Around the house: Everest Re lands former MetLife and Freddie Mac legal head, Sony Music UK names new GC

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Kroll, PlayOn! Sports, Imerys and APCO Holdings

Ricardo Anzaldua, Everest Re’s new GC Photo courtesy of Everest Re

Former MetLife, Freddie Mac GC joins Everest Re

Bermuda-based reinsurance and insurance company Everest Re has hired experienced in-house lawyer Ricardo Anzaldua as its new group general counsel, replacing interim GC Brent Hoffman.

Anzaldua brings with him more than three decades of legal experience, most recently as GC and corporate secretary at the US Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Freddie Mac. As a member of Everest’s executive leadership team, he will be responsible for helping advance its global strategic objectives and provide advice on regulatory, compliance and litigation issues.

Juan Andrade, Everest president and CEO, said: “Ricardo is a highly accomplished and trusted strategic advisor whose exceptional legal acumen and extensive knowledge of complex, global business and legal issues make him a valuable addition to our senior leadership team.”

He added: “With a proven track record of developing talent and collaborative, diverse and inclusive teams, Ricardo is a high-impact leader who shares Everest’s cultural values.”

Anzaldua spent just over two years at Freddie Mac, having joined from US insurance giant MetLife, where he spent five years as GC, leading its global legal, regulatory, compliance and government relations functions. He also spent just under six years at Fortune 500 financial services company The Hartford as associate GC and as a senior advisor to the CEO and CFO. Prior to that, he spent more than 16 years in private practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, eight of them as partner.

Hoffman has been standing in as GC since March after previous incumbent Sanjoy Mukherjee announced his departure. Hoffman will return to his role as head of claims and chief operations officer for Everest’s reinsurance business.

Sony Music UK promotes legal head to GC role

Music publisher Sony Music Publishing (SMP) UK has promoted Andrew Spence to general counsel.

Spence has been with SMP since 2014, joining as business affairs manager and becoming head of legal and business affairs in 2019. In his new role, he will oversee the company’s business and legal affairs strategies and initiatives, including on behalf of its roster of artists that includes Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Jay-Z and a back catalogue featuring The Beatles, Queen and The Rolling Stones. Spence will continue to report to co-managing UK directors David Ventura and Tim Major.

Major said: “It has been a pleasure to watch Andrew continue to grow as an executive over the past few years. This role is a natural progression, positioning him as even more involved in the business and senior management structure. This, alongside Andrew’s calm, straightforward approach, perfectly equips him to help SMP and our songwriters take on the new challenges facing the publishing industry.”

Prior to joining SMP, Spence spent just under four years as a music lawyer at Sound Advice.

He said: “Putting songwriters first is something truly at the heart of all we do and I’m grateful I get to play a part in that. I’m also delighted to continue my journey at Sony Music Publishing and be surrounded by so many talented people; from my colleagues to the amazing writers and catalogues we represent.”

Kroll names new GC and CLO in twin senior legal promotions

US risk and financial advisory business Kroll has made two senior promotions to its legal team in New York.

Former general counsel Edward Forman has been elevated to chief legal and risk officer, while deputy GC Christopher Matteson has been promoted to GC and board secretary. Forman has been with Kroll for more than 17 years, while Matteson joined in 2018 as part of Duff & Phelps' acquisition of Kroll.

Jacob Silverman, Kroll’s CEO, said: “These promotions reflect the exceptional contributions that both Ed and Chris have made to building a stronger Kroll, and the critical need to continue to meet our clients’ demands in an evolving risk landscape. As we look to further expand our business, Ed and Chris play important roles in enabling our success by further strengthening our legal and compliance functions and effectively managing risk.”

Prior to joining Kroll, Forman spent eight years at financial outsourcing company The Bisys Group. Matteson, meantime, had been deputy GC at Duff & Phelps since 2007, having previously held in-house roles at Cytec Solvay Group (as division counsel), The Bisys Group (as corporate counsel, overlapping with Forman’s time at the company) and Hewlett Packard Financial Services (as a contracts manager). He started his legal career as an associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman following a four year spell as a lieutenant in the US Navy.

Forman said: “It is a great privilege to continue to work alongside Kroll’s leadership team at such a transformative time in Kroll’s journey… I’m proud to lead such an exceptional legal and risk management team, and support Kroll’s growth in meeting the robust assurance demands of clients, investors and other key stakeholders.”

PlayOn! Sports hires former Warner Bros. lawyer as CLO

US high school athletics media company PlayOn! Sports has hired Lesley Wainwright as its chief legal officer, a newly created position.

Wainwright brings more than 20 years of experience advising on developing and executing multi-platform content and distribution strategies in the media and entertainment industry, most recently as senior vice president for distribution business and legal affairs at Warner Bros. Discovery. There she advised on distribution deals for cable network channels such as CNN, TNT and Cartoon Network. Wainwright will oversee all legal matters at PlayOn! Sports.

Matt Hong, president and chief operating officer at PlayOn! Sports, said: “With her extensive legal experience and expertise in media and technology, combined with her business acumen and gravitas, she brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. She will play a pivotal role in our company’s success as we continue to grow.”

Wainwright had been with Warner Bros. Discovery, including its previous incarnations as WarnerMedia and Turner Broadcasting, since 2005 in a number of roles including assistant general counsel, senior counsel and counsel. She became SVP for distribution business and legal affairs in 2017 (then under the Turner banner). She started her career as an associate in King & Spalding’s private equity practice group.

France’s Imerys taps Club Med for new GC

French minerals business Imerys has appointed Emmauelle Vaudoyer as its new group general counsel and company secretary.

Vaudoyer joins from French travel and tourism operator Club Med, where she was GC and board secretary overseeing legal, compliance, risk management, insurance and public affairs. At Imerys, she will be responsible for all legal matters and will serve on its executive committee.

In a statement on LinkedIn, the company said: “Emmanuelle is a seasoned lawyer with a strong track record in strategic operations, mergers and acquisitions and management of international teams.”

Vaudoyer spent almost a decade at Club Med in Paris, having joined from private equity firm Ardian (previously AXA Private Equity) where she worked for 10 years, five as GC. She also had an earlier stint at LVMH Media Group, having started her legal career in private practice at UK Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance in Paris and London.

She said: “I’m looking forward to working closely with (CEO) Alessandro Dazza, the executive committee colleagues and the talented legal teams to contribute to Imerys’ growth strategy, based on ethics and sustainability.”

APCO appoints experienced US auto insurance lawyer as new CLO

US auto industry-focused financing and insurance business APCO Holdings has appointed Erika Ahern Curran as its new chief legal officer.

Curran brings almost 25 years of experience across the automotive finance and insurance and property and casualty markets, most recently serving as general counsel for Assurant’s global auto business unit. That depth of industry knowledge and strategic understanding will help APCO meet its legal, compliance and risk management obligations, the company said. APCO’s brands include EasyCare, National Auto Care, GWC Warranty and MemberCare.

Tony Wanderon, CEO of APCO Holdings, said: “Erika is a proven leader who brings a tremendous amount of experience and who will make an immediate impact on our organisation. I truly believe that our leadership team is the strongest and most experienced in the industry.”

Curran spent just over three years at Assurant, becoming GC in 2022 having joined as a managing attorney. Prior to that she was GC at CNA National Warranty Corp, where she spent almost a decade. She also spent roughly a dozen years at Allstate Insurance, where she was GC for Allstate Dealer Services among other legal roles. Before her in-house calling, Curran was a senior trial attorney at the Law Offices of Christine W. Tennon in Chicago, having started her legal career at Thomas L. Burdelik and Associates.

Curran said: “It is extremely exciting to join an organisation with so much momentum. I am honoured to help build on the legacy of success and create significant growth for many years to come.”

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