Mills Oakley nabs NRF super star for financial services team

The new hire will help develop a modern slavery, ESG and impact investing offering

Mills Oakley nabs NRF super star for financial services team

Mills Oakley has attracted a Norton Rose Fulbright special counsel who is an expert in superannuation funds for its financial services team.

Stephen Putnins will officially start with Mills Oakley on Monday. The firm said that the seasoned practitioner, who has more than 15 years in both private practice and in-house work under his belt, will work alongside partners Luke Geary and Mark Bland to develop a cross-disciplinary modern slavery, ESG and impact investing offering.

Putnins has expertise in impact investing, energy and environmental financial products, carbon abatement and derivatives. Of late, he has tackled ESG-themed mandates, providing input on Reconciliation Action Plans and the Modern Day Slavery Regime.

“Stephen’s work on ESG investments is an example of his leadership in areas which strike a chord with clients and reflect a growing level of board scrutiny and concern,” Mills Oakley CEO John Nerurker said. “His skills and expertise, combined with the deep regulatory experience offered by our existing practice under Mark Bland, will strengthen the team’s holistic client appeal.”

Putnins logged a stint as legal counsel at World Vision, and has served as moderator on expert panel discussions. He also spent time with the in-house legal teams at UniSuper and Australian Unity.

He has particular expertise in superannuation, funds management and investments, having guided major Australian superannuation funds, global financial services institutions, investment managers, banking and corporate clients. He has handled major projects, general corporate and operational matters, outsourcing, cross-border transactions, acquisitions and divestments, investments, derivatives, governance, regulatory and compliance matters, investor and member disputes and remediation.

The addition of Putnins to the firm’s roster was another step in Mills Oakley’s goal to develop a “one stop” superannuation funds and financial services capability, Nerurker explained.

Putnins said that Mills Oakley’s “dynamic and innovative” culture drew him to the firm.

“The insourcing of talent at the top funds has raised the bar for their external advisors. Firms need to offer cutting edge advice and genuine flexibility in the way services are delivered. In Mills Oakley, I am fortunate to be joining a firm which fosters this approach,” Putnins said.

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