Around the house: M&G replaces outgoing legal head, BD hands acting GC full-time gig

This week’s roundup of top in-house hires also includes appointments at the ACC, Applied Industrial Technologies, JumpCloud and The Real Brokerage

Charlotte Heiss replaces Alan Porter at M&G Photo courtesy of M&G

M&G names former RSA GC as new legal chief

UK FTSE 100 investment management company M&G has hired Charlotte Heiss from The Very Group as its new general counsel, replacing Alan Porter who is stepping down after 10 years with the company.

Heiss is set to join the company in June and will bring with her more than two decades of legal and governance experience across a range of sectors. She spent around a year as group GC and company secretary at online retailer The Very Group, overseeing corporate governance and ESG matters alongside general legal, risk and compliance issues. Before that, she spent more than 11 years at London-listed insurer RSA Insurance, roughly half of them as group GC and company secretary. Prior to her in-house career, Heiss spent eight years at magic circle firm Linklaters. Heiss will also join M&G’s executive committee and serve as company secretary.

Porter leaves M&G after a decade in a variety of legal and governance roles. He has served as M&G’s GC for almost four years, having previously headed up legal for Prudential before M&G’s de-merger from the insurer in 2019. He initially joined as Prudential’s group company secretary in 2012. Prior to that, Porter spent four years as group GC at Tesco and six years at British American Tobacco (his third spell at the company), in addition to stints at Farmers Insurance and Brown & Williamson Tobacco. He started his career at Simmons & Simmons back in 1986.

Heiss is the latest senior leadership change at M&G. In January, Joseph Pinto was named CEO of its asset management business to replace Jonathan Daniel, who announced his retirement last July. Both Pinto and Heiss will report to group CEO Andrea Rossi.

BD promotes deputy after GC exits

US medical tech company Becton Dickinson and Company, or BD, has appointed deputy general counsel Michelle Quinn to the GC role full time after serving as acting GC since January.

Quinn has been with the New Jersey-based company since 2019, initially as chief ethics and compliance officer, before being promoted to deputy GC in 2022. She joined BD from Norvatis’s generic drugs business Sandoz, where she spent four years – two as GC for North America and two as head of legal for generics. Prior to that she had stints at Catalent Pharma Solutions (as associate GC) and Groupe Soparind Bongrain (now Group Savencia), where she was corporate IP and regulatory counsel for North America. She started her career in private practice at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, where she spent four years as a litigation associate.

Quinn replaces Sam Khichi, who left to join CVS Health in February as chief policy officer and GC. Khichi joined BD in 2017 after it acquired C.R. Bard, where he was also GC. He previously worked with Quinn at Catalent.

Tom Polen, chairman and CEO of BD, said: “Michelle exemplifies BD’s core value of doing what is right and I look forward to her continued strategic guidance as our general counsel.”

He added: “Michelle’s deep experience in leading legal functions in a variety of healthcare companies has and will continue to benefit BD, our associates, the patients we serve and our shareholders through her focus on advancing the company’s business strategies and governance initiatives.”

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US college sports conference ACC names first GC

US college sports conference ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) has hired Pearlynn Houck as its first in-house general counsel.

Houck joins from Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, where she has spent the past 17 years as an investigations and litigation lawyer, more recently as a partner. She brings with her particular collegiate sports experience, having represented conferences such as the Southeastern Conference and institutions in a variety of litigation and day-to-day legal matters.

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said: “Pearlynn brings a wealth of experience to this critical position and we look forward to her leadership and legal expertise. As we continue to navigate the future of college athletics and the many opportunities and challenges ahead, this is the right time to hire a full-time executive staff member to provide comprehensive oversight of legal affairs and risk management for the conference.”

In her new role, Houck will report to Phillips and serve as a member of the ACC’s executive team, helping set the strategic direction of the conference and overseeing all legal and risk management matters.

She said: “The legal landscape of college athletics is evolving rapidly. I look forward to working with the conference and its member schools to ensure the ACC is not only ready for, but a leader in, the future of college athletics.”

The ACC is home to college American football teams including 2016 and 2018 national champions Clemson Tigers and 2013 champions Florida State Seminoles, as well as Louisville Cardinals and Duke Blue Devils. Other ACC college sports include basketball, baseball, lacrosse, track and field, tennis, proper football and field hockey, among others.

Applied Industrial Technologies replaces 30-year legal veteran

Nasdaq-listed Applied Industrial Technologies has hired Jon Ploetz as its new general counsel, replacing long-time GC Fred Bauer who stepped down from the role in January after 30 years of service.

Applied provides products such as bearings and engineering components to a range of industries, including car-makers and chemicals and petrochemicals businesses.

Ploetz joins the company after almost eight years at Harsco Corporation, where most recently he served as assistant GC and assistant corporate secretary. Harsco provides materials processing and environmental services to the metals and steel industry. Prior to that he spent more than five years as assistant GC at Arch Coal. He started his career in private practice at Blackwell Sanders before moving to legacy firm Patton Boggs in 2004.

Neil Schrimser, president and CEO of Applied, said: “Jon brings more than 20 years of skilled legal expertise in a diverse range of matters, including corporate governance, securities, M&A and more. We look forward to the contributions he will make as we continue to execute our company-specific growth opportunities and long-range strategic plan.”

Schrimser also paid tribute to Bauer for his leadership and commitment to the business over the past three decades. He originally joined the company in 1992 as associate corporate counsel, working his way up the ranks to be named GC in 2002. He started his career in private practice at Baker & Hostetler.

JumpCloud hires experienced tech lawyer as new CLO

US software company JumpCloud has hired Jill Passalacqua as its new chief legal officer to help steer the company’s global growth efforts.

Experienced startup legal advisor Passalacqua joins from software delivery-as-a-service platform Harness, where she spent almost two years as general counsel. She previously had spells as GC at cloud services business Avi Networks (departing after it was acquired by VMware) and as senior director for legal and global compliance at cybersecurity company FireEye (now Trellix). Prior to that she spent more than 13 years at data management business NetApp, including five years as director of legal, corporate and securities.

At JumpCloud, she will head up the legal team and provide strategic support around growth, compliance, M&A, global expansion and capital markets.

Rajat Bhargava, JumpCloud’s CEO, said: “Jill’s experience will be valuable as JumpCloud sees increased international demand, more M&A activity and an expanding partner network. The entire team welcomes Jill’s counsel, broad background, and proven leadership as we continue to reduce complexity, support the hybrid workplace and provide secure, frictionless access to organisations around the world.”

JumpCloud was founded in 2013 to help businesses manage user identities and devices. It already has a user base of 200,000 organisations globally and more than 5,000 customers including and GoFundMe. It has raised more than $400m from investors including Sapphire Ventures, General Atlantic and Sands Capital.

Passalacqua said she is joining at a pivotal time for the business as it seeks to modernise and transform the identity management sector with its open-cloud based platform.

US real estate brokerage platform appoints first GC

US publicly-traded real estate business The Real Brokerage has named Alexandra Lumpkin as the company’s first general counsel.

Lumpkin joins after more than a decade at US homebuilder Lennar, most recently being promoted to deputy GC in 2021 after just under 10 years as associate GC. Prior to that, Lumpkin worked in private practice as an associate at Greenberg Traurig, having started her career at Holland & Knight, where she focused her practice on corporate governance, capital markets and M&A. At Real, she will be responsible for directing all of the company’s legal and compliance matters.

Tamir Poleg, Real’s chairman and CEO, said: “[Lumpkin] is an incredibly talented attorney who joins Real with an ideal combination of industry experience and achievements. Alix is an excellent addition to our leadership team as we continue to scale our business, instil a performance culture and achieve greater results for all of our stakeholders.”

Real was founded in 2018, providing tech-powered brokerage services for agents to improve the real estate transactions process. It listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2021.

Lumpkin said: “Real’s expertise in delivering a performance-oriented platform along with its focus on revolutionising the real estate experience, is such an appealing combination.”

Send your in-house appointment news to Ben Edwards, [email protected]

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