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Capital Group Asset Firm Hires Ex-Marathon Oil General Counsel

Feb. 17, 2021, 12:10 AM

Capital Group Cos. Inc., has hired Reginald Hedgebeth, Marathon Oil Corp.‘s former general counsel, as its first chief legal officer.

Hedgebeth, replaced last month at Marathon Oil by Kimberly Warnica, stepped down in December from the Houston-based oil and gas company that hired him in 2017.

He joined the Capital Group two weeks ago as its top in-house lawyer, a spokesman for the Los Angeles-based asset manager confirmed to Bloomberg Law.

Hedgebeth didn’t respond to a request for comment about his move to the Capital Group, which operates dozens of mutual funds through its American Funds Distributors subsidiary, according to a 2019 Bloomberg News profile of the company.

Capital Group, founded in 1931, now has $2.1 trillion in assets under management.

Paul Haaga Jr., a former partner at Dechert in Washington, where he was once a senior attorney in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, retired in 2012 as chairman of the board for Capital Research and Management Co., a Capital Group predecessor.

Paul Roye, another former Dechert partner who stepped down in 2005 as director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, subsequently joined Capital Group in a senior in-house legal role as the privately held company was embroiled in several disputes with the agency and other regulators.

Capital Group’s investment management operations have traditionally been divided between institutional and mutual fund and retail operations.

Roye, who serves as senior counsel for the Capital Group mutual funds, and James Ryan, a top lawyer for the corporate side of the business, are both poised to retire this year, said two sources briefed on the matter.

Hedgebeth’s position of chief legal officer is one that will see him oversee both Capital Group business units, including its institutional arm.

Capital Group last year added to its board Paul Williams, a former legal chief at Cardinal Health Inc. who now serves as a Chicago-based partner emeritus and adviser for in-house recruiting at legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Williams didn’t respond to a request for comment about Hedgebeth’s hire.

Hedgebeth received nearly $3.3 million in total compensation from Marathon Oil in 2019, according to the company’s most recent annual proxy statement.

Bloomberg data shows that Hedgebeth currently owns roughly $1.3 million in Marathon Oil stock, as well as almost $497,000 in stock for the Brink’s Co., a private security and protection company where he’s been a board member since 2011. Hedgebeth’s board term at Brink’s expires this year.

Hedgebeth’s new employer has been busy hiring other lawyers within the past year.

The Capital Group added a pair of in-house counsel in Joshua Diggs and Timothy Moon, while also recruiting associate counsel Naseem Nixon, most recently a senior special counsel in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management.

In October, the Capital Group hired an Asia-Pacific head of legal in Ai Chun Chua, a former regional legal leader at asset manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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