In March 2020, Opportunity Fund, the countrys leading nonprofit small business lender, and the Accion U.S. Network, the U.S. affiliate of global nonprofit Accion that has led a nationwide network of community lenders since 2011, combined efforts to form Accion Opportunity Fund/Opportunity Fund.

The nations 30 million small business owners often lack access to affordable credit from responsible lenders offering attractive loans and services. Industry estimates suggest that there is an $87 billion annual market gap in loans less than $100,000 for Main Street entrepreneurs. Addressing this gap can ensure that small business owners can sustain their enterprises; drive job creation; and stimulate regional economies through increased wages, spending and tax revenue.

Leveraging the strengths of both organizations, Accion Opportunity Fund will spearhead the development of a national microlending strategy to meet the credit needs of small businesses  developing new products, establishing new partnerships, promoting research and financial education, and leveraging digital technologies and data analytics to support mission-driven lending.

Opportunity Fund remains as an independent Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on expanding its lending and advisory services in California and other markets in the US.

Collaboration and partnership are key ingredients to better serving our customers. Opportunity Fund and Accion share a common vision for an inclusive, healthy financial system that supports the nations small business owners. By coming together, we can accomplish what may have seemed impossible to some. This is the first national effort that can transform the small business lending and advising sectors and, with it, the lives of families running small businesses across the country. We are thrilled that building the future of American small business credit and advising services brings our two organizations together.

– Luz Urrutia, CEO of Opportunity Fund and the newly-formed Accion Opportunity Fund.

Small businesses are the driving force behind Americas economy and around the world, but too often lack the capital and support they need to grow and succeed. For decades, Accion has worked alongside entrepreneurs, business leaders, lenders, and policymakers in the United States to address this need. We are confident that combining our operations in the U.S. with Opportunity Fund is the right next step to scale these efforts and help more American entrepreneurs build a better future.

– Michael Schlein. President and CEO of Accion.

The Role

The Chief Legal Officer (CLO)?is the head of the corporate legal department and is responsible for the legal affairs of the entire organization. The position reports to the CEO, and provides support to the board of directors and other senior management. The CLO must possess strong initiative, as well as excellent management and leadership skills and strong business acumen.

Duties to include:

Developing and leading the corporate legal strategy to promote and protect the organizations business.

Working across the business to provide deep legal expertise structuring financial transactions especially in the areas of financial services or capital markets, credit rating or regulatory compliance.

Supporting the negotiation, drafting, and review of contracts.

Developing and leading internal audit and corporate compliance programs.

Overseeing the delivery of legal services and resources to accomplish organizational goals, strategies, and priorities.

Maintaining proper organizational interactions with the relevant local, state, and federal governmental bodies, legislatures, and the community at large.

Advising the CEO and other senior leaders on a variety of issues.

Participating in the formulation of general management policy as a member of the executive management team.

Developing and implementing legal training for employees.

Coordinating and managing outside counsel.

Providing support for company-wide legal initiatives.

Managing members of the legal department.

Keeping abreast of legal developments, particularly those affecting the financial services, lending, and the CDFI industry.

Key Competencies and Abilities

Strong business judgement, influence, leadership, and integrity are essential for this role.

Possess a high level of moral and ethical principles that will promote the value of a compliance culture throughout the organization.

Breadth of experience and proficiency in drafting and negotiating complex corporate transactions.

Proven ability to effectively select, oversee and manage outside counsel for cost efficient litigation and dispute resolution to achieve identified business objectives and results.

Excellent ability to anticipate and mitigate risk.

Demonstrated ability to strike sensible and practical balance between legal risks and the need to do business.

Given the amount and variety of regulatory and corporate activity, the evolving culture as a result of continuous growth, and the lean staffing at AOF/OF, the CLO will need to be very hands-on and responsive to a broad range of legal and non-legal activities that the organization requires.

Ability to effectively manage and develop staff.

Strong analytical, organizational, and communication skills.

Ability to synthesize information, exercise sound judgement, make decisions, and render advice in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines and competing priorities.

Ability to work independently, multi-task and prioritize workflow based on the companys priorities and strategic goals.

Ability to function as team player, collaborating with colleagues, clients, and business leaders to further the companys strategic objectives.

Ability to interact diplomatically and persuasively with employees at all levels.


Education and Experience

10 plus years of major law firm and/or in-house practice experience is required.

J.D. from an accredited US law school. A combination of education and experience may be considered

Legal experience in the areas of corporate law as well as commercial lending is a plus.

Deep legal expertise structuring financial transactions preferably with financial services, credit rating or capital markets experience.

Regulatory compliance and Privacy law experience preferred.

An active member in good standing of at least one state bar and willingness to register as in-house counsel in California if required.

Must be willing to travel up to 25%.

Perks & Benefits

Our mission is what motivates us to come to work each day. We know that happy employee are productive employees, which is why we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

Competitive salary commensurate with experience.

An environment that values work-life balance.

100% company funded Medical, Dental, Vision, Life & Disability coverage for employees. Family coverage is also available.

Flexible spending accounts.

Tax deferred & Roth 403(b) retirement plan with employer contribution.

Paid vacation (increase with tenure), holiday, sick and family leave days.

Diverse candidates are encouraged to apply. AOF / OF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. www.opportunityfund.org

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