Limei Mo graduated from the Executive LLM program in September 2015. After graduation, she accepted an offer from BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world. Limei is currently the Head of Legal, Compliance and Risk for BlackRock in China.
In this new role, Limei will provide legal, compliance and risk oversight to the asset manager’s business in China. She also acts as a key stakeholder to participate in the regulatory development of China’s asset management industry, and in particular in its gradual opening up to foreign asset managers.
Talking about her recent career move, Limei explained that although she has substantial knowledge and experience with Chinese financial institutions and China’s regulatory evolution, the ELLM program played a vital part in her gaining the qualifications and competencies needed to join the giant asset manager.
Limei explains, “the ELLM program gave me the ability to explore and understand issues both from a Chinese perspective and an international perspective. The program also enabled me to overcome the communication gaps I had with colleagues from all over the globe, and to function effectively as the bridge between China and western countries.”
Although Limei, as a Chinese national, often felt uneasy and even embarrassed by the multiple high-profile cases in compliance class that originated out of China, what she learned from the course eventually gave her a solid understanding of the FCPA regime and the SEC and DOJ’s rationale behind the enforcement actions. Such take-aways will undoubtedly give her the ability to develop a strong compliance program in the organization and put her in a better position to negotiate anti-bribery and corruption clauses with the local vendors and distributors.
When asked which course she thinks was the most useful to her work, Limei responded that all the courses are relevant to her job one way or another, including U.S. and Trans-border Securities Regulation, U.S. Corporate Law for the International Lawyer, and U.S. and International Intellectual Property Law.
While Limei was very impressed by the courses she attended and the professors she got to know during the program, Limei specifically mentioned Professor Pettit’s course, U.S. Contract Law for the International Lawyer. The case method used in the course, covering 40 contract cases highlighting fundamental principles in common law contracts, was a new experience for Limei compared to her LLB studies in China, which is much closer to a civil law system. The way professor Pettit articulates and induces the student to explore the issues is something that Limei had never experienced in her LLB studies. The solid foundation and in-depth understanding of the basic legal principles will help Limei better negotiate contracts with her counterparts as well as allow her to better translate certain terms in common law contracts into a civil law context.
When talking about of the new challenges of her position, Limei commented that BlackRock is a very fast moving company. In fact, one senior executive who has been with the firm for many years shared with Limei her own experience–namely that she felt as if she was working in a new firm every three years. The big jump from banking to the asset management industry, coupled with fast regulatory changes in a performance-driven firm, Limei found herself swamped with numerous e-mails, meetings, and very long memos and legal documentation. Her biggest hope – in addition to settling down into the new environment – is to resume her normal life and go to three yoga classes every week.