Bill Brown

Senior Lecturing Fellow


Bill Brown is cofounder of Palmer Labs, LLC, and 8 Rivers Capital, LLC, companies that focus on financing and commercializing technologies related to energy, internet, biomedical devices, and the telecom and automotive industries. A distinguished lawyer with an extensive career in financial services, Brown has held leadership positions at Goldman Sachs & Co., AIG International, and Morgan Stanley. At Duke Law, his teaching focuses on entrepreneurship, business law, business planning, capital markets and corporate finance. He was instrumental in helping put together Duke’s LLM program in Entrepreneurship and the Law.

Brown has authored a number of pieces and is a frequent commentator for a number of organizations, including the BBC, NPR, Bloomberg, The New York Times, NBCTV-17, Forbes.com, MarketWatch, China.com and The Huffington Post.

A 1980 graduate of Duke Law School, Brown was a member of the editorial board of the Duke Law Journal. Brown practiced law in New York City from 1980 to 1989, first at Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine and then at Sidley & Austin, where he was a partner. His practice involved acquisition financing and workouts, project finance, leveraged leasing, Latin America debt refinance, and securities regulation.

Brown began his financial services career in 1990 when he joined the currency and commodity sales group at Goldman Sachs & Co., At Goldman Sachs, he helped grow the foreign exchange business in the asset management community, first in New York and then in London. In 1996, Brown was recruited to AIG International to become global head of sales for currency and fixed income and, one year later, was recruited to Morgan Stanley to become U.S. head of foreign exchange sales. During a part of this period, Brown also ran emerging market and non-dollar debt sales. He then took over listed derivatives as global co-head, managing over 500 members of sales, marketing, information technology, and operations teams in nine locations globally.

Brown is a former member of the Duke University School of Law Board of Visitors and previously served for several years on the School of American Ballet Corporate Advisory Board. He is an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association. In addition to his Duke Law degree, Brown holds bachelor's degrees in both biology and political science from MIT in 1977. He is married and has two daughters, one a magazine editor in New York City and the other a Duke undergraduate.