OCC promotes Megan Cohen to General Counsel as Janet Angstadt retires

Rick Steves

“We are very pleased for Megan to take on this role, and we offer our sincere thanks to Janet for her wise counsel and steady hand leading our legal team.”

OCC has promoted Megan Cohen to General Counsel and Corporate Secretary effective March 1, the equity derivatives clearing organization announced as Chief Legal Officer Janet Angstadt retires in early July.

Megan Cohen will work closely with Janet Angstadt to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities. Prior to OCC, she was an attorney at Cboe Global Markets where she focused on regulatory matters.

Megan Cohen joined OCC in 2014 and has served in several roles of increasing responsibility within the organization, including Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary leading OCC’s corporate governance functions, advising OCC’s Board and management on regulatory issues and overseeing the regulatory rule filing process with the SEC, CFTC, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.

“Another great example of OCC’s ability to attract and retain top talent”

John Davidson, Chief Executive Officer at OCC, said: “Megan is a very talented attorney with a wealth of industry and institutional knowledge and is an integral part of our leadership team. We are very pleased for Megan to take on this role, and we offer our sincere thanks to Janet for her wise counsel and steady hand leading our legal team.”

Andrej Bolkovic, Chief Executive Officer-Elect at OCC, commented: “Megan’s promotion is yet another great example of OCC’s ability to attract and retain top talent. Her contributions to OCC over her tenure, and especially as Deputy General Counsel, have been extraordinarily valuable to our organization. We are excited that she has agreed to serve as our next General Counsel.

Janet Angstadt retires after “completing certain regulatory matters” for OCC

Janet Angstadt joined and led OCC’s legal, corporate governance, and regulatory functions since 2019, having also become responsible for OCC’s audit and compliance functions, which report directly to the Board of Directors. Her past career includes serving as a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, Co-Head of the Chicago Financial Services Practice, Deputy General Counsel at Archipelago Holdings, General Counsel of NYSE Arca, SVP at EVEREN Securities, and an associate at Schiff Hardin & Waite.

Craig Donohue, OCC Executive Chairman, said, “On behalf of our Board, I want to congratulate Megan on this well-deserved achievement. This remains an exciting time for OCC and our industry, and we look forward to Megan’s continued leadership and collaboration across the organization as we work to ensure confidence in the financial markets.”

Donohue added, “In addition, I thank Janet for her many contributions to OCC throughout her tenure, as her legal expertise has helped to ensure OCC’s continued success throughout a period of tremendous organizational and industry transformation. We wish her well in her retirement.”

Angstadt added, “Last October when I informed OCC of my intention to retire, my priorities were to ensure a seamless transition and to complete certain regulatory matters for the company. I’ll miss OCC but I’m excited about this new chapter of my life.”

SEC fined OCC $17 million for “troubling” clearing rules violations

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined OCC $17 million as part of a settlement after failing to comply with its SEC-approved Stress Testing and Clearing Fund Methodology rule during certain times between October 2019 and May 2021.

Chicago-based OCC’s failure to implement and comply with its own rule was the result of its failure to properly establish, implement, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to manage certain operational risks, the Securities and Exchange Commission stated.

According to the SEC, the OCC failed to modify its Comprehensive Stress Testing System and did not provide timely notification to the SEC of this failure as required by Regulation SCI.

The SEC’s order also found that OCC failed to comply with its margin methodology, margin policy, and stress testing and clearing fund methodology relating to specific wrong-way risk and holiday margin.

Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said that “the fact that they violated the very rules designed to ensure the stability and efficiency of those markets is, in a word, troubling.”

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