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Lawyers

Normal Chartered Provides World Financial institution Lawyer in Weighing China Step

Standard Chartered Plc has hired the World Bank’s senior vice president and general counsel as it considers opening a standalone wealth management unit in China.

Sandie Okoro, the first Black woman to hold the World Bank post, will depart in April to become general counsel at London-based Standard Chartered. She spent five years at the World Bank, where she also holds the title of vice president of compliance.

Okoro succeeds David Fein, who retired late last year as Standard Chartered’s top lawyer but remains in an advisory role, the bank said in a statement Thursday. Fein this month joined Paul Weiss’ London office as special counsel in the firm’s litigation department.

Standard Chartered would become the first foreign bank to fully own a wealth manager in China if it follows through on a plan it worked on with a consulting firm last year, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 11, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Standard Chartered this week announced it would close half of its branches in Nigeria as it aims to strengthen its digital banking offerings. The bank has 776 branches globally, according to its website.

Before her time with the World Bank, Okoro was general counsel for HSBC Global Asset Management and global general counsel for Barings.

“As I close an important chapter in international development, I look forward to starting a new one and contributing to Standard Chartered’s goals,” Okoro said in the Standard Chartered statement.

Fein, at Paul Weiss, will work on government and internal investigations, cybersecurity, environmental, social and governance, and crisis management, among other areas, according to the firm.

Financial services companies H&R Block Inc. and NatWest Group Plc also announced new legal chiefs this month.

H&R Block tapped former Coca-Cola lawyer Dara Redler as chief legal officer, replacing Thomas Gerke, and British bank and insurance company NatWest hired former Linklaters managing partner Gideon Moore as chief legal officer and general counsel.

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