Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc. (the “Company” or “HNRG”), an investment manager specializing in global timberland and agricultural investments in [six (6)] countries and an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation (“MFC”), seeks a General Counsel with 10 to 15 years of large law firm or other relevant work experience. In this position, the General Counsel will serve as lead counsel to HNRG and its senior management, will head the in house legal team at HNRG and will act as part of and the legal liaison to the Investment Law division of MFC. The successful candidate will have substantive legal knowledge and skills in investment advisory, securities, fund formation and product development, client relations, timber and agricultural acquisitions, dispositions and operations, environmental, mergers and acquisitions, corporate, employment, litigation and other legal matters.
In this position, the ideal candidate must bring sound judgment and offer practical, business- oriented advice and guidance to senior management and colleagues in complex business situations. The CEO of HNRG looks to the General Counsel as a senior advisor and member of the management team to provide strategic and tactical advice on a variety of matters.
The General Counsel is also a part of the larger Investment Law team of MFC and will have reporting responsibilities to a senior member of the Investment Law team of MFC. The general counsel is a liaison between HNRG and MFC, helping to (a) explain, facilitate and provide for the needs of HNRG with MFC; (b) understand, communicate and implement the needs and requirements of MFC as they affect HNRG; and (c) harmonize practices and processes between MFC and HNRG as much as possible.
HNRG’s General Counsel leads a small team of lawyers and legal professionals, works with the Investment Compliance division of MFC to oversee the Chief Compliance Officer of the Company and oversees the choice and performance of outside counsel servicing the needs of the Company.
The following delineates more specifically some of the responsibilities and tasks of HNRG’s General Counsel:
- Provide senior management with effective advice on company strategies and their implementation and manage the general legal affairs of the company and its investment vehicles
- Provide legal and management guidance on global operations across multiple countries addressing complexity in operations, regulation and compliance
- Evaluate franchise level risk to MFC and HNRG and its clients
- Manage legal/compliance group of professionals, ensuring that each performs at a high level, develops to his/her full potential, is engaged with assisting colleagues across the global operations of the company and is remunerated consistent with responsibilities, performance and company performance
- Ensure adequate upward reporting of issues
- Collaborate with John Hancock/MFC professionals across initiatives and work at HNRG. Leverage and assist John Hancock/MFC professionals in their role, answer questions, provide guidance, develop mutual strategies for performance, management of risk and business initiatives
- Policy level guidance with respect to HNRG’s fiduciary obligations, including conflicts of interest and ERISA regulations and guidance. Co-chair HNRG’s Conflicts Committee
- Policy level guidance in the development, structuring, sale and distribution, compliance monitoring and client matters in connection with HNRG’s investment offerings
- Development of legal agreement record keeping and policies
- Management of particular HNRG programs such as deployment of HNRG’s co- investment objectives and platform and development of a HNRG executive investment program
- Formulate and educate on policies, develop and update legal forms for investment vehicles and operations for consistency with HNRG policy, potential precedent effect and overall effectiveness
- Supervise outside counsel in connection with complex litigation, acquisitions and dispositions, client matters and preparation and review of complex documents. Manage provision of expert, cost effective and responsive legal services in US, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Canada and other countries in which HNRG has or approaches clients or invests in timberlands or agriculture. Monitor and oversee outside legal expense and alternative fee arrangements, negotiate professional service rates and protocols.
- Assist Chief Compliance Officer in monitoring, review, and management of ongoing compliance and risk management matters and development of compliance related policies. Assist as needed with development of compliance training
- Assist HR in drafting of employment agreements and with other issues as needed.
- If requested, act as HNRG officer and general counsel of subsidiaries and investment vehicles discharging accompanying responsibilities with care anddiligence
- Working with business development and client account management, assist with investor agreements, investor inquiries and other client issues asneeded
- Provide legal advice and representation on:
- Acquiring and disposing of portfolio investments for clients
- Property management of and operational issues in timberland and agricultural properties
- Keep HNRG abreast of compliance and regulatory requirements
- Provide general corporate advice and guidance on governance issues for HNRG and its subsidiaries, manage each consistent with MFC guidelines and objectives
- Have knowledge of diverse areas of law affecting HNRG and its clients, including ERISA, tax and environmental law.
- Sensitivity and understanding of how investment management business operates
- High degree of professional ethics and integrity
- Background in timberland and agriculture, securities and real estate preferred
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Ability to anticipate legal issues or risks
- J.D. degree required with current bar membership
Hancock Natural Resource Group is committed to being an equal opportunity employer. The Company is committed to employ, train, promote and compensate individuals based on job-related qualifications and ability without regard to race, color, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, veteran or marital status.