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PIMCO Grows Compliance Ranks with Anti-Financial Crimes Recruit

Oct. 2, 2020, 4:15 PM

Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC has hired Jennifer Opheim as senior counsel and global head of anti-financial crime compliance for the financial services firm.

Opheim, based out of Pimco’s headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif., joined the investment giant Sept. 14. She previously spent more than eight years at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where she was special counsel in New York.

Opheim specialized in commercial and bankruptcy litigation, as well as regulatory investigations. She joined Schulte Roth in 2012, having previously spent a half-dozen years as an associate at now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf.

The world’s largest bond manager has made headlines this year for sponsoring its first blank-check company and leading a takeover of bankrupt retailer Neiman Marcus Group Inc. Douglas Hodge, Pimco’s former CEO, was sentenced earlier this year for paying $850,000 in bribes to get his four children into Georgetown University and the University of Southern California as phony athletic recruits.

A Pimco spokeswoman told Bloomberg Law that Opheim’s role is not a new one at the company. She will report to a familiar face in Sung-Hee Suh, a former Schulte Roth partner.

Suh joined Pimco in early 2018 as a managing director and global head of regulatory risk and compliance. Prior to Pimco, Suh was head of White & Case’s white-collar and government investigations practice in New York, where she joined the law firm in early 2017 after nearly three years as a deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department in Washington.

The Justice Department’s criminal division hired Suh in 2014 from Schulte Roth—where she spent 15 years—to oversee its appellate, capital case, and fraud sections. While with the Justice Department, Suh was part of a team of prosecutors who worked on a $3.5 billion global corruption settlement with Latin American construction giant Odebrecht SA.

Suh previously worked as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she was deputy chief of the office’s organized crime and racketeering section, and as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell before joining Schulte Roth in 1999. She made partner at Schulte Roth three years later.

Neither Suh nor Opheim responded to requests for comment. Suh reports to Pimco managing director and global general counsel David Flattum.

More In-House Moves

Other notable comings-and-goings in the investment funds in-house legal space include:

  • Diamond Hill Investment Group Inc. announced Sept. 28 its addition of Carlotta King as general counsel and corporate secretary for its Diamond Hill Capital Management unit in Columbus, Ohio. King joins the investment management firm after a decade as an associate general counsel for the Managed Funds Association, which paid her $395,000 in total compensation in 2017-18, according to the most recent federal tax filing by the Washington-based trade group.
  • Medley Management Inc., a New York-based alternative asset manager, promoted assistant general counsel Nathan Bryce to general counsel last month. Bryce, a former captain in the U.S. Army and its Judge Advocate General’s Corps, succeeds John Fredericks, who stepped down Aug. 11 as legal chief but remains with Medley as chief compliance officer. Medley disclosed in a proxy statement that it paid over $1.2 million in total compensation to Fredericks during fiscal 2020.
  • Great Lakes Capital LLC, a South Bend, Ind.-based real estate private equity firm, announced in August its hire of Barnes & Thornburg partner Richard Deahl as a principal and general counsel. Deahl previously served as GLC’s outside counsel at Barnes & Thornburg, where he spent 20 years handling corporate, construction, finance, and real estate matters in the firm’s South Bend office.
  • Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC, a Chicago-based investment firm focused on alternative real estate assets, announced Aug. 3 its addition of Weil, Gotshal & Manges counsel Alexander Hasek as an associate general counsel in London. Hasek is working with Harrison Street as part of a long-term secondment from DLA Piper, which hired him from Weil as a legal director.
  • GMH Associates Inc., a Newtown Square, Pa.-based real estate and private investment firm, hired Abby Sacunas in July as general counsel. Sacunas, who spent nearly 15 years as a litigator at Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia, took over from James Asali, now a consultant to Omar Asali’s New York-based investment firm One Madison Group LLC.
  • 50 South Capital Advisors LLC, an alternative asset management firm owned by Chicago-based financial services giant Northern Trust Corp., hired Justin Redeker in June as senior legal counsel. Prior to 50 South he was an investment funds associate at Kirkland & Ellis, which promoted him in October 2019 to its large tier of non-equity partners.
  • Alpha Blue Ocean Inc., a London-based alternative investment firm, announced June 23 its hire of Edward Keller as general counsel and chief legal officer. Keller was previously a partner at Dentons and White & Case in Budapest.

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

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