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Emma Rodríguez is a new member of First Bank of Highland Park’s Board of Directors

The investment management executive has experience in law firms and currently operates with international assets.

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First Bank of Highland Park (FBHP), one of the five largest private banks in Chicago, recently announced the appointment of Emma Rodríguez-Ayala to its Board of Directors.

Rodríguez-Ayala, who currently serves as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at LGIM America, the North American division of a trillion-dollar international asset manager, has experience at respected law firms and has held a senior leadership position in a division of Mesirow Financial.

“Excited to share that I've joined the board of directors of First Bank of Highland Park / First Bank Chicago, the 5th largest privately-held bank in Chicagoland. With over 65 years in business and as a family-owned enterprise, FBHP is committed to helping first, second and third generations of entrepreneurs perpetuate family businesses for generations to come. Connecting my passions for entrepreneurs and family businesses, I am excited to see from the inside how FBHP helps entrepreneurs (particularly Latinx entrepreneurs) looking to build generational businesses and wealth! Thank you to Wendy Baum, CPA, JD, CDFA, Jill Hirsh, Randy Green and Eric Ephraim for trusting me with this responsibility,” posted Rodríguez-Ayala on her LinkedIn profile.

Rodriguez-Ayala's Career

Offering a business-focused approach to handling legal, compliance, and risk management matters, with experience in institutional investment strategies, ESG, and corporate board servicing/governance, the investment management executive is currently the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary to the Board of LGIM America, where she oversees legal functions.

Emma Rodríguez-Ayala, Board Member at First Bank of Highland. Photo: First Bank of Highland.
Emma Rodríguez-Ayala, Board Member at First Bank of Highland. Photo: First Bank of Highland.

Rodríguez-Ayala is also a member of the Executive Committee, chairs the Risk Oversight Committee, and serves on US DEI Steer Co and Global DEI Council of Legal & General Group (its public parent company).

Previously, Rodríguez-Ayala was a partner in the investment management practice of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reathe. She has also served as a trusted advisor to asset managers and investors, with a particular focus on the ESG and impact investing space. Prior to Faegre, she was the General Counsel and Senior Managing Director of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, an investment advisor offering multi-manager hedge fund portfolios to institutional investors worldwide. She was a member of Mesirow's executive and operating committees, where she served on the boards of more than a dozen Mesirow investment funds for institutional investors.

The executive, a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA), is also active in her community serving as a trustee for WTTW (Chicago PBS) and WFMT (Chicago classical music station). She is also a co-founder and board member of Angeles Investors (the first LatinX angel investment group).

“I regularly speak at industry events on issues impacting corporate America and the investments industry, with particular focus on diversity, board service, ESG, and regulatory matters. I also actively engage in regulatory advocacy for the investment management industry, including presenting to the CFTC staff on risk management practices by commodity pool operators and working with other market participants to advocate with a variety of regulators, including on ESG, Stewardship, and sustainability regulations and practices,” highlights Rodríguez-Ayala

She was recognized with the Business Leader of Color award by Chicago United, and was honored as a DEI Leader by the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association.

In 2020, Rodríguez-Ayala served as co-chair of the Biden Campaign Volunteer Economic Policy Committee's ESG and Green Economy subcommittee, helping develop proposals and actions for the campaign (for use in the administration) on ESG and green economy issues.

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