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2021 In-House Counsel Awards: Carrie Wrisberg

Moloney Securities Company

Carrie WrisbergThere were parts of Carrie Wrisberg’s future which seemed clear even before law school.

“Some of my most interesting classes were economics and law and, specifically, some that combined the two,” recalled the Columbia native.

Today, the 53-year-old Mizzou Law School graduate can say she’s working at the nexus of both areas as chief compliance officer and counsel with Moloney Securities, an organization she describes as “a good family company”.

“There is a lot of autonomy and discretion in terms of getting to the right answer and doing the right thing which is what our goal is,” she said. “There are not a whole lot of layers that you would find at some of the larger companies. I have direct access to my management.”

Wrisberg began her career in a very different area of law working at the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office to get trial experience for four years. In 1999, she moved to a litigation position at Moser & Marsalek where she made partner during a stint of more than a decade in liability and toxic tort matters. That was followed by nearly five years at Edward Jones as a compliance counsel. She came to Moloney in 2015.

“It was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” she said.

According to her nominator, that opportunity has seen Wrisberg “take the lead in handling the myriad and complex legal and compliance matters at Moloney” where she maintains regulatory relationships with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA and state regulators across the nation. She also manages litigation for the company, having developed expertise in securities registration and licensing.

As she celebrates six years with her company, she says that one key to success for an organization’s top attorney is to comprehend and communicate.

“I think it is very helpful for a general counsel to have a deep understanding and actual business knowledge,” she said, “because a large part of being general counsel is conveying legal concepts – and in my case, regulatory concepts – to business leadership and management.”

That means working to translate “legal speak” into daily business applications for people who aren’t lawyers. The benefits of doing that proficiently can allow an effective general counsel to prevent problems before they begin.

“When I was a partner at a litigation firm, I saw over and over again early on how many opportunities there are on the front side to mitigate risk and avoid loss,” Wrisberg said, “so I have the ability to apply legal knowledge that comes from litigation in a method that reduces risk and litigation.”