Executive Vice President, General Counsel

Company: Opportunity Finance Network

Location: Washington, DC

Job Function: Business Development


Background

Based in Washington, DC, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is a leading investment intermediary and network of mission-driven financial institutions serving rural, urban, and Native communities across the United States. With over $1 billion in total assets under management, OFN manages a national membership network of over 400 mission-driven lenders and community development financial institutions (CDFIs), including community development loan funds, credit unions, green banks, community development banks, minority depository institutions, and venture capital funds. OFN is a trusted investment partner to the public, private, and philanthropic sectors – foundations, corporations, banks, government agencies, and others.

For almost 40 years, their team has helped partners invest in communities to catalyze change and create economic opportunities for people and places traditional finance does not reach. CDFIs are specialized lenders that bring capital to low-income, low-wealth communities.

To learn more, visit www.ofn.org

Summary

The Executive Vice President and General Counsel (GC) will play a pivotal role in this multifaceted organization, serving as a strategic legal advisor and leader across its trade association, membership group, and CDFI functions. As the strategic legal advisor and leader for OFN, the GC will serve as a key member of the executive leadership team (ELT), responsible for providing strategic and expert legal counsel and leadership on a wide range of legal, regulatory, and governance matters.

This role requires a seasoned legal professional with a deep understanding of the financial services industry, particularly within the context of community and economic development. This position requires a dynamic legal professional with a comprehensive understanding of the financial services industry, trade association management, and community development initiatives.

Responsibilities

Leadership

  • Serve as a trusted adviser to the President & CEO, ELT, Board of Directors, and broader OFN team on a wide range of general management issues involving sensitive and complex legal matters, including corporate governance, contracts, regulatory compliance, and risk management.
  • Serve as thought partner and provides advice on the business and legal ramifications of significant company strategic imperatives, including potential investments, partner and investor covenant compliance, and other corporate strategic and tactical initiatives.
  • Develop legal strategies and solutions that align with OFN’s mission, goals, and regulatory requirements. The GC will be primary architect of OFN’s legal strategy and its affiliates consistent with regulatory requirements, best practices, financial efficiency, but also in a manner to maximize opportunities for efficient capital, grants, federal contact and award opportunities and charitable investments.
  • Lead and mentor the legal and compliance team, fostering a culture of excellence, collaboration, and continuous learning.
  • Provide guidance and support to other departments on legal, compliance, and governancerelated matters.
  • Provide legal guidance and support to investors operations, ensuring compliance with industry regulations and best practices.
  • Collaborate with team members to develop and implement initiatives, capital programs, and financial services that promote community development.
  • As appropriate, consult, obtain, supervise, and coordinate work of outside attorneys on legal issues relating to governance, organizational management, litigation, operations, portfolio workout, employee, or community and regulatory relations.
  • Performs such other duties as the CEO or Board of Directors may direct.

Corporate Governance

  • Serve as an adviser to the CEO and the Board of Directors on a wide range of general management issues related to corporate governance, best practice and board operation, overseeing and managing OFN’s corporate governance program and its effectiveness.
  • Direct and assist the Corporate Secretary in the proper dispatch of his/her duties to provide corporate compliance and best practice in effective and efficient board operation.
  • Provide guidance and support to OFN’s board of directors and committees on corporate governance best practices, fiduciary responsibilities, conflicts of interest, and ethics.
  • Oversee the implementation and enforcement of OFN’s code of conduct and ethics policies to promote a culture of integrity, transparency, and accountability throughout the organization.

Risk Management

  • Develop and implement enterprise-wide risk management strategies, policies, and procedures to identify, assess, mitigate, and monitor risks across OFN’s operations and programs.
  • Lead the ongoing assessment of OFN’s risk profile and the development of risk mitigation plans to safeguard the organization’s assets, reputation, and stakeholders’ interests.
  • Collaborate with OFN’s leadership team, departments, and external partners to integrate risk management considerations into decision-making processes and strategic initiatives.
  • Identify legal and regulatory risks and develop strategies for mitigation.
  • Oversee OFN’s risk management program, including insurance, compliance, and regulatory filings.

Legal Affairs

  • Oversee all legal matters, including the drafting, review, and negotiation of contracts, agreements, policies, and other legal documents.
  • Ensure that contracts and agreements comply with legal requirements and protect OFN’s interests.
  • Ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards, including those related to CDFIs, financial services, nonprofit organizations, and tax-exempt entities.
  • Manage or oversee litigation and other legal disputes involving the organization.

Policy Development, Advocacy and Regulatory Compliance

  • In collaboration with the CEO and Chief Policy Officer, monitor industry trends, legislative changes, and regulatory developments affecting CDFIs and community development finance industry and advocate on behalf of OFN and various industry groups on key external legislative issues and proposals that may impact OFN’s operating environment, the communities it serves, and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with the Chief Policy Officer (CPO) to monitor and advocate on behalf of OFN and various industry groups on key external legislative issues and proposals that may impact OFN’s operating environment, the communities it serves, and other stakeholders.
  • Engage in policy advocacy efforts to advance OFN’s interests and support the broader CDFI industry.
  • Ensure proactive compliance with regulatory requirements and reporting obligations.
  • Develop and revise organizational policies and procedures to ensure compliance with legal requirements and industry best practices.
  • Stay updated on legislative and regulatory changes that impact the CDFI industry and recommend necessary policy adjustments.

Capital Formation/Capital Markets Assistance

  • In collaboration with the CEO, EVP, Chief Development Officer (CDO), and ELT, participate in the design and execution of a comprehensive capitalization plan to attract capital to support OFN’s growth and mission execution.
  • Collaborate with the CEO, CDO, and ELT to monitor, understand and influence key philanthropic, banking, capital market, legislative and regulatory changes that may impact capital availability for the organization and its mission execution.

Engagement

  • Represent OFN in industry forums, regulatory discussions, legislative advocacy efforts, and collaborative initiatives, as necessary.
  • Represent OFN externally to regulators, policymakers, industry associations, and other stakeholders on legal, regulatory, and risk management issues affecting CDFIs and the communities they serve.
  • Build and maintain relationships with external legal counsel, regulatory agencies, industry partners, consultants, insurance providers, and other vendors to support OFN’s legal and risk management needs.
  • Collaborate with industry stakeholders, members, and partners to advance the interests of the trade association and its members.

Requirements

Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school and active membership in good standing with the state bar.
  • Experience as a General Counsel is essential.
  • Minimum of 15 years of legal experience, with a focus on financial services, community development, and nonprofit organizations, with a strong preference for experience in a CDFI or an organization serving CDFIs.
  • Deep familiarity with the CDFI ecosystem, including public, corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors.
  • Strong knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations relevant to CDFIs and nonprofit organizations.
  • Proven leadership skills with experience managing a legal team and working collaboratively with executive leadership.
  • Demonstrated effective service in roles handling and sharing sensitive information required.
  • Demonstrated experience working with enterprise-wide technology, project management, risk management, and contract management.
  • Successful track record working in fast-paced, opportunity-rich growth organization and environment.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Physical Requirements

  • Must possess a strong passion for, understanding of, and commitment to OFN’s mission, vision, and values. In addition, be a fearless advocate, who is confident and resilient in OFN’s fight to drive capital into low-income communities.
  • Strong reputation for integrity and ability to balance business partnership needs with the need to exercise good independent judgement to raise potentially sensitive issues in a timely and constructive manner.
  • A collaborative team player who possesses the interpersonal skills to work across all levels of the organization both internally and externally, humility, and a willingness to learn in all areas of our work. Be a strong team contributor, effective and comfortable in leading as well as supporting roles within teams.
  • Possess a leadership style that emphasizes the value of collaboration, communication, service, transparency, teamwork, and accountability.
  • Be a smart, quick seeker of knowledge with the ability to think strategically, creatively, and tactically to analyze results and provide practical recommendations to the President & CEO and the ELT.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, communication, and organizational decision-making skills required.
  • Possess high initiative and self-starting capabilities; the demonstrated ability to identify and seize opportunities for impact in sometimes messy, uncertain contexts without direction or oversight.
  • Outstanding written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Superior customer service and relationship-building skills.
  • Excellent organizational/time management skills required to independently manage multiple tasks and prioritize work on diverse assignments with strong attention to detail in a fast-paced setting in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Ability to work well with diverse constituents is required.
  • Occasional travel required (10-15% of time).
  • Comfortable working in a small office environment.
  • The job involves normal physical requirements for an office position.

How to Apply

Learn more about this opportunity here. All applications should be submitted to the following email address: OFN-GC@zrgpartners.com

Submission directly to OFN could significantly delay consideration and impact the application process