Christine Edwards

Christine Edwards
Principal

Christine Edwards is a nationally recognized authority on financial services, corporate governance and public company issues and is a retired partner of Winston & Strawn LLP and headed the firm’s bank regulatory practice. Ms. Edwards has extensive experience advising public company boards on governance matters, supervising complex transactions, internal investigations and regulatory matters.

Prior to joining Winston & Strawn in 2003, Ms. Edwards served for three years as executive vice president and chief legal officer at Bank One Corporation, a predecessor company to JPMorgan Chase. Previous to that, for over 25 years, Edwards spent her career at Morgan Stanley, where she succeeded to the role of executive vice president and chief legal officer of that company (the first and only woman to do so) and its predecessors. It was there that she achieved the distinction of becoming the first female General Counsel on Wall Street.

In 2010, Edwards joined the public company board of BMO Financial (TSX, NYSE “BMO”), a $760 Billion asset banking institution headquartered in Toronto. She chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee and serves on the Human Resource Committee. She also serves on the Board of BMO Harris, the company’s US subsidiary headquartered in Chicago and on the Board’s Audit and Compensation Committees.

Edwards also serves as the Vice Chair of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Chairs the Audit Committee, and serves on the Executive, Nominating and Governance Committees.

Edwards serves on the Leadership Board of the US Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness in Washington DC and is Co-Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the International Organization of Women Corporate Directors. Ms. Edwards is a frequent speaker and author on topics of corporate governance and the financial services industry.

Christine’s recent publications include:

  • “The Future of Corporate Governance Following the Economic Crisis,” Brennan School of Business, Dominican University Forum on Corporate Governance, March 31, 2009.
  • “Is Executive Compensation Really the Problem and Will Government Bailouts be the Cure?” Chicago Finance Exchange, March 2009.
  • “War Stories: Lessons Learned from Tough Encounters,” Institutional Investor Board/CFO Symposium, Washington, D.C., September 2008.
  • “How to Keep Your CEO – and Yourself – Out of Prison,” 20th Annual General Counsel Conference, New York, June 2008.
  • “The Changing Compliance & Legal Landscape,” Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Compliance & Legal Division, Chicago Regional Seminar, June 2008.
  • “Debating the Merits of Prudential Supervision”, The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance, SIFMA Compliance and Legal Division, New York, April 2008.
  • “SOX and the Capital Markets,” University of Maryland School of Law, Sixth Annual Business Law Conference, October 2007.
  • “New Recommendations: US Capital Markets and Corporate Reforms,” ABA Section of Business Law, Spring Meeting, March 2007.
  • “Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (2007 to 2021 – Ranked Nationally for Financial Services Regulatory)
  • Chicago Finance Exchange President’s Award
  • “Illinois Super Lawyer” (2005 to Present)
  • “The Legal 500” (2003 to Present)
  • Directors & Boards: Recognized as one of 20 “Directors to Watch” (2019)
  • Women’s In House Counsel Leadership Institute The Circle of Honor Award (2016)
  • National Law Journal Regulatory and Compliance Trailblazer Award (2015)
  • Illinois Diversity Council Leadership Excellence Award (2015)
  • Inside Counsel Magazine Transformative Leadership Award: Mary Ann Hynes Pioneer Award (2012)
  • University of Maryland System Women of Distinction Award – Pioneer Award (2012)

Professional Memberships

  • The American Bar Association
  • The Chicago Network
  • The Economic Club of Chicago
  • Chicago Finance Exchange (Former President)
  • Women Corporate Directors (Co-Chair Chicago Chapter 2020-Present)

Public Company Boards

  • BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal) (TSX, NYSE); (Parent Company of BMO Harris Financial); 2010-Present.
    • Member, Risk Management Committee, 2010-Present.
    • Chair, Pension Review Committee 2012-2015.
    • Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee 2015-Present; Member, GNC, 2012-Present.
    • Member, Human Resources and Compensation Committee, 2011-2012; 2015-present.
  • BMO Financial Corp. (US Subsidiary of BMO Financial Group) 2018-Present.
    • Member, Audit Committee.
    • Member, Human Resources Committee.

Other Boards, Public Policy Organizations

  • Rush University System for Health, Rush University Medical Center: Board of Directors (2000-Present); Vice Chairman (2018-Present); Executive Committee (2010-Present); Audit Committee Chair (2001-Present); Nominating and Governance Committee (2010-Present).
  • University of Maryland School of Law: Board of Visitors 1995-2015; Chair, 2011-2015.
  • US Chamber of Commerce: Washington, DC, Leadership Board, Center for Capital Markets, 2007-Present.
  • US Chamber Blue Ribbon Panel on Capital Markets Competitiveness: Financial Regulation Chair, 2006-2007.
  • Financial Services Roundtable: Chair Government Affairs Council, 2001-2002.
  • FSR Blue Ribbon Commission on Enhancing Competitiveness: Executive Committee, 2007.
  •  The Chicago Network: Board of Directors, 2008-2011; Chair, Women on Boards Committee, 2008-2009; Member, 2001-Present.
  • Women Corporate Directors: 2005-Present; Co-Chair Chicago Chapter, 2020-Present.
  • Chicago Finance Exchange: Board of Directors, 2007-2012; President, 2010-2011.
  • Ravinia Festival: Board of Trustees, 2000-2003.
  • SPS Transaction Services, Inc. (NYSE): Board of Directors, 1992-1993.
  • Financial Services Council: Board of Directors, Executive Committee, 1995-1999.
  • Chicago Board Options Exchange: Board of Directors, 1993-1999.