The SEED Team
Faculty Directors and Staff
Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor of Law
Director, Pollack Center for Law & Business
Stephen Choi is the Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor at NYU School of Law. He graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School in 1994 and received his PhD in economics from Harvard in 1997. His research interests focus on the theoretical and empirical analysis of corporations and capital markets as well as on judicial performance. He is the co-author of Securities Regulations: Cases and Analysis (West Academic, 4th ed. 2015). He has published in the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Duke Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Virginia Law Review, among others, and has presented papers at numerous conferences and symposia.
Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at the NYU Stern School of Business
Director, Pollack Center for Law & Business
David L. Yermack is the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at New York University Stern School of Business. He serves as Chairman of the Finance Department and Director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business. Professor Yermack has been with NYU Stern since 1994. His primary research areas include boards of directors, executive compensation, and corporate finance. Professor Yermack has published more than 25 articles in leading academic journals in Finance, Accounting, Economics, and Law. He is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been a Visiting Scholar at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. Professor Yermack received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics (1985), Master of Business Administration (1991), Juris Doctor (1991), Master of Arts in Business Economics (1993), and Doctor of Philosophy in Business Economics (1994) from Harvard University.
Associate Director, Pollack Center for Law & Business
Anat Carmy-Wiechman is the Associate Director of the Pollack Center for Law and Business. She graduated magna cum laude from Tel-Aviv University School of Law in 2006. Upon graduation, she worked in the litigation group of Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co., one of Israel’s leading law firms. She earned her LLM degree from NYU School of Law in 2011, and worked as an associate at Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser Sipser until joining the Pollack Center in September 2013. She has published in the American Law and Economics Review, and in Precedent and the Law: Reports to the XVIIth Congress International Academy of Comparative Law, Utrecht, 16–22 July 2006. Carmy-Wiechman’s research interests include corporate law, empirical legal scholarship, law and finance, and securities regulation.
Head of Research for SEED, Pollack Center for Law & Business
Giovanni Patti is the Head of Research for the Securities Enforcement Empirical Database (SEED). He graduated second in his class from the University of Palermo School of Law (Italy) in 2008 and received a three-year scholarship to pursue his PhD in Corporate Law at the University of Roma Tor Vergata Business School, which he completed in 2013. Upon graduation, he worked for four years as an associate at Ranieri, Guaccero, Cornetta, a boutique law firm in Rome that specializes in corporate and banking law. He earned his LLM degree in Corporate Law from NYU School of Law in 2018. At NYU he received the Dean’s Graduate Award scholarship, worked as a research assistant for Professor Stephen Choi, and served as a graduate editor for the NYU Journal of Law & Business. Giovanni has published in the Capital Markets Law Journal and other law reviews, and presented papers in various universities. His research interests include securities regulation, financial regulation, and corporate law.
Wagner Fellow, Pollack Center for Law & Business
Before joining the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business, Peter served as an associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he advised financial institutions clients on issues arising under the Advisers Act and Investment Company Act, CFTC issues, compliance and SEC enforcement, as well as regulatory issues in connection with private equity transactions and fundraising. Peter's research interests include securities regulation and enforcement, financial systems, and law and economics.
Graduate Student Research Fellows
SEED depends on the contribution of students from NYU School of Law and the NYU Stern School of Business. Graduate student fellows from the institution perform all research, including gathering enforcement action documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission website and collecting variables for review. We anticipate student research fellows will use our data for their individual research projects.
Geoffrey Adonu ’20
Geoffrey Adonu obtained his LL.B (First Class Honours) from Babcock University, Nigeria in 2015 and B.L. (First Class Honours) from the Nigerian Law School in 2016. He is currently a candidate for the LL.M. in Corporation Law at NYU School of Law and the Advanced Professional Certificate in Law and Business at NYU Stern School of Business. Prior to his graduate studies at NYU, Geoffrey practiced corporate (including M&A and private equity), finance and securities law at G. Elias & Co. (ALN Nigeria), one of Nigeria's preeminent business law firms. His main interests include M&A (including private equity and sovereign investments), finance and securities law.
Victoria Byler ’21
Victoria Byler is in her second year at NYU School of Law. She attended the George Washington University, where she earned majors in Finance and International Business and minors in Economics and Spanish Language and Literature. She graduated magna cum laude and a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
Edward Duan ’20
Edward Duan graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 2017 with a BA in Philosophy. He went straight through to NYU law, and is interested in financial regulation, tax, and Constitutional law. During his 1L summer, he worked as a research assistant for Professor Choi examining SEC actions and complaints.
Gutemberg Pacheco Lopes Junior, ’20
Gutemberg Pacheco Lopes Junior is a lawyer from Brazil with professional experience in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia. He is a candidate in the LLM in Corporation Law Program at NYU School of Law and in the Advanced Professional Certificate in Law and Business at NYU Stern School of Business. Gutemberg holds a PhD in Law from Tsinghua University School of Law, and a Master of Management from Tsinghua’s School of Public Policy and Management. He has published in the Wisconsin International Law Journal, the World Bank, and Le Mémorial de Caen, among others, and has been a guest speaker in international events.
Courtney Sohn ’20
Courtney Sohn graduated with Distinction from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 with a degree in Legal Studies. At NYU, she is involved in APALSA, Tax Law Review, and Substantial Performance (A Cappella). During her 1L Summer, she interned at the SEC, Division of Enforcement in the Asset Management Unit. During her 2L Summer, she was a Summer Associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. After graduation, she will start at Davis Polk as a Finance Associate.
Ben Wertkin ’20
Ben Wertkin graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017 with a degree in Economics and International Studies. He came straight through to NYU with interests in business and litigation, and he serves as a staff editor on the Moot Court Board. Ben will be spending his 2L summer at Cleary Gottlieb.
Zhongji Wu ’20
Zhongji Wu graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in History and Economics. Following her graduation, she worked at Cornerstone Research and was involved in the SEED project during her time there. During 1L summer, she interned at the Special Education Unit at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG).