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In-House Jobs General Counsel

by GMO - 08/13/2018
"GMO seeks to hire a General Counsel (“GC’) to lead the global Legal function. The GC will need to demonstrate the capability to be a trusted advisor to the CEO, an ability to oversee a broad set of functional areas and to participate in the governance "
Posted August 13, 2018
General Counsel
Boston, MA Full Time
Corporate Governance
Founded in 1977, GMO is a private partnership committed to delivering superior investment performance and advice to their clients. GMO offers strategies where they believe they are positioned to add the greatest value for their investors. These include multi-asset class portfolios as well as dedicated equity, fixed income, and absolute return offerings, many of which employ the firm’s proprietary 7-year asset class forecasting framework. GMO’s client base is comprised primarily of institutions, including corporate and public defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, endowments, foundations, and financial intermediaries.

GMO, whose sole business is investment management, employs approximately 580 people worldwide and is headquartered in Boston with offices in San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Singapore. GMO manages roughly $88 billion in client assets using a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches that blend traditional fundamental insights with innovative quantitative methods to identify undervalued asset classes and securities. GMO’s valuation-based approach embeds several key factors, including: a long-term investment horizon, discipline, conviction, and a commitment to research. The firm’s research emphasizes not only identifying and exploiting pricing dislocations but also understanding the long-term drivers of return in the markets in which they invest. GMO is known for their candor in sharing their views with clients and for their willingness to take bold, differentiated positions when opportunities warrant.

Position Overview:

GMO seeks to hire a General Counsel (“GC’) to lead the global Legal function. The GC will need to demonstrate the capability to be a trusted advisor to the CEO, an ability to oversee a broad set of functional areas and to participate in the governance of subsidiaries, manage the legal relationships with the mutual fund board, and the ability to serve as a visible senior leader of the organization. The successful candidate will also need to assess, lead, and develop a team of approximately 10 and establish a trust-based relationship with the current GC during a transition period. The GC will manage legal issues and risk that arise out of GMO’s operations and its efforts to achieve business goals. The successful GC will adeptly navigate a varied group of stakeholders, balancing an effort to devise creative solutions to help deliver business results with the need to take a tough line where the legal risks are acute.


Lead and develop the Legal team

Oversee and manage an international team of approximately 10 legal and support professionals.
Clearly define roles and expectations needed to deliver on individual and team goals.
Manage performance and talent development; put clear talent development plans in place for individuals with strong potential.
Empower and enable team members to interface directly with key stakeholders across the firm.
Establish a culture of excellence and a strong morale across the legal department.
Oversee additional functional areas (e.g. Compliance and Risk & Controls)

Ensure leaders of these functions have clearly defined roles and priorities and are exceeding those expectations.
Establish a management cadence that ensures these functions are being appropriately managed while also providing enough leverage to execute on the full scope of the role.
Support and enable each of these functional areas to be seen as trusted advisors and respected across GMO for their work.
Manage legal issues and risk that arise as part of GMO’s operations and efforts to achieve business goals and avoid significant legal issues

Proactively identify and communicate trade-offs between risk and return and be creative in finding ways to minimize risk that do not interfere with business objectives.
Utilize good judgment in offering recommendations to business leaders.
Ensure clear processes and procedures exist to minimize risk in the course of normal operations and that non-legal professionals know when they need to engage the legal department.
Expertly select and oversee external counsel as necessary.
Consistently demonstrate sound judgement and the highest level of ethics and integrity.
Forge strong and effective working relationships with key stakeholders across the business (e.g., investment and functional leaders)

Establish trust-based relationships and earn credibility through delivering results.
Establish clarity around where you have the authority to make decisions and recommendations and where the stakeholders need to engage the Legal Department.
Communicate complex legal issues in a straightforward manner and in the context of the business and provide clear guidance.
Promote open discussion of tough issues and explain why what people are being asked to do is required.
Be willing to deliver hard messages with credibility and gravitas.
Build a reputation of being fair and balanced; always stay within the rules but acknowledge and understand business implications and do not just reflexively say no.
Serve as a trusted advisor to the CEO and effectively transition with the current General Counsel
Establish a trusted advisor relationship with the CEO by demonstrating an ability to understand the broader business objectives, challenges and context and actively contributing to problem solving efforts.
Partner with the Board in helping to think through strategic choices and mitigate potential risks; have the Board feel like their needs are being understood and addressed.
Operate and communicate with gravitas and executive presence; read and understand senior audience members and communicate with the right level of detail for a given situation.
Have the courage to take a hard line when necessary; be clear when a proposed action isn’t permissible or would create intolerable levels of risk.
Establish trust by both demonstrating competence and skill and proving that you will keep the current GC aware of issues that deserve his attention.
Come with recommended solutions rather than problems.
Communicate transparently and frequently share information.
Operate as an independent senior executive; be prepared to make decisions and own them; view the current GC as a resource but do not utilize him as an excuse when delivering tough messages.

Skills & Characteristics:

Required Skill Set:

JD with significant and broad legal experience (ideally 20+ years), with significant experience (ideally 10+ years) dealing with legal/regulatory matters as an in house counsel for a financial services company and/or as a lawyer/partner at a law firm
Demonstrated ability and passion to lead and mentor others
Strong strategic thinking
Demonstrated ability to set a vision for the Legal Department
Ability to filter a wide range of ideas, prioritize them, and execute flawlessly
Strong organizational skills – ability to take responsibility for and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously
Excellent communication skills (oral and written)
Excellent listening skills
Strong analytical clarity and creativity
Proven skill in lateral thinking and communication
Demonstrated ability to develop practical solutions in the face of business trade-offs
Ability to demonstrate consistently sound judgment and the highest level of ethics and integrity
Strong financial product development experience and knowledge
Technical knowledge of the law across a variety of business areas (e.g. Sales and Marketing, Finance, Operations, Human Resources, etc.), as well as knowledge of the Investment Company Act
Desirable Attributes and Characteristics:

Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a diverse population of people
Tenacious with the ability to move quickly and follow through on commitments
Intellectual curiosity and analytical horsepower to constructively debate ideas
Demonstrated ability to work through informal influence in a flat, non-hierarchical organization
Enthusiasm and love for the law
Strong work ethic and the ability to hold yourself and others to the highest professional standards

How to apply
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to careers@nongmoproject.org Please include the title of the position you wish to apply for in the subject line.

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Contact Email: careers@nongmoproject.org
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