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Fintech FIS Nabs New Compliance Head as Company Readies Job Cuts

Dec. 1, 2022, 10:30 AM

Fidelity National Information Services Inc., a provider of capital markets technology for financial institutions, has hired a new chief compliance officer as the company moves forward with plans to lay off thousands of workers.

Frederick Reynolds III started a week ago and also has the title of deputy general counsel for regulatory affairs, Caroline Tsai, the company’s chief legal and corporate affairs officer, said in an email.

Reynolds had most recently been compliance chief at Brex Inc., a corporate credit card startup founded in 2017 by two Brazilian college dropouts that earlier this year saw its valuation hit $12 billion.

FIS will fire thousands of employees as it prepares to usher in a new chief executive and copes with a slumping share price and challenging business environment, Bloomberg reported Nov. 22.

Tsai, who joined FIS earlier this year from Western Union Co., said Reynolds is taking on a “newly consolidated leadership role” that reports to her and replaces two people set to retire at year’s end.

“His experience is a perfect blend of regulatory, compliance, and legal expertise with financial institutions and the payments industry,” she said.

Reynolds began his career as a litigation associate at Texas-based law firms Winstead and Gardere Wynne Sewell, now part of Foley & Lardner, before going on to work at the US Treasury Department, Bank of America Corp., and Barclays, where he was the banking giant’s top cop for fighting financial crimes.

He also spent three years as a prosecutor in Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Reynolds didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Brex Changes

Reynolds left Brex after the company recruited a new top lawyer in October in Ryan Loh, most recently general counsel for Bolt Financial Inc., a payments startup that parted ways with its former CEO in January after securing an $11 billion valuation.

Loh disclosed his departure from Bolt on LinkedIn in September, the same month that Bolt called off its planned $1.5 billion acquisition of Wyre Payments Inc., a cryptocurrency infrastructure provider. He didn’t respond to a comment request.

Amanda Bradley, a former assistant general counsel for corporate at Bolt, said via email that she succeeded Loh as legal chief. Bradley also confirmed that Bolt hired Nguyen Vu, a former lawyer for Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., earlier this year to head product, privacy, compliance, and intellectual property legal.

At Brex, Loh has taken over a top legal role vacated by Kathryn “Katie” Biber, a former general counsel to Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) ultimately unsuccessful US presidential campaign in 2012.

Biber left Brex in June to become legal chief for cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm Operations LP. Under Biber’s leadership, Brex spent the past two years doubling the size of its legal and compliance staff, including hiring former chief privacy officer Conway Ekpo from Morgan Stanley.

Ekpo, who launched a networking group for Black lawyers in Big Law, remains an associate general counsel at Brex. Gabriel Ledeen, who spent the past half-dozen years in legal roles at Meta and self-driving car startup Cruise LLC, succeeded Expo as the company’s privacy chief earlier this year.

In August, Brex saw former associate general counsel for product and regulatory Emily Goodman depart to become the top lawyer for HQ Digital LLC, a wealth management platform owned by Digital Currency Group Inc., a venture capital firm focused on the digital asset industry.

Brex announced last month it plans to cut 11% of its workforce—136 workers—in a corporate restructuring leaving the company with roughly 1,150 employees.

The company didn’t respond to a request for comment about personnel matters.

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

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