Omara Méndez is a member of the Firm. She has extensive experience representing international financial entities, banking entities, securities broker-dealer firms, investment advisers, investment funds, real estate developers, and real estate managers, advising on a range of sophisticated transactions, and also counsels start-ups and early-stage enterprises in their growing strategies.
Omara has more than 21 years bringing people and companies together in transactional practice. Areas of practice include corporate law, real estate, and financing (from both the lender’s and borrower’s side), with particular focus on banking and securities laws, and financial services regulatory and compliance matters. She also regularly assists clients in an exceptionally wide range of service provider agreements, including advisory agreements, placement agents, asset custody services, agreements for the digital offering of financial services, website and mobile app development, application programming interface (API), software as a service, and other information technology contracts.
Having previously served as In-house Counsel for Santander Bancorp, a public bank holding company in Puerto Rico offering commercial banking and lending, securities, asset management, insurance and other financial products, she has been exposed to diverse financial clients, products, services, and sales practices, including in the realm of mutual funds and Regulation S offerings.
She then rose to the Chief Compliance Officer role for Santander Asset Management, LLC, the company’s SEC-registered investment adviser, where she was key in rolling out a revised SEC-registered investment adviser compliance program and framework in Puerto Rico, and collaborated with review and implementation of enterprise-wide policies at the global level. She also previously counseled numerous successful land developers in Puerto Rico, from property acquisition, due diligence, financing, construction, and all through closings for the sale of the projects, including notarial work such as creation and/or cancellation of land easements and rights of way, horizontal property regime deeds, long-term commercial leases, among others. Thus, Omara offers well-rounded experience supporting the business plans of financial services and real estate clients in each stage of planning, organization and execution, while also helping business clients navigate U.S. and local regulations.
Omara is highly responsive to clients, but more important, is motivated by the desire to help clients succeed, while protecting also their brand and reputation by advising in the implementation of tailored policies and procedures to manage their legal, regulatory and compliance risks. She also enjoys finding ways to mentor young entrepreneurs and volunteering with various nonprofit service organizations.
- Registration for investment advisers under the U.S. Investment Advisers Act and under the Puerto Rico Uniform Securities Act, or exemptions from registration and other legal requirements, including solicitation arrangements, performance allocation arrangements, and Private Fund Adviser Exemption (Exempt Reporting Adviser).
- Development of compliance program for investment advisers as required by SEC regulation, and for banking entities, including design and/or review of Anti-Money Laundering and OFAC Sanctions Monitoring Compliance Programs.
- Emerging regulatory issues related to fintech and regtech, including in the cryptocurrency space.
- Negotiation, due diligence and acquisition of a multinational insurance company.
- In the real estate area, assisted developer in the structuring, financing, due diligence and acquisition of apartment buildings with complex issues involving bankruptcy proceedings, extensive estate and succession matters, and federal and state government tax liens.
- Marquette University Law School, J.D.
- During law school, Omara interned for the Honorable John L. Coffey, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
- University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, P.R. (B.A.), spending one year as an exchange student in the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a summer in the Oxford Study Centre in England.
- Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional® (designation provided by NRS, co-sponsored by the Investment Advisers Association).
- University of Miami – School of Business Administration (Executive Education – Directors Development Program Certification).
- Previously licensed as a General Securities Registered Representative (FINRA Series 7).
- Bloomberg Market Concepts Certificate.
- Puerto Rico State Bar.
- United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.
- United States Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit.
- Notary Public.