Investment firm Barings Asset Management has lost its first global general counsel Sandie Okoro to HSBC Asset Management.
Okoro joins HSBC Asset Management in the new role of general counsel on Monday (20 January 2014), having spent nearly seven years in the top legal role at Barings.
A spokesperson for HSBC confirmed the move, adding that the general counsel position had been introduced along with three or four other general counsel roles under retail banking & wealth management. Okoro is thought to be the only new general counsel brought in from outside the business.
Okoro has built up a reputation as a trailblazer, making it into The Lawyer’s Hot 100 list when she was head of legal for corporate services at Schroders after she created the asset manager’s first legal panel in 2005 (7 January 2005).
The launch of the panel followed an extensive review of Schroders’ external lawyers, which resulted in the fund manager sidelining more than 100 advisers to create a roster of 11 firms.
Okoro took up the new role at Barings two years later, responsible for advising on legal issues across Europe, America and Asia alongside her all-female team.
The move follows a number of senior in-house moves in the banking sector. Earlier this month Lloyds Banking Group’s (LBG) head of legal for channels and intermediaries Sian McIntyre within retail & wealth quit for a head of legal role at Barclays (15 January 2014).
A spokesperson for Barings said the firm will maintain the global general counsel role, adding that the position is yet to be filled.