Legal Business Blogs

Time for a change: well-regarded BAML European legal chief departs for EY

The long-serving EMEA general counsel (GC) at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) has stepped down after 14 years to join Big Four accounting firm EY.

Sajid Hussein, a GC Powerlist regular, will join EY as a partner and GC for Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa (EMEIA) from 1 July.

Hussein told Legal Business it was ‘time for a change’ after nearly 20 years in the banking industry. After working as an associate at Allen & Overy, he spent four years as a director at Deutsche Bank before moving to BAML as associate GC in 2005, retaining his position after the bank’s $50bn acquisition of Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis.

Hussein replaces EY EMEIA GC Herve Labaude, who is retiring after 25 years at the firm.

Ike Osaki, who is GC Latin America and head of global rates & currencies, regulatory reform and the agreements & documentation group legal at BAML, replaces Hussein and will relocate from New York to London.

A BAML spokesperson said Hussein had played a critical role in preparing the bank for Brexit. From London, Hussein oversaw a 150-strong legal team supporting the firm’s global corporate and investment banking division and global markets.

Several major transactions the legal team at the bank supported in recent years include Comcast’s $39bn acquisition of Sky; Unilever’s €3.3bn acquisition of GSK’s consumer nutrition business; and RWE’s sale of innogy to E.ON for approximately $74bn.

Hussein is also widely-regarded for his work on diversity and inclusion initiatives, supporting Aspiring Solicitors, as well as annually assessing partner law firms on their BAME and gender statistics.