Heather Russell has recently been hired by TransUnion as the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. She is expected to commence her role on June 4th. TransUnion is a consumer credit reporting agency that helps a variety of markets and businesses better manage risk and consumers better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Her vast legal and regulatory experience in conjunction with financial technology expertise will potentially add much value to the credit services agency.
Russell has a distinguished career under her belt. She has over two decades of experience in financial services, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, compliance, financial technology, customer service and data security. As Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President her role will involve all legal, financial and security aspects of TransUnion to facilitate growth, mitigate risk, comply with legal regulations and enhance customer service. Her core areas of legal expertise include bank counseling and compliance, private banking, retail banking, financial technology, licensing and chartering, transactions and financial institutions regulation.
Russell joins TransUnion from law firm Buckley Sanders, where she led the Financial Institutions Regulation, Supervision and Technology (FIRST) practice. This FIRST practice helped to merge regulatory hurdles with financial technology to deliver a more integrated solution to legal challenges, empowering companies who were in limbo with regard to complex legal frameworks that prevented further growth. FIRST supported companies struggling to meet regulatory requirements, in lieu of strict measures following the 2008 global crisis. The team provided support on issues pertaining to investment and M&A structure, analysis of regulatory concern, implementation of regulatory resolutions, cross border regulation policy for global review, enterprise wide solutions, new delivery service channels and the charter of foreign banks and financial institutions.
Russell was previously a partner at the Buckley Sanders legal firm. She has significant prior experience as a Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. Prior to joining Buckley Sanders in 2016, she fulfilled both of these roles in the 12th largest US bank – Fifth Third Bancorp. Before this position, Russell was the chief regulatory officer at BNY Mellon. Ms Russell has also spent 5 years working with the Bank of America, has 8 years legal experience with Skadden and currently teaches courses as an adjunct professor on financial technology and banking at the Boston University of law. She played a pivotal role in the acquisition of Merrill Lynch, LaSalle Bank, Country Wide and US Trust by Bank of America.
Russell’s regulatory experience is potentially one of her best assets in her current position with TransUnion. As chief regulatory global counsel at BNY Mellon, she created and spearheaded the Office of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs. In this capacity she worked with regulators in over 100 countries. She writes and speaks frequently on banking regulations and is a thought leader in terms of bringing technology and banking together. Russell graduated cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law. During her time here she served as Senior Article Editor of the Law Review and was accredited with being the law school’s “Most Outstanding Graduate.” Jim Peck, the CEO and President of TransUnion, welcomed Ms. Russell to the company:
“Heather is an accomplished legal executive with more than 20 years of diverse experience across the global financial services sector including leadership roles at Fifth Third Bank, Bank of New York Mellon and Bank of America.
She brings terrific expertise and skills that are highly relevant to TransUnion, including consumer financial services, data privacy and security, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and FinTech.
She will be responsible for all legal, government relations, corporate governance and compliance, and consumer privacy functions of TransUnion and its subsidiaries, reporting to me and serving on TransUnion’s Executive Committee”