Role: We are looking for an analytical General Counsel to optimize our organizational efficiency regarding legal matters. As a General Counsel, you will be responsible for leading and supporting the Legal Function, Risk Management and Compliance.
General Counsel shall oversee and manage all legal services to the credit union to ensure maximum protection of its legal rights and to maintain its operations within the limits prescribed by law.
They will serve as a trusted advisor to the President and CEO, Board of Directors, and the Senior Leadership Team, as well as other business partners in the credit union.
The General Counsel will help Empower FCU navigate the increasingly complex and demanding credit union/financial regulatory landscape by continuing to build effective relationships and credibility with key regulators as well as across all areas of our business.
This is a comprehensive role, and the complexity will increase as the credit union continues to grow. To ensure success you need to have sound knowledge and understanding of applicable laws and regulations, and the ability to make prudent legal decisions.
They must have the curiosity and intellect to understand the context and rationale for existing initiatives and practices, with the experience and drive to find new ways to elevate us as a Credit Union. The General Counsel will be a hands-on leader who is capable of leading Risk & Compliance in a fast paced, evolving environment, and who is willing to embrace change and roll-up their sleeves to get the job done.
And finally, the General Counsel will bring exceptional interpersonal and relationship building skills, including communicating, networking, and building influence.
Reporting directly to the CEO, the General Counsel will work closely with other members of the senior leadership / executive team. The credit union is headquartered in Syracuse, New York.
Essential Functions & Responsibilities:
35% Provide legal, compliance, regulatory, and risk management advice and recommendations to the credit union on all areas of operations, including (a) reviewing, negotiating, and advising on vendor contracts, commercial real estate acquisitions and leases, construction agreements, sponsorship agreements, software and licensing agreements, and other transactions; (b) revising corporate formation and organization documents; (c) drafting board resolutions and providing advice on board governance; (d) establishing best practices related to regulatory compliance, vendor management, risk management, contracts, lending, collections, and human resources; (e) researching, developing, and periodically reviewing applicable policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance and best practices; (f) working closely with many business partners on the development and implementation of new product offerings to ensure compliance; (g) guiding each line of business through the RFP process and maintaining and updating standard forms for issuing RFPs (h) collaborating with internal audit department as necessary; (i) answering day-to-day inquires and questions posed by the CEO and Senior Leadership Team as well as employees.
15% Oversees a team of Risk Management & Compliance leaders. Develops and nurtures a high performing, collaborative and aligned leadership team.
15% Serve as in house counsel for the Credit Union, including but not limited to drafting and negotiating service agreements, drafting and negotiating agreements, and providing advice and recommendations on sensitive and strategic matters directly to the President & CEO. In addition, respond to regulatory examinations, regulatory inquiries, and requests from law enforcement. Oversee the handling of subpoenas, powers of attorney, garnishment, levy, and bankruptcy response functions and resolve legal issues that may arise and continue to identify ways to automate repetitive tasks and improve efficiency.
10% Lead a cross-functional analysis of the legal, regulatory, compliance, and financial risks associated with vendor relationships and agreements; advise the credit union on the risks associated with individual vendors; provide recommendations on proceeding with vendor relationships and how to minimize risks associated with those relationships.
10% Stay on top of industry best practices and trends while bringing innovative solutions to address challenges. Research, develop, and periodically review applicable policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance and best practices.
10% Serve as a lead General Counsel for the credit union and its subsidiaries in court, administrative, bankruptcy and other litigation proceedings, including investigative claims, drafting litigation pleadings, drafting court of appeals briefings, arguing cases to the court, and representing the credit union at mediations; oversee the litigation work of any required outside counsel, including strategic decisions.
5% Provides leadership and guidance in the development of effective accountability systems which link individual, departmental, organizational, and Credit Union-wide priorities, goals, and objectives, and other duties as assigned
1. As defined by the Empower Federal Credit Union Board of Directors and/or CEO.
Knowledge and Skills:
Ten years to fifteen years of similar or related experience including:
- 10+ years of experience with litigation, Financial Institution Law, and Employment Law
- 10+ years of Leadership Experience
- Experience interacting with regulators especially the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS).
- 5+ years of experience in Business/Corporate Law, Regulatory Law
- Working knowledge of regulatory environments such as credit unions, banking, or other financial institution
- Strong practical working knowledge of credit unions and the laws and regulations under which they operate.
J.D.; with experience and responsibilities specified.
Member of NY State Bar, OR member in good standing of the State Bar of another state.
Work frequently involves exercising advanced conflict resolution, giving material presentations, and resolving issues impacting multiple departments or divisions. Role also requires the ability to motivate or influence others as a material part of the role, with a significant level of diplomacy and trust. Obtaining cooperation (internally and/or externally) is an important part of the role and a high level of interpersonal skills is critical to the success of this position.
1. Demonstrated track record of building and nurturing diverse, equitable and inclusive teams. Proven ability to naturally connect and build strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
2. Strong interpersonal, leadership and communication skills, including comfort facilitating cooperation between independent units and programs in pursuit of Credit Union-wide goals.
3. Agile and capable of working fast while still having fun and being creative.
4. Desire to learn and innovate.
5. Excellent organizational skills.
6. Ability to multitask, focus, and prioritize multiple projects under pressure to meet deadlines.
7. Strong research, writing, negotiating, and communicating skills.
Extended working hours may be required.
Periodic travel between branches and travel to conferences and seminars which may be out of town.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to sit for long periods at a time, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk; reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 35 pounds.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
This Job Description is not a complete statement of all duties and responsibilities comprising the position. The Credit Union provides equal employment opportunity to qualified persons without regard to basis of race, religion, ethnicity, color, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expressions, transgender status, sexual or other reproductive health decisions, marital status, ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, genetic information/ predisposition or carrier status, status in the uniformed services of the United States (including veteran status) or any other basis protected by applicable national, federal, state, provincial or local law.