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Fifth Third Bancorp announced Thursday that it has hired Jelena McWilliams to serve as chief legal officer and corporate secretary.
McWilliams, who takes on her new role on Jan. 9, will join Fifth Third after spending the last 10 years working in the public sector. Since 2012, she has held various positions with the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, most recently serving as chief counsel and deputy staff director. Before that, McWilliams held roles with the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Prior to working in the public sector, McWilliams practiced at firms Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) and Morrison & Foerster.
Fifth Third's previous CLO, Heather Russell, was fired on July 21, 2016. At the time of her firing, Fifth Third said in a statement that Russell was leaving the company because of a "personal matter" that represented a "conflict of interest."
The Wall Street Journal then reported in August that Russell had been fired because of her romantic involvement with Tim Mayopoulos, the former general counsel and now chief executive officer at Fannie Mae. Fifth Third and Fannie Mae do business together, especially when it comes to mortgage deals, though Russell said in a statement that she hadn't had any dealings with Fannie Mae and that there was never a conflict of interest.