Principal Financial Group (’40 Act)

National search, complete relocation package offered.  Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa, seeks a veteran ’40 Act attorney.  Details:

Attorney with a minimum of ten years of experience serving a mutual fund complex and having significant expertise relating to the Investment Company Act, the Investment Advisers Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, FINRA rules, broker-dealers, transfer agents and related regulatory filings (including registration statements, proxy statements, periodic reports, exemptive applications and no-action letters); working with and communicating clearly, promptly and authoritatively with the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, CFTC and state insurance reviewers and examiners as well as mutual fund and variable contract accountants, compliance administrators, portfolio managers, operations staff, distribution staff, shareholder servicing staff and other members of fund management; advising the board of directors of mutual funds and ETFs; leading a team of lawyers that serves as the legal resource for a mutual fund complex.

Nominations sought for IC: women poised to become GC

Inside Counsel has asked for our recommendations again on this year’s “R3-100″ list, a compilation of senior level women in-house counsel who are poised to become a General Counsel within the next three years.  It’s a really nice recognition.  If you wish to recommend a colleague, or put yourself up for consideration, please give us a call or email  Here is the link to last year’s list:  R3-100 for 2013

The Dating Game: 4 Tips for law department hiring

iStock_000005195854SmallSince I consider our readers part of the family, I’m going to write this month’s column as if we are all sitting around the dining room table together. Enjoy.

Over a year into post-divorce dating, I have enough material for a stand-up comedy routine. But I’ll stick with my clean stuff here. Here are four best practices tips for hiring the right candidate into your law department, inspired by my adventures in courtship.

1. Stay closed minded on the important stuff. I really enjoy Chicago.  My social life is here.  Most of my charitable work is done here, and although our traditional recruiting practice is national, our firm’s growing insourcing business is Chicago focused.  So, should I date someone who does not like it here, or someone who is non-local with very little interest in moving here?  It’s a formula for frustration and even heartache.  More 

Same feedback, different response: receiving feedback “well” is a learned skill

feedback 2In the business context, giving and receiving feedback is all around us. We’ve participated in feedback sessions, either formal or informal, day-in and day-out since the first day we launched our careers. But being well-versed in the idea of feedback as a form of communication doesn’t mean we all give it or receive it in the same way—or that we’re particularly good at it.

In the legal profession, a better understanding of giving and receiving feedback is critical to your own success, that of your colleagues, your departments, and the professional growth of people you train and manage.

Enter Douglas Stone. He and his co-author, Sheila Heen, recently published “Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well,” which explores highly useful insights to givers and receivers of feedback—that is, everyone. More 

An unconventional path: Anne Fitzgerald’s journey to the top legal spot at Cineplex

Anne Fitzgerald_2013.high resNative North Carolinian Anne Fitzgerald didn’t grow up wanting to be a lawyer. She envisioned herself, rather, donning a pair of sea legs and living the adventurous life of a scuba diver.

After she finished her undergraduate studies at Duke University, Fitzgerald took a year off, working in Australia with Operation Raleigh, a London-based organization that offered its participants the opportunity to circumnavigate the world doing community service. During this time, Fitzgerald conducted research on the mallee fowl, but she also found herself living her dream: working with the Victorian Archeological Society, scuba diving off the coast of Southern Australia mud-mapping shipwrecks.

“I was a big scuba diver and thought I could do that as part of my career, but after a year in a cold wetsuite, the reality of living that life wasn’t appealing as a 30-year plan,” Fitzgerald says. More 

Diversity in the legal profession is not a given … yet

DiversityAt InsideCounsel’s SuperConference two weeks ago, I had the privilege of moderating a best practices panel on the topic of diversity.

The panelists were terrific, especially since I threw out a curve ball we did not prepare for in advance. During a lunch earlier at the conference, I was struck by the comment of a white male attendee. I was in recruitment mode, encouraging folks to attend our session versus other concurrent session options. This is a good guy, and he gave me the gift of candor by saying that “diversity is a given” where he works, so he’s not sure there’s much left to be said on the topic. More 

Press coverage of our Diversity panel

I was privileged to moderate “Beyond Diversity:  Creating Corporate Culture” at the 2014 Inside Counsel “Superconference.”  My thanks to Maria Green of Illinois Tool Works, David Rawlinson of Grainger, and Martin Montes of Exelon for their panel participation.  I’ll be writing more about our panel later this month in my “Culture Fit” column for our monthly newsletter.  Mike

For IC’s recap of our panel, please click here.

Principal Financial Group: two positions

Repeat business is the most satisfying kind, so I wish to start by thanking the leadership team at Principal Financial Group for coming back to our firm.  We proudly placed two attorneys with PFG a few years back, and they are both loving their careers there.  Here is the deal:  Des Moines, Iowa.  If you are from Iowa or are open to moving to Iowa for a wonderful opportunity, then please continue reading.  Full relo package included, of course.

Principal Financial Group is a financial services leader that is always mentioned in best places to work features.  This law department offers the increasingly rare combination of:  high caliber interesting legal work, plus great work/life balance, plus compensation that will allow you to live like a king or queen in Des Moines.

Two positions, both subject matter specific:  1.  ’40 Act securities expert.  2.  ERISA expert. More 

Curt Kramer finds a surprisingly satisfying career as a senior legal executive

D7C_3855Even as a child, Curt Kramer knew he would go to law school, but never really bought into the idea of actually practicing law. His father—a successful lawyer with his own, small private practice in Boston—impressed upon his son that the profession was a noble one and instilled in Kramer an appreciation for the legal system.

“It can take your kids away from you, it can put you in jail, it can tell you how much in taxes to pay,” Kramer recalls thinking about the law. “So I figured, if there’s any schmuck I’m going to listen to out there, it’s going to be me.”

Despite the fact that Kramer was reluctant to commit himself to a career in law, he graduated from Quinnipiac School of Law in Connecticut in 1995. And after receiving an LLM from Georgetown University, he did what he thought he wouldn’t do—he joined a Washington, D.C., law firm. More 

6 Steps potential job-changers must take before making the leap

ChoicesThe grass is always greener. Sometimes.

We’ve all been faced with the exciting-yet-intimidating opportunity of a new job. But making that move can feel like trading a known evil for an unknown one. It’s always difficult to leave a comfortable position, even when that position is unfulfilling. So job candidates—particularly attorneys—will to do their homework. As they should.

But you can’t nail everything down. Understand there is always an element of risk to making a job change.

The following tips will help alleviate nerves and maximize the likelihood of making the right decision. More