Emily R. Zerbato

Chief Compliance Officer

Emily joined Dowling & Yahnke Wealth Advisors in 2020 as Compliance Administrator and now is the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer. Emily holds the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) designation and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ashford University, Magna Cum Laude.

Prior to joining D&Y, she worked for three years as an operations and compliance analyst within an emerging RIA. She was responsible for developing and implementing the firm’s compliance and operations program. Previously, she was a third-party regulatory consultant and provided consulting services on investment adviser and broker-dealer regulatory matters.

Emily, a native Californian, moved to San Diego in 2007. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in local San Diego trails and reading.

What inspired you to work in the financial industry?

I have always had an analytical mind and inquisitive nature. When I was first introduced to the industry, I found compliance to be a unique puzzle of navigating the complexities of rules and regulations while providing a high-quality service to clients.

Why did you join Dowling & Yahnke?

As a previous regulatory consultant, I had the opportunity to visit many firms and witness varying degrees of firm cultures. After researching D&Y, I quickly recognized that they understood the importance of a strong regulatory compliance program. I happily joined the team for their dedication to their clients, as well as the high ethical standards every employee embodies.

What is your favorite place in San Diego?

One of the perks of living in San Diego is the great weather and ability to hike the county’s trails year-round. My favorite is Daley Ranch in north county which has several trails offering a wide variety of difficulty as well as amazing views.

What is the best concert you ever attended?

Chris Stapleton is one of my top concert experiences. The set was stripped down, simple, and surprisingly intimate for such a massive venue.

What is your favorite hobby?

Although it may be considered a dying art, crocheting blankets is a favorite pastime of mine. Being able to give someone a handmade gift brings me personal joy as well as warm memories of crocheting alongside my mother every winter.


  • Ashford University, BA in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude


  • Southern California Compliance Group (SCCG)
  • Investment Adviser Association (IAA)