Accordo is a full-service, solutions-oriented advisory to the financial services and banking industries. Our approach combines deep subject matter expertise with intelligent, scalable technology. We help our clients achieve their business goals by advising on risk, compliance, operations and anti-fraud programs throughout their life cycle. Accordo is well positioned to assist clients with critical matters, and in the execution of their tactical and strategic objectives.

Leadership Team

Robert Masi, Managing Partner & CEO

Mr. Masi is the founding partner of Accordo, having fifteen years of experience in financial services compliance and regulation, and five years’ experience in business management. At Accordo, Mr. Masi oversees compliance program support and management for broker-dealers, investment advisors, and hedge and private equity funds with both domestic and international businesses. In certain instances, Mr. Masi performs the role of Chief Compliance Officer, in which he is responsible for developing or restructuring compliance programs for launch, growth, or expansion, supported by the Accordo team. As CEO, Mr. Masi is responsible for the development and execution of Accordo’s strategies and initiatives, and the management of Accordo’s staff.

Prior to founding Accordo, he was a Senior Consultant with an international consulting firm. From 2004 to 2010, he was an Examiner in the New York City District Office of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). During his FINRA tenure, Mr. Masi was responsible for conducting routine cycle examinations, branch exams and specialized cause investigations of broker-dealers and registered representatives, which included anti-money laundering and fraud investigations. Prior to working at FINRA, Mr. Masi worked at Sonic Financial Technologies (prior to its acquisition by ConvergEx) in New York, where he supported the Compliance and Operations Departments. Additionally, he worked with the Institutional Sales Group and was the Project Manager responsible for the implementation of trading technology for institutional trading desks.

Mr. Masi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Accounting with a minor in Economics from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, and is a Wharton Certified Regulatory Compliance Professional. He is also a member of the National Society of Compliance Professionals, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Rao Eswara, Partner & COO

Mr. Eswara is Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Accordo. He has over 22 years of experience assisting broker-dealers, global banks and investment advisors achieve business growth and regulatory compliance. He has a proven track record as a change agent capable of turning around corporations facing regulatory risk, compliance and operational issues. His areas of specialty include corporate strategy, disruptive technologies, Enterprise Risk Management, Anti-Money Laundering, sanctions screening, trade surveillance, sales practices, compliance analytics, fraud detection and prevention, among others.

Over the last decade, he acted as trusted advisor to executive management, senior management committees and boards of directors on a wide range of global regulatory, business and technology trends. Mr. Eswara has also directly interacted with several regulators including FRB, FCA/PRA, U.S. Treasury, FINRA, SEC, OCC, FDIC, OSFI and NBB.

On some of his recent advisory engagements, Mr. Eswara:

  • Applied emerging technologies including blockchain, neural networks techniques for KYC and trade finance to bring about business and operational transformation at Deutsche Bank.

  • Conducted impact assessment of the DOL Fiduciary Rule and Sales Practices regulation for MFS investment management Advisory and Asset Management businesses; developed adoption roadmap.

  • Developed the AML, KYC and Sanctions Screening programs at Capital One and State Street.

  • Designed the compliance program including policies, procedures, internal controls, compliance training, compliance monitoring and testing at global banks and broker-dealers.

  • Performed compliance and operational risk assessments at various broker-dealers.

  • Led internal audit and controls adequacy testing engagements; developed key risk and performance metrics to measure and monitor operational effectiveness using COSO and COBIT frameworks.

  • Developed the compliance analytics platform at Morgan Stanley to detect and prevent financial crimes.

  • Implemented Dodd Frank Act and Basel III compliance programs at BNY Mellon and Bank of America.

Prior to joining Accordo, Mr. Eswara served as COO within the Morgan Stanley Firm Risk Management Unit and as Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and BNY Mellon leading regulatory compliance initiatives across Capital Markets, Wealth Management and Treasury divisions. Further, he has held key leadership positions at Vanguard, Bear Stearns, UBS and Bank of America.

Mr. Eswara has published several industry whitepapers, has served as a speaker or panelist at a number of industry and customer conferences and has led industry roundtables on risk and compliance topics. He has studied Regulatory Law at Harvard University and has an M.S in Engineering from Villanova University, an M.S. in Computer Science from Drexel University, and an M.B.A in Finance from Columbia University. He is also a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP), the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Raymond Mandra, Senior Consulting Advisor

Mr. Mandra’s career spans seventeen years working in the financial services industry. Most recently, Mr. Mandra worked at S&P Global in their compliance examinations unit where his duties entailed designing testing methodologies and inspecting adherence to company policy and regulation. Mr. Mandra joined AllianceBernstein as a Senior Compliance Analyst in May 2008. His responsibilities ranged across a broad array of topics on Investment Adviser and Broker-Dealer compliance matters. Most notably, he led firm-wide initiatives to implement regulatory projects for adherence to the disclosure requirements of Form ADV Part 2B and a global beneficial ownership reporting system. He was also responsible for regulatory filings for the SEC (13F/G, 13H), FINRA (Form BR), and NFA (Form PR), branch inspections (FINRA 3110), and buy-side control room activities. Beginning his career at Dreyfus Service Corporation, he began by working in the Lion Account retail brokerage back-office supporting new account and financial operations. Continuing at Dreyfus, Mr. Mandra moved into Compliance and was responsible for testing of Rule 206(4)-7 of the Investment Adviser Act.

His certifications include FINRA Series 24, 7, 63, and the Investment Adviser Compliance Certificate Program (IACCP).

Consulting Advisors

Robert Palleschi

Mr. Palleschi is an experienced compliance risk officer with broad expertise in both retail and institutional investment products, investment advisory, and all aspects of broker-dealer compliance. He brings over twenty-eight years of financial industry compliance experience to Accordo. Mr. Palleschi was formerly Senior Vice President and Deputy Compliance Director at Morgan Stanley, and Director and Senior Control Officer at UBS. In his twenty-five year affiliation with Morgan Stanley, Mr. Palleschi served various functions in the Law and Compliance Departments. From 1994 to 2005, he served as Deputy Director of Compliance responsible for all aspects of product Compliance, including the Trading, Desks and Product departments. Mr. Palleschi is also a FINRA Arbitrator and former member of both the CBOE Advisory and NYSE Disciplinary Panels. He also serves as a litigation consultant providing expert witness testimony.

Steven Metz

Mr. Metz is a specialist in Securities and Commodities Compliance and Law, Anti-Money Laundering Compliance and Risk Management. He has expertise in Bitcoins and swaps, and has helped foreign companies register as US broker-dealers. Mr. Metz was Senior Counsel, Chief Compliance and AML Officer at Man Financial from 2006 to 2009. From 1984 to 2006, Mr. Metz worked for various subsidiaries of Prudential Financial as Senior Counsel and/or Compliance Officer, including Chief Compliance Officer, Privacy Officer and AML Officer. He has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences, has held executive positions in industry-wide associations and is accredited with the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) Certification.

Philip Ciantro

Mr. Ciantro has a seventeen-year career in the financial markets, serving in various roles as a risk manager, trader and salesperson. Prior to Accordo, Mr. Ciantro worked at FINRA from 2007 to 2013, where he served as an integral part of FINRA’s examination staff. During his six-year tenure with FINRA, Mr. Ciantro spent three years as a Principal Examiner, conducting sales practice examinations of FINRA members. He conducted solo examinations of small FINRA members in both New York and London, branch examinations for large clearing firms, and served as lead examiner for examinations of the largest FINRA members. In his last three years with FINRA, Mr. Ciantro served as a Principal Regulatory Coordinator for 35 introducing broker-dealers and 10 clearing firms. Mr. Ciantro holds an MBA and a Masters in Accountancy from Baruch College and FINRA Series 7, 24 and 27 Financial and Operations Principal licenses.

Consulting Resources

Other members of our consulting team collectively bring over seventy-five years of financial services experience as Risk, Operations, and Compliance Officers and former FINRA and SEC Examination Staff. Their experience includes all aspects of securities and futures brokerage, capital raising, asset and wealth management compliance. Our team is dedicated to applying their skills to provide hands-on, real-time support to our clients.