The Legal Department at the WFG Corporate Headquarters in Johns Creek, Ga., hosted an informational seminar for employees on July 21. Simply entitled “Meet the Legal Department”, the presentation was a chance to be introduced to the legal team and learn about what they do on a day-to-day basis.
Dina Vereno, the General Counsel for World Group Securities and IAI, opened the meeting. “The Legal Department here in Johns Creek, GA, accepted AEGON’s challenge of four must win battles, including empowering employees, which is why we want to present the Legal Department to employees to explain what we do.”
After the introduction, other members of the department introduced themselves and told attendees a bit about what they do:
Leesa Easly, World Financial Group’s General Counsel and a member of the company’s senior management team, oversees department. In addition, she is the WFG liaison to AEGON Corporate & Legal.
Bob Brunton, the Divisional Chief Litigation Counsel for Transamerica Life & Protection (TLP), coordinates claims, mediations, arbitration and litigation.
Tim Smith, the Senior Counsel for TLP, performs services related to contracts, privacy issues, employment, trademarks, copyright, securities, insurance and internet law. Tim also assists with any Canadian law issues.
Dina Vereno serves as the Chief Legal Officer for WGS and IAI for issues relating to compliance, securities registration and sales practices. She also has been admitted to appear in front of the United States Supreme Court, which means she can before argue cases before the high court, although she hasn’t yet had the opportunity.
Saundra Archuleta, Manager of Legal Administration, handles subpoenas, and issues that arise among WFG associates such as verification, claims and bankruptcy notices. In fact, she has been described as “the brains of the outfit” by Bob.
Shamika Spence is the Legal Assistant for the team. She processes Errors & Omissions (E&O) certificates and other associate-related concerns. Shamika is starting law school later this year.
The “get-to-know-us” event also was open to a Question & Answer period for those in attendance. During this time, the Legal Department revealed that their office area only allows access to certain employees — mostly the legal team — because there are many sensitive records inside the Legal Department that must be kept under lock and key. And Leesa made sure to assure everyone that “it’s not that we don’t like you all.”
WFG Review asked the employees who attended the presentation what they thought. All who responded found the presentation to be very informative. Some, including Eva Holloman of Commissions, liked that she could put faces to names. She also noted, “A lot of the things they do I had no idea they did. It’s great to know who does what at the WFG Corporate Headquarters.”
John Cough, also in Commissions, had similar thoughts. “It was very informative and helpful. I think at some point, this is something that every company should do over the course of time. There are so many of us who may work together, but have no idea what other departments do.”
Melissa Roney of Human Resources agreed. “I really thought it was very interesting. I was very pleased to see that the legal department do something like this and I hope each of the departments will do so.” Lorenzo Wallace, Agency Relations/Compliance found the experience to be eye opening. “I was glad to have the opportunity to hear what our legal department does and who they have identified as their client,” he said.
And what did the Legal Department take away from the experience? Dina told WFG Review “I learned that many of the employees in the home office actually did not know who everyone was in the legal department. It was good to have us all together so everyone could meet the team and to hear from the home office employees about what we do.”
Leesa noted, “I was very pleased with the number of people who came to learn about us and our department. The feedback I have received from those who attended has been very favorable. Although we may not be the best speakers in WFG, I thought that my department did very well in expressing themselves, their background and what they do. I hope that everyone was able to take something away from the presentation that was helpful.”
To learn more about World Financial Group, please visit www.worldfinancialgroup.com