With FCPA Probe Behind It, Och-Ziff Hires New Chief Legal office

After a shaky year for its legal department, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has named David Levine its new chief legal officer, effective Jan. 23. The company, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, also named a new chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Levine has been with the legal department at Deutsche Bank since 2001. He served as associate general counsel and global head of litigation and regulatory enforcement there. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, he spent eight years at the SEC, including serving as chief of staff.

Levine replaces David Becker, 69, a former general counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009-2011, who joined Och-Ziff in 2014 to guide it through a major government investigation. Becker left Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton to replace then-GC Jeffrey Blockinger at Och-Ziff.

Becker oversaw the company’s deferred prosecution agreement reached in September, when it became the first hedge fund charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Under the deal, the company and affiliates agreed to pay penalties and disgorgement totaling $412 million for bribing government officials in Africa.

Founder/CEO Daniel Och and CFO Joel Frank also settled a related SEC action, agreeing to orders that said they contributed to the violations by ignoring red flags and corruption risks, and by inaccurately recording the bribe payments.

New CFO Alesia Haas replaces Frank, who is retiring but will remain with the company until next June.

In a statement, Och praised the company’s retiring GC, Becker, for guiding it through “a challenging period in our history,” apparently referring to the government investigation and settlement. He also oversaw a raft of compliance reforms at the company.

In its proxy report filed with the SEC in March, Och-Ziff said Becker made $3.1 million in compensation in 2015, including $300,000 in salary and a $2.7 million cash bonus.

He was scheduled to receive another $2.7 million bonus in 2016.

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