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Wells Fargo Adds Another TD Bank Lawyer for In-House Team (1)

June 4, 2021, 9:36 AMUpdated: June 4, 2021, 3:14 PM

Wells Fargo & Co. has added another deputy general counsel to its ranks in David Futterman, who most recently served as global head of litigation, regulatory inquiries, and employment at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Beth Richek confirmed Futterman’s June 1 hire. He spent the past eight-and-a-half years at TD Bank, where he worked out of the bank’s home office in Toronto, as well as New York and its U.S. headquarters in the Philadelphia suburb of Cherry Hill, N.J.

A TD Bank spokesman declined to comment about Futterman’s departure, which comes a little over a year after Wells Fargo hired the company’s former legal chief, Ellen Patterson, as its general counsel.

Futterman reunites with Patterson as Wells Fargo seeks to put behind it a fake accounts scandal that resulted in widespread changes to the company’s in-house legal and compliance teams.

Wells Fargo has been busy in recent months building out its in-house legal team under Patterson, who took over from former acting general counsel Douglas Edwards. In April, Wells Fargo hired Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft banking associate Evan Carter as senior counsel in Charlotte, N.C., where the bank has a large presence stemming from its 2008 acquisition of Wachovia Corp.

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo confirmed to Bloomberg Law it was revamping its deputy general counsel ranks after parting ways with some in-house lawyers.

Futterman began his legal career as a litigator at what is now Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer before going on to work in-house at Bank of America Corp. and TD Bank. At Wells, he has also become head of strategy, innovation, and administration in the San Francisco-based financial services giant’s legal department.

Wells Fargo’s former longtime general counsel James Strother was one of several former executives at the company facing civil fines from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for their alleged roles in legal and compliance culture too focused on cost-containment. In January, Strother agreed to pay a $3.5 million fine as part of an OCC settlement that requires him to cooperate with regulators.

Within the past year, Wells Fargo has let go of thousands of employees. Wells Fargo, like other large financial institutions, continues to face pressure from elected officials and scrutiny from various regulatory bodies over its business practices.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a law firm known for its lobbying expertise, publicly disclosed that it received $110,000 from Wells Fargo during the first quarter of this year to handle federal advocacy work for the company on “issues related to congressional investigations.”

Charles Scharf, who became CEO of Wells Fargo in late 2019, was one of several U.S. bank leaders to recently head to Washington to discuss efforts to help under-served communities for banking services.

More Finance Moves

USAA Real Estate Co., whose San Antonio, Texas-based parent company the United Services Automobile Association hired a new law department leader last year in Robert Johnson Jr., announced Thursday its hire of executive managing director and chief compliance officer Andra Purkalitis.

Purkalitis joins USAA’s real estate arm from Russell Investments Ltd., where she spent the past two years as the Seattle-based investment manager’s global chief compliance and regulatory officer. The former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer previously served as legal chief for Aviva Investors Americas LLC in Chicago and Old Mutual Capital Inc. and Icon Advisers Inc. in Denver.

At USAA, Purkalitis joins the real estate investment arm of a company that provides banking and insurance services to past and present members of the U.S. military and their families. USAA Real Estate in December hired longtime Hunton Andrews Kurth real estate partner Michael Boyd, a former managing partner of the law firm’s Houston office, to replace the retiring Steven Waters as its general counsel.

USAA Real Estate also added assistant general counsel Rachel Donnelly from Hawkeye Partners LP, an Austin, Texas-based real estate private equity firm where she was a managing director, general counsel, and compliance chief. Neil Wilcox, who was USAA’s interim legal chief prior to Johnson’s hire last year, left in late 2020 to become chief of staff at Fiserv Inc.

Wilcox in January was named head of corporate social responsibility for the payments processor, which in 2019 absorbed First Data Corp., a company where he once spent more than three years as an associate general counsel in New York.

Other in-house financial services moves of note include:

  • Premier Financial Corp.’s Premier Bank, formed last year via the merger of Youngstown, Ohio-based Home Savings & Loan Co. and Defiance, Ohio-based First Federal Bank of the Midwest, announced March 22 its hire of Frost Brown Todd financial institutions partner Shannon Kuhl in Cincinnati as chief legal officer for the combined banking enterprise. Kuhl joined Frost Brown Todd in May 2019 after serving as chief risk officer for regional bank First Financial Bancorp.
  • Regions Financial Corp., the Birmingham, Ala.-based parent of southeastern lender Regions Bank, announced Feb. 9 its hire of Maynard, Cooper & Gale corporate and securities partner Andrew Nix as its new chief governance officer. Nix, who is based in Birmingham, reports to Regions chief legal officer and corporate secretary Tara Plimpton, who replaced a former Maynard Cooper partner after she was hired as the bank’s new legal chief last year.
  • BMO Financial Corp., owner of the Bank of Montreal, promoted Sharon Haward-Laird to succeed Simon Fish as general counsel as of Jan. 1. Fish remains with BMO as a special adviser to its CEO, while Haward-Laird, a former deputy general counsel who headed up its North American treasury and payment solutions, took over the top legal role after more than two decades at the bank.
  • Emigrant Bancorp Inc., the largest privately held U.S. bank, tapped former Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison partner Maria Vullo to become its vice chairman and chief legal officer in September 2020. Vullo, who most recently served as New York state’s top financial cop, saw her new in-house role disclosed by gaming giant Scientific Games Corp. in an annual proxy statement it filed in April. Vullo is a board member for Scientific Games, which disclosed that it paid her more than $254,000 in total compensation last year.
(Clarifies Patterson's oversight role and notes additional legal hire in fifth paragraph.)

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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