Anna Pinedo '93: Innovator of Securities, Financial Products Also Mentors High School Youth

Appeared in Record issue: 
Spring 2013

Having decided that she wanted a career in the diplomatic corps, Anna Pinedo, ’93, went to the college that might best prepare her for that, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where she graduated in just three years.

It turned out, however, that she was destined to change the world in a different way. “I realized at Georgetown that I was not cut out to work in the foreign service,” she recalls. “I’m a chronically impatient person. I wanted a less hierarchical setting.” Since graduating from the Law School, she has been at the center of some of the most innovative securities transactions and structured new financial products, earning a lengthy list of awards and recognition.

In addition, she has written five books and a mountain of articles, book chapters, and other publications. Her most recent books are the 2012 Considerations for Foreign Banks Financing in the US and, from 2011, Liability Management: An Overview. She frequently leads workshops and seminars and participates extensively in ABA committees and subcommittees.

She began her career at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan where, at 29, she became the youngest partner in the firm’s history. In 2003, she and some colleagues relocated to Morrison & Foerster, where she now practices. At Morrison & Foerster, she continues to work with some of the country’s largest investment banks, representing them in securities offerings and working closely with them on product development. She also has been counseling many clients on regulatory matters arising from the Dodd-Frank Act, including new derivatives regulations.

Her clients include Bank of America Merrill, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, Nomura, and Royal Bank of Canada, and among her many honors she has been named as a leading international capital markets and derivatives lawyer by Chambers USA and Chambers Global in each of the last six years. Born in the US to Cuban émigrés, she has been named as one of the top 100 worldwide Hispanic leaders by Hispanic Business magazine.

Committed to her community and society, she makes time to volunteer for causes she values. She’s a winner of the Women of Power and Influence Award from the National Organization for Women. She lights up when talking about her work with students at Cristo Rey High School in Harlem, a college-preparatory school for minority students. Every student at Cristo Rey works full-time one day a week with a private company or nonprofit; their wages go toward their tuition at the private school. Five of them work at Morrison & Foerster. “It’s a wonderful program that provides a great education and also the benefit of seeing work settings that they wouldn’t otherwise be familiar with, so they are better prepared for college and for life,” she says.

The Law School, she says, provided her with “a phenomenal grounding in legal concepts, and a wonderfully stimulating, rigorous intellectual experience.” She names Douglas Baird, Randy Picker, Walter Blum, and Richard Helmholz as some of the professors whose classes were particularly memorable. “There’s a movement these days, even at some of the better law schools, to become more vocational,” she observes, “and I am very glad that Chicago is so committed to retaining its tradition of challenging inquiry and great discussions. The Socratic Method shaped my learning and still deeply affects my thinking today. Much of what I have accomplished is attributable to the great education I received.”