John W. Valentine
Expert in Financial Services, including:
Domestic and Global Securities Trust and Custody
ERISA Title II fiduciary issues.
Summary of Experience
John Valentine has over 30 years of in-house experience as counsel to AT&T Long Lines, Lever Brothers Company, Chase Manhattan Bank and The Bank of New York Mellon. For the past 7 years, he has been in private practice, serving banks and plan sponsors; as special counsel/consultant to other law firms; and as an expert witness.
Banking experience includes over 21 years as in-house counsel to the Trust and Custody divisions of Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase) and The Bank of New York Mellon (formally Mellon Bank). Advice was also provided to the banks Capital Markets and Investment Management divisions regarding ERISA and custody issues.
As Benefits and Labor Relations Counsel to Lever Brothers Company for 7 years, he helped design, maintain and administer the companys defined benefit, 401(k) and executive benefit plans. Experience also included pension investment activity, including the assessment and negotiations of GICs; plan administration and fiduciary oversight; and the appointment of advisors and service providers.
Private practice in the Asset Servicing field during the past 7 years has included work for banks and fund sponsors. Representative matters include negotiation of custody and trust agreements with banks, financial services agreements with managers and service providers, preparation of fiduciary checklists, advice regarding the contribution of company stock and the administration and reclaim of foreign taxes.
Expert Witness and Litigation Consultant
Mr. Valentine is available as an expert witness to either plaintiffs or defendants. His extensive experience as in-house counsel clearly establishes his expertise for either side in litigation.
His experience as counsel to bank risk and operations officers helps him understand and to be able to explain and defend bank operations against claims of negligence. Claims may involve losses based on claims of negligence in custody operations, including improper settlements, reporting or custody of assets, as well as missed corporate actions, etc. or negligence in asset administration, including the appointment and oversight of foreign or domestic sub-custodians and the lack of proper risk control.
Likewise, he can help plaintiffs and firms considering litigation against financial institutions to best position their complaints and focus discovery to optimize their cases before a firm would typically engage an expert for trial. Knowing the inner-workings of banks is invaluable for plaintiffs. The best time to engage an expert is BEFORE a complaint is filed. This will assure that allegations can be supported with expert testimony and may prevent critical counts from being dismissed. Early consultation may also uncover additional bases for liability, where a preliminary review of the facts by an expert with inside experience may provide insights that could be missed by others.
He has served as an expert witness in three matters, all of which were successfully settled short of trial:
Expert for plaintiffs against Irish Funds where the global custody bank defendant improperly acquiesced in the appointment of Bernard Madoff as a fund sub-custodian. Where the defendant had engaged high-profile experts to testify that Madoffs fraud was undetectable, he was able to re-focus the plaintiffs claims to demonstrate negligence in the fundamental sub-custodian selection process, which rendered the banks primary defense irrelevant.
Expert for a private investor plaintiff where the negligent reporting and oversight of the US custody bank permitted the clients investment manager to defraud its clients. His familiarity with best practices for core operations and controls was essential to the development of the plaintiffs case.
Expert for the SEC where an investment manager failed to comply with the Custody Rule, requiring the use of custody banks to hold client assets and surprise audits where the manager is deemed to have custody of the assets. His understanding of the Rule and its purpose in the context of fraud detection and prevention enabled the SEC to present its claims effectively and achieve a prompt settlement.
Where a firm needs additional expertise to analyze a problem involving asset servicing issues or to effectively negotiate agreements with banks, managers or other financial services providers, Mr. Valentines in-house experience can add to a firms capabilities. Knowing bank policy, operations and risk concerns from the inside will help a firm better represent their clients.
Examples of Areas of Expertise
Directed Trustee and Custodial Agreements, Duties and Operations
Global and Domestic Custody Operations and Best Practices for
o Pension Funds
o Mutual Funds
o Endowments / Foundations
o Corporate Assets and
o Hedge Funds
Trade Settlement Operations
Settlement / Custody / Documentation of Non-Traditional Assets, including:
o Limited Partnerships
o GICs / GACs
o Group Trusts
o Hedge Funds
Derivatives Processing / Reporting / Documentation (both bi-lateral and exchange-traded)
Collateral/Account Control Duties and Agreements
Foreign Exchange, including ERISA Exemption Procedures
Valuation of Assets, including hard-to-value assets
Selection, Oversight and Management of Sub-Custodians
Foreign Tax Reclaim Administration
Collective Investment Funds, including STIFs
Luxembourg and Irish Fund Administration
Bank Deposit Vehicles
Risk and Compliance Department Function / Risk Mitigation / Risk Controls
Mutual Fund Back-Office, Accounting and Administration
Rules 17f-5 and 7 for foreign custody of US Mutual Fund assets
ERISA plan asset issues
ERISA foreign asset custody rules
ERISA prohibited transactions