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Visa Hires Greenberg Traurig Partner as New Compliance Chief (1)

Sept. 18, 2020, 11:31 AMUpdated: Sept. 21, 2020, 3:00 PM

Visa Inc. has brought on Obiamaka “Obi” Madubuko as the credit card giant’s new chief compliance officer.

Madubuko spent nearly the past five years as a partner in Greenberg Traurig’s litigation and compliance group in New York, advising on anti-corruption and fraud matters. She replaces Leonard Shen, who had held Visa’s top compliance role since 2014, company spokeswoman Shauna Ball told Bloomberg Law.

A first-generation Nigerian American, Madubuko was a fellow with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She joins Visa a month after the company’s soon-to-future fintech subsidiary Plaid Inc. hired a new general counsel in Meredith Fuchs from Capital One Financial Inc.

“In her role, Obi is responsible for all compliance programs, including overseeing Visa’s Business Conduct Office, Anti-Money Laundering/Sanctions program, and the ongoing training program that builds on Visa’s strong culture of ethics and integrity,” Ball said.

Madubuko and Visa General Counsel Kelly Mahon Tullier were not immediately available for comment.

Greenberg Traurig hired Madubuko in 2015 after she served as co-chair of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and international anti-corruption group at McDermott Will & Emery. She also spent nearly a decade working as an associate at Chadbourne & Parke and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

In April, the Treasury Department reached a deal with Visa to send credit cards with prepaid Covid-19 stimulus funds to hard-to-reach individuals. In August, Visa became the first consumer finance company to sell bonds designed to fund environmentally safe projects.

Visa is also currently hiring for an anti-money laundering, economic sanctions, and export control regulatory counsel, according to the company’s website.

Ball credited Shen for “six strong years of leadership.” He joined Visa after stints as compliance chief at PayPal Holdings Inc., American Express Co., and General Electric Co.’s commercial finance unit.

Visa’s compliance transition takes place only a few days after Citigroup Inc. announced that Jennifer Taylor, a longtime regional head of compliance and divisional general counsel at Bank of America Corp., would come aboard Dec. 7 as a London-based chief compliance officer for its Institutional Clients Group.

Regions Lawyer Heads West

Visa’s hire of Madubuko makes her the latest addition in the traditional financial services space.

Bank of the West, a San Francisco-based subsidiary of French banking giant BNP Paribas SA, announced last week that Hope Mehlman joined as general counsel and corporate secretary. She replaces the retiring Vanessa Washington.

“I am pleased to pass the baton to Hope’s very capable hands,” Washington wrote on LinkedIn.

Mehlman, a former Adams and Reese partner, most recently served as secretary, chief governance officer, and deputy general counsel at Regions Financial Corp. The Birmingham, Ala.-based parent of southeastern lender Regions Bank company earlier this year hired Tara Plimpton to replace longtime legal chief Fournier Gale III. Mehlman spent 14 years in-house at Regions.

Regions promoted assistant general counsel and head of regulatory policy Elizabeth Taylor in late June to head of government affairs and economic development. Taylor, who joined Regions in 2017 after serving as chief legal officer for the International Franchise Association, reports to Plimpton in her new role.

(Clarifies Madubuko's LCLD relationship in third paragraph and adds Citigroup information in 10th paragraph. Original story published Sept. 18.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at