National Association of State Retirement Administrators


Position Information

General Counsel
 
TITLE: General Counsel
REPORTS TO: Executive Director
CLASS: Exempt
APPLICATION PERIOD: January 5, 2021-February 12, 2021
 
GENERAL PURPOSE:
The General Counsel of the Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund (FWERF) has overall responsibility for the provision of legal services to the $2.5 billion defined benefit fund, its Board of Trustees (the “Board”), the Executive Director, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO), and staff, to include advice and legal guidance to ensure FWERF remains compliant with federal, state, and city laws on pension investing, retirement benefits, and legislative or regulatory issues.  The General Counsel is the sole in-house legal expert and receives assignments from the Board, the Executive Director, and the CIO.  FWERF is a separate legal entity from the City of Fort Worth.
 
As an experienced attorney, the General Counsel independently performs legal research, reviews and drafts contracts and agreements related to investment and operational transactions, prepares formal and informal opinions, drafts internal policies, provides governance direction, and represents FWERF in administrative hearings and related litigation.
 
ESSENTIAL AND OTHER DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:
  1. General Legal Expert:  Provides competent legal advice to the Board and staff.  Prepares, reviews, and negotiates contracts and agreements, including investment management and banking services.  Functions as in-house expert on federal and state pension laws and regulations, city pension ordinance, trusts, fiduciary duty, and employment-related matters.  Ensures compliance with the Open Meetings and Public Information Acts.
  2. Outside Counsel:  Assures appropriate, effective, and timely handling of all legal matters referred to outside legal counsel through proper assignment and direct supervision.
  3. Policy and Rule Development:  Assures effective administrative functioning through the research of relevant law and the development, review, and update of administrative rules, Board governance, and operational policy documents to be recommended to the Board for approval and adoption.
  4. Legislative Proposals:  Reviews and/or proposes legislative initiatives, provides legal support as needed in connection with communications with constituent groups regarding legislative changes, and researches and prepares supporting documentation, as necessary.
  5. Liaison:  Acts as the Retirement Fund’s liaison with its legislative specialist, the Texas Pension Review Board, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, legislative staff for the Texas General Assembly, and the City Attorney’s Office.
  6. Public Information Requests:  Responds to and ensures all compliance with the Texas Public Information Act and FOIA.  Drafts briefs to the Attorney General and coordinates response briefs from effected entities.  Handles dissemination of FWERF’s public information, including any viewing of copyrighted documents.
  7. Education:  Organizes and schedules Board and staff training regarding open meetings, public information disclosures, ethics, fiduciary duties, and governance.  Tracks and ensures compliance with pension trustee education requirements established by the Pension Review Board (PRB).
  8. Investigations:  Provides oversight to ensure that the retirement disability claims investigator abides by appropriate procedures.  Specific to disability retirement applications, supervises the review process of member eligibility for benefits, employer pension coverage of employees, and compliance with state statutes, administrative rules, and city ordinances.
  9. Compliance:  Provide oversight of investment compliance efforts in collaboration with an external compliance advisor.  Provide support to the Executive Director and CIO to review and implement proposed revisions to the compliance effort. Communicate compliance testing results and other compliance matters to the Board.
  10. Performs other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
Position: General Counsel
Organization: Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund
Location: Fort Worth,  TX 
United States
Salary: $140,000 - $180,000
Posting Start Date: 1/5/2021
Date Posted: 1/5/2021
Requirements JOB QUALIFICATIONS:
 
Skills and Experience:
Proficient at independently researching relevant statutory authority and civil case law; providing sound legal advice; recommending legally sound actions which meet investment, benefit administration, and operating objectives; communicating legal findings verbally and in writing; and handling litigation.  Able to remain impartial, to be tactful, to exercise independent judgment and discretion.  Able to work effectively with staff, city counterparts, outside counsel, and investment professionals.  Experience performing in an advisory role with boards or committees.  The ideal candidate will have experience in advising on investment transactions; drafting legislation; administrative rules and policy documents; employment law; and litigation.  Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
 
Knowledge:
Federal and state laws related to pension trusts; legal research methods; methods and procedures of trial advocacy; rules of evidence and procedure; file retention; format and content requirements for legal documents such as contracts, briefs, written opinions, motions, etc.  An understanding of the legal principles relating to securities law; financial markets and investment instruments in both the public and private markets; proxy voting; employment law; public administration; and the ABA Code of Professional Responsibility.
 
Education and Experience:
  • JD from an accredited law school
  • License to practice law in the State of Texas
  • At least five years of professional legal experience
  • Candidates who hold a Bar membership from another state, qualify for the Texas State Bar membership, and who intend to seek admission to the Texas Bar will also be considered
 Working Environment / Physical Activities:
Office desk work; occasional out-of-town travel involved.
  
SPECIFICS:
  • Salary range: $140,000 - $180,000 annually
  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Education and training opportunities
  • Professional dues
  • Challenging work in a friendly, professional, team-oriented culture
  • Send cover letter and resume to:  annette.connor@fwretirement.org
Status: This listing expires on: 3/6/2021
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Organization Information
Name:
Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund
Address:


Fort Worth,  TX 76107
United States
Email:
Annette.Connor@fwretirement.org
Phone:
Fax:
Contact:
Annette Connor