To read unpublished excerpts from this profile, including more on Lynch's stint at ABN AMRO, click here.
For Kimberly Lynch, the opportunity to work at one of the world's oldest independent futures commission merchants was not an obvious career move. Then she found out that R.J. O'Brien and Associates was not looking for a futures lawyer, but for someone who could step into the role of the company's first general counsel. She realized that her experience in international banking and the over-the-counter market would be a good fit.
Her first taste of finance came after law school, working at the Federal Reserve Board where she did a lot of legal work in international banking. After spending five years at Mayer Brown in New York as an associate working on capital markets, regulatory and finance, she went on to spend the next 10 plus years at ABN AMRO Bank and its subsidiary LaSalle Bank Corp. Most recently she was senior vice president and associate general counsel at LaSalle Bank Corp., heading the regulatory and corporate affairs group.
Q:Besides contracts, what else does the position involve?
A:Assessing risk in the markets is another part of my job. Risk is a big issue. The challenges that have come up with these markets are concerns about credit or other risks. I've been called upon to help assess whether we should be demanding more margins or if we should be liquidating a position. But I haven't actually had a chance to go through all our forms to readily be able to answer those questions. I have to take some time to review them all.
Q:What are your main goals as the first GC at R.J. O'Brien?
A:I am going to focus on providing legal services in an efficient yet business-friendly way. You have to have a good enough relationship with the business side so that they want to come to you--rather than coming to you because they have to. I need to be able to support them in a way that's efficient both in terms of time and money and other resources.