Alicia Bond
Director of Operations, Counsel

Alicia M. Bond, Esq.

Director of Operations, Counsel

With a strong business background, Alicia M. Bond serves as the Director of Operations and Counsel at Jacko Law Group, PC (“JLG”). Ms. Bond manages legal operations, day-to-day business of the firm, and oversees the company’s processes and systems. As trusted counsel, she collaborates with the CEO on the strategic direction and vision of the firm. Operationally, Ms. Bond focuses on multi-department alignment, cross-functional communication, and implementation and effectiveness of business growth strategies.

Ms. Bond is values-driven and committed to creating a corporate culture while providing exceptional service through collaboration and teamwork. She oversees the firm’s approach to the delivery of comprehensive legal services and supports the overall company mission. Ms. Bond is dedicated to building excellence and exceeding client expectations through strategic business planning that supports client initiatives and accelerates outcomes.

As a relationship-focused professional, Ms. Bond works in partnership with our external business partners to nurture positive long-term relationships and foster trust. Her commitment to DE&I and concentrated efforts prioritize creating an inclusive environment that promotes diversity at all levels. At JLG, she focuses on people, seeks to build successful teams, and identifies opportunities for growth to create a sustainable workplace for all. Ms. Bond’s passion for advocacy, conscious leadership and service helps improve operational efficiency and drive overall growth.

A changemaker, she encourages sharing diverse ideas and empowers others to make a difference through their work. Daily, Ms. Bond provides support and training to our JLG Team. In decision-making, her intuitive problem-solving skills empower her to identify challenges and propose individualized solutions that address specific business objectives and meet clients’ unique service demands.

Given her background in corporate law, Ms. Bond truly enjoys representing clients, working with business partners, and helping to manage risk. A lifelong learner, she continues to expand her practice areas to build upon her broad legal experience. Having worked as part of an in-house legal team, she is a forward thinker who collaborates with our JLG Team and business clients to provide strategic outsourced general counsel services. Ms. Bond believes in achieving limitless potential and works hard to understand the various issues businesses and leaders face.

Ms. Bond adds value to her innate ability to listen to clients’ needs and find the best path forward coupled with her passion for achieving positive results. In building an effective team, she identifies their unique talents and develops those strengths holistically to achieve the best outcomes on behalf of our clients and overall success for our JLG Team.

Ms. Bond believes in servant leadership and collaborates to align behaviors with values in leading client servicing efforts. As a trusted advisor, she is intentional in her counsel and strategic in her legal approach. In working to provide outsourced general counsel on client projects, she has been able to help identify opportunities for improvement and mitigate business risks. She has positioned herself to be effective in multiple practice areas by developing creative solutions and custom-tailored service offerings.

Working with Ms. Bond, she encourages tough conversations and leads with honesty and integrity in “doing the right thing.” She partners with our legal team on project management in providing valuable legal insight and conscious counsel on client matters. She has developed a keen eye for “finding the needle in the haystack” and problem-solving at all stages of business from formation to succession planning.

Through analysis and constant learning, Ms. Bond gains a greater understanding of the financial markets and the securities industry. In Mergers and Acquisitions, Ms. Bond is focused on oversight adding in-depth analysis starting during the initial due diligence process. For clients anticipating an imminent transition, she brings her prior in-house experience to the table. Alongside our JLG Team, Ms. Bond works with clients in strategic business planning that aligns with organizational values and business goals.

As part of the strategic initiatives at JLG, Ms. Bond’s approach to business and legal practice emphasizes organic growth and keeps the best interest of the clients who we serve at top of our minds especially as we expand our business model and service areas. Throughout her career, she has developed and continues to hone her understanding of complex business agreements, contract terms, and business transactions. Ms. Bond takes the time to understand the goals of our clients and their business objectives to fully align agreements including employment contracts to protect clients as companies manage continuous change and growth.

Prior to joining the JLG team, Ms. Bond served on the corporate legal team for Welk Resorts as Compliance Manager working with the General Counsel. Within her role, she concentrated on board management, compliance, and corporate governance. Ms. Bond successfully managed 14 legal entities in collaboration with the management team and supported various legal projects. In over a decade of law practice, she has worked with law firms in Florida, Illinois, and Mississippi. Ms. Bond has handled criminal and civil matters in varied practice areas including breach of contract, corporate law, employment law, insurance claims, non-profit management, as well as other general business matters.

Ms. Bond earned her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law and her Master of Business Administration from Stetson University. She received her undergraduate degree in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is admitted to the Florida Bar and eligible to practice law in California as a Specially Registered Attorney.

A zealous advocate, Ms. Bond has a passion for promoting equity and community service having been recently selected for the 2023 SDBCA Leadership Academy. She currently serves as Board Member and Development Co-Chair for the Chicano Federation of San Diego County. Ms. Bond has previously served as a volunteer attorney for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc., where she provided pro bono legal services to some of San Diego's most vulnerable residents. She also served as the first President of the USS America Family Readiness Group (FRG), a military support organization. Ms. Bond is a dedicated mother and wife who loves spending time with family and friends; she enjoys being outdoors hiking, traveling, and practicing yoga.

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Business Operations and Legal ServicesDevelopment and Firm StrategyCompliance and Corporate Governance. Strategic Partnerships and Planning
The Power of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business
Legal Risk Management Tips
October 27, 2022

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DE&I”) initiatives are an essential part of the fiber of any company. By embracing and implementing DE&I values at the organizational level, businesses have an opportunity to foster an inclusive culture and promote diversity of thought to achieve their best strategic business goals.

Recently, regulatory agencies throughout the financial industry have turned their attention to DE&I initiatives. In 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission released its first Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan[1] that provided a framework for the agency’s overall commitment to DE&I, including outreach to underserved and under-represented communities through education and empowerment. These evolutions have left business leaders asking what is on the horizon when it comes to DE&I; what might be required from a regulatory standpoint, and what to consider as an overarching business strategy to help achieve growth and new opportunities.

In an ever-changing world, DE&I initiatives are both invaluable and necessary. Having diverse representation throughout your business is beneficial as it enriches companies internally, empowers leaders, and serves the public interest for the greater good. Inclusion fosters an environment of belonging that welcomes all voices and creates a more positive culture. This in turn helps support and empower employees, who have a shared goal of creating meaningful results and celebrating each other’s successes.

This Month’s Risk Management Tip will discuss the importance of diversity and why business leaders need to be intentional in taking action to increase inclusion and welcome differing perspectives. We provide practical guidance when it comes to developing diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and processes for senior management teams and at the firm level.

Recent SEC Guidance

In its July 7, 2021 Report and Recommendations on Diversity and Inclusion in the Asset Management Industry,[2] the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Asset Management Advisory Committee (“AMAC”)’s Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion studied DE&I in the financial industry. Based on this, they found that active discrimination exists, particularly among minority and women-owned firms. This has led to the following four broad recommendations set forth by the AMAC.

  1. Enhanced Disclosures Recommended – AMAC recommended that the SEC require enhanced disclosure in SEC filings (particularly, Form ADV and Form N-1A) by investment advisers and funds to provide transparency of diversity within a firm on issues of genera and racial diversity in the workplace.
  2. Issue Commission or Staff Guidance to Fiduciaries Selecting Asset Managers – AMAC recommended that DE&I should be evaluated as part of the due diligence process for the selection of asset managers.
  3. Consider the Pay-to-Play Universe; SEC Staff Should Study of the Influence of Political Contributions on Asset Allocation in the Institutional Market – AMAC recommended that the SEC Staff conduct a study of how contributions made by market participants are used by PACs to influence non-diverse asset manager selection and how the pay-to-play industry practices have evolved over the last decade.
  4. Develop Procedures for Managing Reports of Discriminatory Practices – AMAC recommended establishing a centralized mechanism for cataloging and maintaining records relating to discriminatory practices in the securities industry and publishing resources for victims of discriminatory practices.

Notably, on October 13, 2022, the SEC issued an FAQ Relating to an investment adviser’s consideration of DE&I factors when selecting or recommending other investment advisers.[3] The SEC addressed this important issue by stating that yes, DE&I can be one of a variety of factors, so long as the adviser has a reasonable belief that the advice it provides is in the best interest of the client, consistent with the client’s objectives.[4]

The guidance provided within these publications demonstrate the SEC’s commitment to DE&I and importantly helps to identify actions which investment advisers and funds could take to advance their DE&I initiatives.

Start by Developing a DE&I Budget and Committee

When evaluating DE&I, it is prudent for company leaders to make a commitment to DE&I by setting a budget and developing a DE&I working committee.  Start by seeking professional guidance to help identify and evaluate DE&I solutions.  Next, outline the steps the organization will take to make DE&I part of the firm’s culture. Implement policies and procedures that promote workplace equality for all. Notate how the firm will disclose its DE&I protocols.  For example, in the event the adviser selects third-party asset managers to manage a portion of the client’s assets, develop policies on how the firm will evaluate that manager’s DE&I practices.

When hiring a professional to assist with DE&I, consider whether that vendor is equally focused on building a diverse and inclusive workplace and makes DE&I issues a priority.

Whether at the point of hire or around the table when discussing key business initiatives, it is important to ensure to include and foster diverse perspectives.

Culture of Inclusion

In every industry and at all levels of a company, there is an opportunity to set the tone to “do the right thing.” Organizations can empower its leaders and make more room at the table to help all employees feel supported and valued.

To promote a culture of inclusion, it is not enough to “check a box” by hiring diverse talent.  Rather, companies need to promote a culture of inclusion, of embracing ideas from all team members who have various life and professional experiences and helping people from underrepresented backgrounds feel like they belong.  Through that diversity of thought, creative ideas will flow and through collaboration, better deliverables and productivity will flourish.

Conclusion

DE&I requires time, effort, and commitment.  It is not just about policies; it is about actions of listening to unique perspectives, embracing diversity of thought, including perspectives of all team members, and developing trust through an inclusive culture.

Your purpose and vision for your business is unique, and our JLG team is prepared to offer customized solutions that support your top priorities for DE&I.  As a woman-owned business with a diverse team of lawyers, we help clients to identify DE&I opportunities, provide counsel relating to change management and DE&I cultural advancements and develop disclosures and policies for DE&I.

With Hispanic Heritage Month “officially” ending on October 15th and as we look forward to the holiday season ahead, it is an ideal time to review DE&I practices and consider what could be in the year ahead.

For more information on how JLG can help, please contact us at (619) 298-2880.


Author: Alicia Bond, Director of Operations, Counsel and Michelle L. Jacko, Managing Partner,  Jacko Law Group, PC (“JLG”).  JLG works extensively with investment advisers, broker-dealers, investment companies, private equity and hedge funds, banks and corporate clients on securities and corporate counsel matters.  For more information, please visit https://www.jackolg.com/.

The information contained in this article may contain information that is confidential and/or protected by the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrine. This email is not intended for transmission to, or receipt by, any unauthorized persons. Inadvertent disclosure of the contents of this article to unintended recipients is not intended to and does not constitute a waiver of attorney-client privilege or attorney work product protections.

The Risk Management Tip is published solely based off the interests and relationship between the clients and friends of the Jacko Law Group P.C. (“JLG”) and in no way be construed as legal advice. The opinions shared in the publication reflect those of the authors, and not necessarily the views of JLG. For more specific information or recent industry developments or particular situations, you should seek legal opinion or counsel.

You hereby are notified that any review, dissemination or copying of this message and its attachments, if any, is strictly prohibited. These materials may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some jurisdictions.

[1] See Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2020-2022, available at https://www.sec.gov/files/2020_Diversity_and_Inclusion_Strategic_Plan.pdf.

[2] See SEC Asset Management Advisory Committee – Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion Recommendations for Consideration by the AMAC, July 7, 2021, available at https://www.sec.gov/files/spotlight/amac/amac-report-recommendations-diversity-inclusion-asset-management-industry.pdf .

[3] Staff FAQ Relating to Investment Adviser Consideration of DEI Factors (Oct. 13, 2022) available at https://www.sec.gov/tm/staff-faq-relating-investment-adviser-consideration-dei-factors.

[4] IdSee also Commission Interpretation Regarding Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisers, Investment Advisers Act Release No. 5248, 84 FR 33669, at 33673 (June 5, 2019).

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