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Special Edition: Finding Balance – Sustainability in Financial Institutions

In this special edition, Eva-Maria Segur Cabanac, a partner in our Vienna office and global sustainability lead for financial institutions, and Jennifer Klass, a partner in our New York office and co-chair of the financial regulation and enforcement practice in North America, talk with Ying Yi Liew on how the COVID-19 pandemic led to the prioritization of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations among financial institutions (FIs). They also cover progress around the creation of common and consistent international standards over disclosure and classification, and the impact of new technologies on sustainability priorities. This episode is part of the sixth installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.

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Iris Barsan joined Baker McKenzie in October 2019 after practicing as a lawyer in a Franco-German law firm. Prior to that, Iris worked for several years in the legal department of the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority and as a financial lawyer in a French banking group (insurance and investment banking). Iris holds a doctorate in French and German law, an LL.M. from the University of Cologne and is a former student of the ENA (Willy Brandt promotion). In addition to her practice as a lawyer, Iris is an assistant professor at the University of Paris XII. She teaches company law (French, European and comparative), European business law, financial regulation and personal data and new technologies law.

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Ken Chia is a member of the Firm’s IP Tech, International Commercial & Trade and Competition Practice Groups. He is regularly ranked as a leading TMT and competition lawyer by top legal directories, including Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Ken is an IAPP Certified International Privacy Professional (FIP, CIPP(A), CIPT, CIPM) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

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Wildu du Plessis is a partner and head of Baker McKenzie's Banking & Finance Practice Group in Johannesburg. He also acts as the office's Africa Head. Wildu is regularly ranked as one of South Africa's leading banking and finance and capital markets lawyers and is recognized by Chambers Global 2016 and the Legal 500 2016.

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Michael Fieweger represents private equity and venture capital funds, institutions, family offices and hedge funds and strategic acquirers in their formation and global acquisition and investment activities. Michael has a background in corporate finance, having previously served as a commercial lending officer with a division of JP Morgan Chase in Chicago. He is the chairman of the Firm's Global Private Equity Practice Group.

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David Hart is a partner in Baker McKeznie's corporate group, based in London. He joined the Firm as a trainee in 2007 and became a partner in 2019. He is a member of the Firm's TMT Industry Group.

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Julian Hui is an Associate in Baker McKenzie's London office.

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Jennifer L. Klass serves as the Co-chair of Baker McKenzie's Financial Regulation and Enforcement Practice in North America. Jen is an experienced investment management lawyer with particular focus on investment adviser regulation and the convergence of investment advisory and brokerage services. She regularly represents clients before the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), both in seeking interpretative guidance and in managing examination and enforcement matters. Jen is a leading practitioner in digital investment advice and the use of FinTech in the asset management industry. Jen provides practical advice that is informed by her experience as Vice President and Associate Counsel at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she represented the asset management and private wealth management businesses.

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Lawrence C. Lee is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Palo Alto office. Lawrence regularly advises clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other complex corporate transactions across a variety of industries, with a particular focus on the technology sector. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Lawrence served as in-house counsel for a San Francisco digital currency exchange where he led all corporate and strategic transactions and investments. From 2015 to 2018, he was selected by California Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Mergers and Acquisitions. In 2020, Lawrence was selected by Law360 as a Top Attorney Under 40 in the Technology sector.

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Ying Yi is a local principal in the Financial Services Practice Group of Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow in Singapore. She focuses on regulatory and compliance issues in the financial services sector.

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Stephanie Magnus co-heads the Asia Pacific Financial Institutions Group and heads up the Financial Services Regulatory Practice Group in Singapore. Stephanie is ranked Band 1 for FinTech in Singapore by Chambers FinTech 2020. She is also ranked as a Leading Individual for Financial Services Regulatory: Local Firms in Singapore by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020. She is recognised as a leading lawyer for Banking & Finance: Regulatory in Singapore by Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global 2020. Stephanie was quoted in Chambers Asia Pacific for her "timely, practical and business-oriented" advice, with a "deep understanding of the regulatory regime." She is also recognised as "very business-savvy and brilliant every time," and is admired for her "very strong grasp of the legal issues from both a technical and practical perspective."

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Karen Man is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Financial Services group, leading the non-contentious Financial Services Regulatory practice. Her clients include global, Chinese and local banks, fund managers, brokers/dealers, money service operators and fintech firms. Karen is admitted to practice in Hong Kong, the UK, and Australia.

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Sue McLean is a partner in the IT/Commercial Practice Group in Baker McKenzie's London office. Sue advises clients on technology, sourcing and digital media business models and deals, as well as the legal issues relating to the implementation of new technologies. Sue has been included in the Women In FinTech Power List for three successive years. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital Banking and is a member of the techUK working group on DLT/blockchain. Sue is an active member of Baker Women and leads Baker Women in Tech, an initiative to encourage the development and promotion of women in the tech sector. In 2017, Sue won the Rising Star Award at the Variety Catherine Awards.

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A. Valerie Mirko is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Financial Regulation and Enforcement Practice Group in North America. Valerie has substantial experience in federal and state securities laws and regulations affecting the financial services industry, with a focus on the investment adviser and brokerage industries. Valerie has a background in both regulatory advice and enforcement counseling. Immediately prior to joining the Firm, Valerie was General Counsel of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). As General Counsel, Valerie advised NASAA’s Board of Directors on developments in the federal securities laws and their impact on state securities regulations. Valerie provided advice on, among other areas, the SEC Regulation Best Interest rule set, fiduciary duty/standards of care, preemption, retail enforcement issues, investment adviser oversight, and data privacy. She also supervised all of NASAA's securities-related legal work and was a resource on multistate enforcement investigations and settlements. Valerie also provided governance support on key NASAA Regtech projects and regulatory coordination initiatives between state and federal regulators. Valerie was a frequent speaker at regulator-only roundtables and training events. Earlier in her career, Valerie advised broker-dealers and investment advisers on regulatory matters and enforcement investigations as an associate at a Washington law firm and held legal and compliance roles at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., and Merrill Lynch (now BofA Securities). Valerie is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at the George Washington University Law School and a subcommittee chair within the DC Bar Corporation, Finance, and Securities Law Community.

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Christopher Murrer is an associate in the FinTech, International Tax and Wealth Management practice groups of Baker McKenzie Zurich. He joined the Firm after practicing for seven years as tax and wealth planning attorney in New York and Washington, DC.

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Martin Tam is knowledgeable in the areas of insurance law and financial services. Chambers Asia Pacific and PLC Which lawyer? recommend him as a leading practitioner in insurance law. Mr. Tam is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong.

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Eva-Maria Ségur-Cabanac joined the Firm’s Vienna office as a partner in 2008. She is a dual-qualified lawyer, admitted to practice in Austria and New York. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Dr. Ségur-Cabanac worked as an associate in the New York, Paris and Frankfurt offices of a well-known US law firm.

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Harry A. Valetk is a partner in the Global Privacy and Security Practice group based in New York, advising global organizations on privacy and data security compliance requirements. He regularly supports companies in financial services, retail, pharmaceutical/ healthcare, travel/hospitality, cloud technology, and manufacturing industries. His practice is focused on delivering commercially practical advice to highly regulated companies on designing security, privacy, and technologically compliant solutions. Harry's practice routinely covers a wide range of issues on global regulatory implementation readiness for privacy laws, including GDPR, CCPA, CPRA, HIPAA, GLBA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). He also works with companies in developing customized comprehensive incident response plans, trainings, table-top exercises, and advising senior management on liability risk mitigation. Harry puts on an insider's perspective when advising his clients building on his in-house experience as Director of MetLife’s Global Privacy Office in New York for almost seven years. In that role, he supported business lines in more than 60 countries to protect the personal data of over 90 million MetLife customers. Additionally, he led numerous strategic efforts to build out a global Privacy Risk Framework, achieve global compliance with applicable privacy and data protection laws, deploy cross-border data transfer solutions, implement global training and awareness initiatives, and manage data and cyber security incidents. Before MetLife, Harry led the video game publishing industry's privacy compliance efforts as the Director of Privacy Online for the Entertainment Software Rating Board and its COPPA Safe Harbor Seal Program. Finally, Harry served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division.

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