“There wasn’t a day of my life up until the minute this happened that I ever thought something like this could happen. It was unimaginable.” - David Ganek, Former Owner of Level Global after his fund was raided and closed shortly thereafter.

The front line of running a hedge fund or investment firm has never been a more complicated and potentially hazardous environment in terms of the potential confrontation with regulators and risk. Given the enforcement environment in the US, UK, as well as other countries, it has never been more critical that those in the trenches receive a consistent ethical message, targeted training and the occasional brutal ‘warning shot’, to drive the message home.


The ultimate challenge today is to develop a vigorous and bulletproof compliance regime that both optimizes business performance and maximizes the odds that a firm can withstand a rogue employee or incident.

Apex Tradecraft is a consultancy which looks to engage with financial firms that seek to enhance their compliance efforts beyond the traditional “bolt-on” set of rules and procedures.

No other law firm, compliance department or consultancy has the unique combination of skills and experience – which I call The Tradecraft Triangle™, to educate, mitigate and insulate owners and traders from a potential ELE regulatory event. As a former big firm lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell, and a portfolio manager and hedge fund owner with over a decade of ‘trading desk’ experience, and a criminal defendant for the last 8 years (in addition to privately consulting and mentoring dozens of high profile traders arrested or investigated), no one out there has even close to the level of legal skills, trading experience, and real world criminal justice experience that I do – that is the Tradecraft advantage.


As a complement to existing legal, audit and regulatory compliance, I seek to provide owners, traders and compliance departments with a vivid and stark reminder of the stakes involved by implementing either a combination of one or both of the below:


  1. A 360° degree assessment through the lens of the Tradecraft Triangle to identify aspects of training, which if enhanced, might better provide those on the trading desk with a deeper understanding of the law and how it is implemented in the real world; and

  2. More importantly, a dramatic re-telling of my own personal story to frame the brutal consequences that black, or even ‘gray’ behavior can have. This stark reminder better pairs the realities of the trading desk with the hypothetical world of law firm memos and compliance procedures.

Tradecraft is centered on helping financial firms grasp the true realities of today’s complex regulatory landscape and how day to day decisions at the owner, trader and compliance level can either diminish or maximize a firm’s ability to thrive from a regulatory and business perspective.


I assist owners, traders and compliance departments in the identification and explanation of both “spoken and unspoken” organizational messages, including compensation, outside vendors and 3rd party responsibility, that might perhaps cause confusion at the field level with “what does management really want.” I also look at ethical behaviors and messaging as potential red-flags of decision making.


I share my own perfect storm as a unique perspective to help organizations better understand how corruption is confronted at the field level, in order to develop tools which are better calibrated to those realities.

Having spent the last two decades living, breathing and navigating the high-risk intersection of law, finance and government regulation from both a trader, fund manager and the defendant side of the battlefield, there is no one else out there with this unique and valuable perspective.

While you might have a robust compliance department and program, is it understood at the front-lines of business where rules, policies and procedures meet the behaviors? My experience and journey is there to help you calibrate those programs to such realities.

In other words, how can a Fund insure that the investment teams are highly successful and rewarded both individually and corporately while embracing a strong anti-fraud ethic at ground zero? It can be done, but you need to first look at compliance from the perspective of how it appears at the field level.

Please feel free to e-mail me here at mike@tradecraftadvisers.com, to see if Tradecraft can complement your existing compliance efforts, and for a portfolio of prior writing and speaking engagements.