Daniel Danello, Veteran Finance and Capital Markets Attorney at Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae, Joins Venable in Washington

5 min

Mr. Danello brings deep experience structuring a wide spectrum of financial markets transactions, and overseeing corporate governance and compliance through two decades at Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae.

WASHINGTON, DC (January 05, 2012) – In a notable addition to its corporate and financial services groups that will greatly assist clients seeking to comply with Dodd-Frank reforms in the areas of foreign exchange, OTC derivatives, futures and money markets, Venable LLP announced that veteran finance and capital markets attorney Daniel Danello has joined the firm as Of Counsel. 

Mr. Danello, who arrives from the Washington office of Ropes & Gray, has 20 years’ experience advising on a wide range of financial markets transactions and regulatory affairs for two of the country’s principal issuers of structured securities.  Prior to joining Ropes & Gray in 2008, Mr. Danello served for ten years as associate general counsel to Fannie Mae’s Treasurer on governance and compliance matters and transactions in the equity, debt, foreign exchange, derivatives and money markets.  He supported Fannie Mae’s Multifamily division on its hedging programs, and worked with various company divisions on regulatory matters, including financial product taxation and hedging issues; federal, state, and local lobbying and gift laws; and implementation and operation of the corporate business code of conduct.  He also directed Fannie’s extensive ISDA documentation team, partnering with colleagues to integrate electronic trading and confirmation systems.

Before joining Fannie Mae, Mr. Danello was senior assistant general counsel at Sallie Mae, the country’s largest originator and servicer of federally insured student loans, during its transition from a corporation chartered by Congress to a private company.  During this time, Mr. Danello managed the legal group responsible for transactions and regulatory and compliance matters involving corporate finance, capital markets, tax, and mergers and acquisitions.  He helped launch Sallie Mae's student loan asset-backed securitization program as well as advised on major transactions – including what was then the biggest securitization of a student loan portfolio owned by the British government.  Mr. Danello also made many legislative presentations on Capitol Hill in connection with Sallie Mae’s privatization.

Mr. Danello regularly represents corporations, non-profit organizations, endowments, pension funds, and financial institutions in negotiating and documenting foreign exchange contracts, repurchase agreements, OTC and exchange-traded swaps and security-based swaps, futures, and options.  He has advised clients on the central clearing, exchange trading, and margin requirements of Title VII of Dodd-Frank Act; represented a European commercial bank, and its affiliates, and  other clients on Lehman bankruptcy work-outs, restructurings, and litigation; and helped clients with  collateral management, reporting, and tax risks arising from derivatives and other structured transactions.

At Venable, Mr. Danello joins one of the country’s leading banking and financial services groups, whose members include a number of former financial industry regulators with backgrounds at the FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury, Justice Department and other agencies.  Mr. Danello brings a key credential set, having worked at the front lines of the financial markets, overseeing the issuance of many investment, hedging, and trading contracts and also advising on the corporate governance and compliance framework for their execution.

“Our group is tremendously enhanced with Dan’s arrival,” said Larry Gesner, a partner in Venable’s Finance and Investment Management practices.  “He’s helped leading issuers and investors negotiate and draft multi-billion dollar derivatives and foreign exchange contracts and handled large public and private offerings of debt, equity and various structured securities of all types.  He has also advised senior executives on compliance, governance and disclosure related to those transactions.  He has an in-depth understanding of many Wall Street trades as well as the finer points of federal legislation and regulatory oversight governing the financial markets.  Dan brings an array of experience and expertise that complements our existing capabilities.”

Mr. Gesner noted the additional value Mr. Danello brings to financial clients amidst the continuing wave of regulatory change wrought by the Dodd-Frank Act.  “Insurance companies, mutual funds, credit card issuers and other major institutions are grappling with how to comply with Dodd-Frank with respect to holding and trading derivatives on their balance sheet, as well as how best to document these transactions and make proper disclosures to investors,” he said.  “Dan’s knowledge deepens the counsel our group offers clients across the financial sector.”

Mr. Danello believes that managing the increased margin, clearing, trading, documentation and other requirements that Dodd-Frank imposes on financial markets transactions is critical for clients that value these markets for the important role they play in hedging and portfolio management.

“The markets for foreign currencies, swaps, repos, asset-backed securities, and similar products are vital to corporations, non-profits, pension funds, endowments, insurers, and asset managers which must  hedge or require investments tailored to meet the needs of their clients,” he said. 

“I look forward to helping Venable clients navigate the new regulatory landscape shaped by the Dodd-Frank Act,” he added. 

Mr. Danello, an Ohio native, earned his J.D. from Duke University Law School (1985) and an LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law School (1990). He received a B.A. in Jurisprudence, with honors, from Oxford University (1983), and an A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard (1980).


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