06 May 2021

Around the house: GCs arrive at SMBC and Boyd Gaming

Siemens has also named a new chief compliance officer in Munich, while lidar startup AEye has appointed a new general counsel as it prepares to go public

By Victoria Basham

SMBC's Scott Flood Image courtesy of SMBC

From Citi to SMBC 

Citigroup heavyweight Scott Flood has moved to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, where he’s been named managing director and US general counsel of the company and general counsel of SMBC Americas Holdings, its US bank holding company.

In his new role, New York-based Flood is responsible for overseeing the legal function for SMBC Group across the Americas, advising the board and other senior executives on legal and regulatory issues. He succeeded William Haney, who is retiring and will serve in an advisory capacity through the transition.

“We are very pleased and excited to have Scott join the company,” said Hiro Hyakutome, CEO of SMBC Americas Division. “Scott brings to our organisation a significant depth of experience overseeing the legal functions for sales and trading businesses in his prior roles and is the ideal fit for this position.”

Flood has joined SMBC directly after 31 years at Citigroup, where his final role was as managing director and general counsel of the markets and securities services legal team. He also served as general counsel and corporate secretary of Citigroup Global Markets, advising a range of departments on legal, regulatory, employee, and credit matters.

Prior to joining Citigroup, Flood was with White & Case and was also a law clerk in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts and is active on several industry committees.

Casino player names new legal chief 

Las Vegas-based casino and hospitality giant Boyd Gaming has appointed former MGM Resort International executive Uri Clinton as its new general counsel. He is set to fill the role a year after it fell vacant following the retirement of Brian Larson, who had served as the company’s legal leader for more than two decades. 

Clinton spent the past year as a partner at real estate and hospitality investment firm Sorelle Capital and directly prior to that was a development consultant at MGM Resorts. He had initially joined the hospitality and entertainment conglomerate in 2014 as vice president and deputy general counsel and went on to serve in various leadership roles, including a stint as president and COO of Yonkers-based Empire City Casino, which MGM had acquired the year before. 

Boyd also hired a new associate general counsel late last year in the form of Christine Chang. She joined after nearly six years at Caesars Entertainment, where she had latterly served as vice president and chief litigation counsel. 

Lidar startup finds GC for expansion plans 

Dublin, California-based lidar technology startup AEye has added Andrew Hughes to its executive team as senior vice president and general counsel.   

Hughes has moved to AEye from Japanese semiconductor maker Renasas Electronics, where he most recently served as VP and general counsel for the Americas, as well as heading the global trade compliance function. His extensive in-house career has also seen him serve as VP, GC and corporate secretary of American semiconductor manufacturer Intersil and in the same functions at tech product and services distributor Bell Microproducts. 

Hughes’ hire has been announced alongside that Brent Blanchard as chief of staff and follows shortly after the appointment of former Velodyne COO Rick Tewell as COO, as the company scales operations operations and transitions to a public company.

AEye agreed to go public in February through a merger with special purpose acquisition company CF Finance Acquisition Corp III in a deal that valued the company at $2 billion, though the valuation has recently been lowered to $1.5bn

CEO Blair LaCorte commented that the appointments “put the framework in place to ensure that, as we double in size and move into productisation and mass production, AEye will scale seamlessly to meet demand for its lidar systems.”

AEye is not the only lidar player sourcing new legal talent. Luminar Technologies recently hired Tesla’s acting general counsel Alan Prescott as its CLO, with the Peter Thiel-backed unicorn itself going public last December through a SPAC merger. 

New compliance chief for Siemens 

Annette Kraus has been named as the new head of the global compliance organisation and chief compliance officer at Siemens. She began her new role 1 May and succeeded Martina Maier, who according to the company has left for personal reasons.   

Kraus has been with the Munich-based conglomerate since 2009, most recently as chief counsel compliance and head of the global investigation team and prior to that holding in variety of management positions. She also served as an advisor on compliance before joining Siemens, initially as a lawyer in the Munich office of German law firm Rotter Rechtsanwalte and later as a consultant in the Munich and Hamburg offices of management consultancy Steria Mummert Consulting. 

According to Juve, Klaus will report to general counsel Dr Andreas Hoffman and also has a direct reporting line to the management board and the supervisory board on compliance risks and measures. 

Indian investment firm onboards prominent legal leader 

Pratibha Jain, head of the Delhi office of Nishith Desai Associates (NDA), has joined Everstone Group as group general counsel and head of corporate affairs. The India and Southeast Asia-focused investment firm manages assets in excess of $5bn across private equity, real estate, green infrastructure and venture capital. 

Jain has taken over from PM Devaiah, who was vice chairman and group general counsel at Everstone but has moved over to Indian conglomerate Adani Group to be its first group general counsel. In her new role, Jain oversees all legal matters across Everstone and also leads its public policy and corporate affairs function. 

The Harvard Law School graduate began her legal career as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell, working in the firm’s New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong offices. She later had a brief stint as an associate at SkaddenArps, Slate, Meagher and Flom and spent four years as VP and counsel at Goldman Sachs in Mumbai directly before joining NDA as a partner in 2011. During her time with NDA, Jain founded its Delhi office and also led its M&A and private equity practice.

Her work has included representing India’s Ministry of Finance for structuring of the country’s first quasi sovereign wealth fund and structuring of the government’s $3.5bn SWAMIH fund, intended to complete stalled housing projects. She most recently advised foreign investors in their investment into Reliance Retail and Reliance Ventures.

Commenting on the appointment, Everstone co-founder & CEO Sameer Sain said: “I am delighted to welcome an established lawyer of Pratibha’s calibre to Everstone. This association comes on the back of a long working relationship, and we are thrilled to have her as part of the leadership.”

Finance specialist for Divido   

London-based retail finance platform Divido has named Toby McCrindle as its head of legal and compliance. He has joined the fintech startup directly from his role as general counsel at UK-based travel tech company Snowfall. 

McCrindle started his career at Allen & Overy in 2012 as a trainee and later an associate. Based primarily in the firm’s London headquarters, his practice was concentrated on structured and asset finance, though during a brief stint in the firm’s Dubai office he focused on global loans and Islamic finance. He also spent nearly two years as legal counsel at BAE systems. 

Divido spokesperson declined to comment on the appointment. 

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