June 18, 2020

Farewell to Corp Fin Legend, Marty Dunn

We lost a securities law legend when Marty Dunn passed away on June 15, 2020. Marty was the most recognizable person in the securities bar, having spoken at so many conferences and events for so long that it is impossible to count them all. Marty was also a key contributor to our publications, serving as an Editor of The Corporate Counsel for the past nine years, as a co-host of “The Dave & Marty Radio Show” on and as a panelist, comedian and puppeteer at the annual Proxy Disclosure Conference. Marty loved the securities laws and spent his life sharing that love with others, always seeking to teach us something new, while at the same time making sure that we did not take it all too seriously.

Marty’s wit and good humor was legendary. He always had a funny story or witty retort when speaking on an otherwise dry panel, and audiences loved him for that. For many years, Marty and I would travel around the country, like a pair of securities law troubadours, bringing the Dave and Marty show to conferences and events, although I must admit that it was mostly the Marty show. We had such a great time on those trips. I will treasure those memories forever.

Marty had spent nearly 20 years at the SEC, where he was responsible for many of the SEC’s most significant initiatives on disclosure, governance and capital-raising, including, among many others, reforming the securities offering process, implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, adopting plain English requirements, implementing electronic proxy delivery, and easing capital formation for small businesses. Marty spent his entire government career in his beloved Division of Corporation Finance, where he held several key positions, including Associate Director, Chief Counsel, Deputy Director and Acting Director. Marty truly loved the SEC and Corp Fin. I can distinctly recall sitting in his office, drafting some new rule, interpretation or regulatory relief, and Marty would say, with a mix of amazement and admiration, “We just made that up!” Marty was the best at taking something complex and making it understandable, as well as taking on the most difficult problem and finding a practical solution for it. These skills made him the great teacher, mentor, regulator and counselor that he was.

After leaving the government, Marty was in private practice at O’Melveny & Myers and Morrison & Foerster. Clients and colleagues sought Marty out for his wise counsel and his aforementioned ability to solve difficult problems with practical solutions. I had the pleasure of working with Marty again for the past seven years and we were able to accomplish so much together, but yet we had so much more that we wanted to do. I am going to miss him as a valued friend, mentor and colleague.

Above all else, Marty was a family man. He loved his family so much and he talked about them all the time. Marty is survived by his wife Linda and daughters Emily, Molly and Maggie, as well as many other family members, friends, colleagues and clients who loved him.

Dave Lynn

“I Like It Like That” – 2019 Proxy Disclosure Conference

Marty, Carrie Darling & Dave at the Del – Feb 2020

Marty Pitching for Corp Fin’s Softball Team – 1989 (part of our Staff photo gallery)