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William M. Aukamp

William M. Aukamp has more than 40 years of experience dealing with banking laws and regulations and working closely with bank compliance officers. He has been a partner in a law firm that served as outside General Counsel to a 30 branch commercial bank, providing general legal advice and representing the bank in court. Later, he was hired to head the Legal Department at Security National Bank, a 100 branch commercial bank. Upon its acquisition by Chemical Bank (now JPMorganChase), he joined Chemical Bank’s Legal Department heading at various times the Department’s Consumer Credit, General Corporate, Bank Holding Company, and Defendant Litigation Groups. In the latter capacity he litigated cases and also acted as a liaison with outside counsel, providing periodic reports to the bank’s board of directors on the status of major litigation and an assessment of potential liability. He later was appointed Secretary and General Counsel, and then President and Chief Executive Officer of Chemical Bank Delaware.

During his career in banking, he served as President of a State Bankers Association and a member of the American Bankers Association’s Government Relations Council. Over the years he has authored numerous articles on banking legal and regulatory topics that have appeared in such publications as US Banker, American Banker, and Bank Director Magazine and has appeared on numerous panels discussing banking legal and regulatory issues. Since his return to the private practice of law in the 1990s he has served as a Partner and, more recently, as Of Counsel to a law firm where he focuses his practice on banking and corporate law. His extraordinarily broad experience in banking and the practice of law, a rare commodity in today’s age of specialization, uniquely qualifies him to vet potential candidates for legal and compliance positions, and to ensure that they have the requisite knowledge and experience necessary to meet your bank’s particular needs.

A good Chief Compliance Officer must have peripheral vision when looking at compliance, meaning an ability to visualize the entire compliance field and not just its individual components.  Keeping abreast of recent developments is essential, but it is also important to recognize that sometimes finding an answer to a compliance issue can involve more art than science.  Often a particular subject is addressed in multiple statutes and regulations – real estate appraisal requirements provide a good example.  Also, sometimes requirements appear in the most unlikely places.  For example, two important requirements are embedded in the Bank Holding Company Act.  They apply to all banks, even independent banks that are not part of a holding company system.  A good Chief Compliance Officer is aware of these idiosyncrasies.  The Wellington Financial Services team has the broad-based experience in banking laws and regulations necessary to test the competency of potential candidates for Chief Compliance Officer positions.

Mr. Aukamp is a member of the bar in New York and Delaware and has been admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the District of Delaware and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals (Second Circuit) and the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is currently Of Counsel to the firm of Werb & Sullivan, where he monitors banking legal and regulatory developments on a daily basis. Mr. Aukamp is a graduate of Lafayette College and Cornell University Law School.

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