry-wide Risk & Compliance Committee as well as AST’s Trust Indenture, New Business Acceptance, and New Initiative Approval Process Committees, she provided subject matter expertise to clients and the Board and led a cross-border senior executive team of compliance, risk management, and internal audit professionals. Prior to joining AST, Ellen advanced through increasingly responsible Senior Counsel roles with NYSE/FINRA, holding key positions on several committees that drove continuous improvements through cross-functional collaborations with internal and external stakeholders and advanced the organization’s diversity, inclusion, and educational initiatives. She planned and executed hundreds of high-impact investigations and prosecutions for NYSE/FINRA Enforcement regarding alternative investments, private placements, market timing, customer suitability and sales practice concerns, social media, complex structured products, initial public offerings (IPOs), anti-money laundering (AML), cyber security/protection of sensitive customer data, fraud, and financial/operational misconduct.

Ellen earned a J.D. from St. John’s University and a B.A., Summa Cum Laude from St. Joseph’s College, where she was class Valedictorian. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and is a Bar Member of the State of New York. Ms. McCarthy received Working Mother Magazine’s “Working Mother of the Year Award” in 2013. Born and raised in Brooklyn Heights, NY, she now resides in Breezy Point, NY with her husband and two sons. Active in her community, Ellen serves on the Lawyers and Hearing Committees of her residential cooperative, was Chair of the St. Matthias Catholic Academy Board, and is a past Board member of the Cobble Hill Health Center and Stella Maris High School.

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