Marisa DeMato, Director and Chief Diversity Officer, has more than 18 years of experience advising leading pension funds and other institutional investors on issues related to corporate fraud in U.S. securities markets, and provides representation in complex civil actions. Her work focuses on monitoring the well-being of institutional investments and counseling clients on best practices in corporate governance of publicly traded companies.
Prior to joining Saxena White, Ms. DeMato was a partner with a nationally recognized securities litigation firm where she represented institutional investors in shareholder litigation and achieved significant settlements on behalf of clients. She represented Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System in a $90 million derivative settlement that achieved historic corporate governance reforms from Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., following allegations of workplace harassment incidents at Fox News. Ms. DeMato also successfully represented investors in high-profile cases against LifeLock, Camping World, Rent-A-Center, and Castlight Health. In addition, Ms. DeMato was an integral member of legal teams that secured multimillion dollar securities and consumer fraud settlements, including In re Managed Care Litigation ($135 million recovery); Cornwell v. Credit Suisse Group ($70 million recovery); Michael v. SFBC International, Inc. ($28.5 million recovery); Ross v. Career Education Corporation ($27.5 million recovery); and Village of Dolton v. Taser International Inc. ($20 million recovery).
An accomplished speaker, Ms. DeMato has lectured on topics pertaining to securities fraud litigation, fiduciary responsibility, and corporate governance issues throughout the U.S. and Europe. Notably, Ms. DeMato has testified before the Texas House of Representatives Pensions Committee on the changing legal landscape for public pensions following the Supreme Court’s Morrison decision and best practices for non-U.S. investment recovery.
Ms. DeMato is Saxena White’s Chief Diversity Officer, and one of the industry’s leading advocates for institutional investing in women- and minority-owned firms. She also chairs Saxena White’s Women’s Alliance, which is designed to foster women-centered development and leadership in the pension, investment and legal communities. Ms. DeMato previously served as co-chair of an annual Women’s Initiative Forum, which has been recognized by Euromoney and Chambers USA as one of the best gender diversity initiatives.
Recently, Ms. DeMato was recognized by The National Law Journal as a “Plaintiffs’ Trailblazer” and was named a “Northeast Trailblazer” by The American Lawyer. Ms. DeMato was also named one of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon for the last four consecutive years.
Ms. DeMato is an active member of the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), the American Association for Justice (AAJ), and the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA), where she serves on the NAPPA Securities Litigation Committee. As a member of the SACRS Education Committee, she is responsible for developing and planning educational programming for the State Association of County Retirement Systems (SACRS) in California.
Ms. DeMato earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Florida Atlantic University.