Reflections on cross border integration of organizations in a highly regulated environment and in particular legal department's role
Magnus Billing, General Counsel, OMX Group, Sweden
When European exchanges merge cross borders, the role of in-house lawyers is important, not only during the actual merger, but also post merger in relation to the integration and harmonization of operations. The integration and harmonization processes are long-term projects. The in-house lawyers within OMX have vast experience from integrating marketplaces cross borders. OMX has today integrated seven marketplaces in seven different countries across the Nordic and the Baltic states. During the integration and harmonization projects, the in-house lawyers face challenging tasks as they have to be able to deal with different traditions, cultures and legal environments in different countries. Even when the local law is based on the same directives in different countries, the member states have not implemented the directives in the same way and the market practice can differ. In addition it is necessary to secure that the different regulators coordinate their actions towards the merged exchanges. Although it is possible to reconcile different aspects within the law and harmonize internal rules, it can be difficult to efficiently manage the cultural differences. In these situations it is beneficial to adopt the best practice from each country.
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