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12 February 2020

Around the house: former Missouri Attorney General takes over as Centene's general counsel

Chris Koster's appointment at Fortune 500 giant features in round-up of latest global in-house hires

By Roman Edwards

Centene has appointed Chris Koster as its new general counsel

Former Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster joined Centene in 2017 to become 'instrumental part of senior team', according to its CEO Sutterstock

Chris Koster, former Missouri Attorney General, has been appointed general counsel and company secretary at St Louis healthcare giant Centene Corporation. He will assume the role on 19 February when current incumbent Keith Williamson becomes president of the Centene Charitable Foundation after 13 years at the legal helm of the corporation. Koster joined Centene in 2017 as senior vice president in the corporate services division after an eight-year stint as Missouri Attorney General. Before that he was a prosecuting attorney in Cass County. Chief executive Michael Neidorff said: "Chris has been an instrumental part of our senior team during a pivotal time of growth. His depth of experience in legal services both in the private and public sector will continue to be an asset to our company as we continue to grow and evolve."

Glenn Gerstell has stepped down as general counsel to the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) after serving for almost five years in the role, according to the news website Cyberscoop. He moves on to become an advisor in Washington D.C. for the Centre for Strategic & International Studies; a bipartisan, non-profit policy research organisation. Gerstell’s career includes 40 years as a partner at Millbank as well as a spell as Commissioner to the District of Columbia Homeland Security Division.  During his tenure at the NSA, he has consistently warned of the threat to national security posed by cybercrime.  ‘The digital revolution has urgent and profound implications for our federal national security agencies,’ he wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times. ‘It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges. If anything, we run the risk of thinking too conventionally about the future.’

Chris Rich is to fill the newly created position of general counsel at London-bsed The Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Markets Standards Board (FMSB). Currently at FMSB on secondment, Rich will make the move permanent on 1 April. He is joining from Linklaters, where he was a managing associate in the financial regulation team. The FMSB is a membership organisation responsible for setting global standards for the market and his role will include advising the executive committee on new rules. FMSB chief executive Martin Pluves said: “This is a very important role for both FMSB and its members as we continue to develop the organisation and work to raise standards in wholesale markets.” Rich added: “FMSB has an impressive track record of partnering with its members and other market participants and has a critical part to play in global wholesale markets.” Rich joined Linklaters in 2011 and has completed secondments with RBS, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas.

Andrew Cosgrove has been confirmed as Los Angeles-based LendingUSA’s new general counsel and chief compliance officer. He has made the move from fellow-FinTech employer, San Francisco-based Upgrade. Cosgrove will report to LendingUSA CEO Camilo Concha, who lauded his extensive experience and “seasoned compliance approach”. He joined LendingUSA in October when it announced a $250m funding injection from Atalaya Capital. 

NYSE-listed, Houston-based Flotek Industries has appointed Nick Bigney as its general counsel. He is the company’s first internal general counsel for more than two decades and will lead on: legal strategy, corporate governance, securities filings, risk assessment programmes, litigation and dispute resolution. Flotek manufactures and markets downhole equipment and specialty chemicals for oil and gas clients. Chief executive John Gibson said the appointment “marks a significant pivot for the company to bring strategic resources in-house that will help us rationalise external spend”. Bigney has significant experience in senior in-house roles at Texan petroleum companies including Oiltanking North America and Nabors Industries.

New York utility company Con Edison has appointed Deneen Donnley as general counsel and senior vice president. Donnley makes the move after nearly ten years at financial company USAA, where she was general counsel. The appointment follows the retirement of Elizabeth Moore, who left at the end of December. CEO John McAvoy said: “The challenges Con Edison faces as we move to a renewable, low-carbon energy future where customer needs drive our strategic actions will leverage off her strengths and resourcefulness. Her steadfast community involvement also reflects our corporate values and our concern with the well-being of the communities we serve.”

UK-based clothes retailer Superdry has hired Ruth Daniels from Global Media and Entertainment Group, owner of UK radio stations Classic FM and LBC, to be its general counsel and company secretary. Daniels was as a buyer for Marks and Spencer before becoming a lawyer. Previous roles include general counsel at both CPA Global and Mobile Broadband Network.

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