Heather Russell is bringing her 20 years of diversified expertise into the leadership of TransUnion, by taking on the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. Russell has taken on roles in the sectors of consumer financial services, data privacy and security, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and FinTech. In her new role, starting June 4, she will be responsible for legal, government relations, corporate governance and compliance, and consumer privacy functions. Russell will report to the TransUnion President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Peck, and also serve on TransUnion’s Executive Committee.
“Heather brings terrific expertise and skills that are highly relevant to TransUnion,” said Peck. “I’m confident Heather will be a strong addition to TransUnion’s leadership team as we continue to execute on our growth strategy and provide innovative information solutions to benefit consumers, customers and global economies.”
In her previous firm, Buckley Sandler, LLP, Russell was leader at the firm’s division of financial institutions regulation, supervision and fintech practices.
“TransUnion is on the forefront of information solutions, providing an important service that helps businesses make more informed decisions and consumers gain access to products and services,” said Russell. “I’m excited to bring my financial services experience to TransUnion and look forward to working with the team.”
In her previous line of work, Russell has helped financial service firms navigate the newly placed limitations following the 2008 financial crisis. Her team helped banks, financial services institutions, and fintech companies deliver an enterprise-level “whole institution” perspective to their regulators – from risk and data management to capital planning, governance, and other prudential issues. This complete package of information could expedite the lifting of limitations and put firms on track to executing their planned growth strategies.
Russell will take over from John Blenke, who announced his retirement plans last year. Blenke has been with TransUnion for the past 15 years, and will assist with the smooth transition to the new legal leader.
Russell’s employment history includes leadership positions at various firms in financial services and regulatory expertise. She has also served as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary at Fifth Third Bank; Managing Director and Head of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs at Bank of New York Mellon; and Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Bank of America.
Prior to that, Russell worked at Skadden, Arps in Washington, DC and London, focusing on financial services, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.
Her legal education is from the American University’s Washington College of Law and also includes a BA from the College of William & Mary.
Russell has participated in numerous industry associations, including the National Women’s Law Center and the ABA Banking Law Committee. She is a member of the New York and Washington DC bars.
TransUnion’s aim is to help people around the world access the opportunities that lead to a higher quality of life, by helping organizations optimize their risk-based decisions and enabling consumers to understand and manage their personal information.
TransUnion has a presence in more than 30 countries, while being the leading information and fintech advice provider in several international markets in North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. The services of TransUnion span several areas where financing decisions can be made, including insurance, capital markets, property management, retail and e-commerce, as well as communication with financial institutions, mortgage markets, collections, and auto lending.
View the full press release about Heather Russell: https://newsroom.transunion.com/heather-russell-joins-transunion-as-chief-legal-officer/