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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Sweden Regulation Banking & Finance February 2008 Vol. 1, No. 3, Spring 2008

Magnus Billing

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Magnus Billing, General Counsel of OMX. He has been with OMX since 2001 and he has had the legal responsibility for the mergers between OMX, Helsinki Stock Exchange, Copenhagen Stock Exchange, Iceland Stock Exchange and Icelandic CSD, Vilnius Stock Exchange, Tallinn Stock Exchange and Riga Stock Exchange.

OMX Group

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Sweden Regulation Banking & Finance February 2008 Vol. 1, No. 3, Spring 2008
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