Features

Amy Meyer – R.J. O’Brien 

Fostering strategic growth for futures brokerage 

As the senior director and deputy general counsel at R.J. O’Brien & Associates, LLC (R.J. O’Brien), Amy Meyer is an important part of the firm’s leadership. Her role goes beyond traditional legal counsel; she partners with her business colleagues on transformative projects crucial to the firm’s future trajectory. 

Amy Meyer | Senior Director, Deputy General Counsel | R.J. O’Brien

Amy Meyer | Senior Director, Deputy General Counsel | R.J. O’Brien

Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien is the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the U.S. The company provides full services to the futures industry’s largest global network, introducing brokers and commercial, institutional and individual investors. 

Under her guidance, R.J. O’Brien is poised to embrace new opportunities and navigate complex legal landscapes with confidence and foresight. 

Driving innovation 

Meyer ensures that R.J. O’Brien’s legal team is best in class.  

“One of our team’s key projects involves optimizing legal processes within the firm. Through strategic initiatives, we aim to streamline procedures, ensure compliance, and pave the way for operational efficiency,” Meyer says. 

Her strategic vision extends beyond operational enhancements. She has also been involved in the firm’s expansion into new products and jurisdictions, a testament to R.J. O’Brien’s commitment to strategic diversification and global reach. 

 Meyer’s leadership goes beyond the law; she actively fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration within the firm. Between cross-functional initiatives and promoting knowledge sharing, she seeks to harness the collective expertise of the R.J. O’Brien workforce and drive synergies across departments. 

Meyer’s multifaceted approach to leadership underscores her instrumental role in shaping RJO’s future trajectory. She helps propel the firm forward—with other dedicated and experienced colleagues—on its path to sustained growth and success through strategic vision, commitment to innovation, and unwavering dedication to excellence. 

Building relationships 

Meyer fosters strong relationships and nurtures a family-like culture within the company. Over her twelve-year tenure at R.J. O’Brien, Meyer has diligently worked to cultivate a sense of trust and camaraderie among her colleagues, transcending mere professional connections to establish genuine partnerships. 

As part of a relatively young legal department within a century-old firm, Meyer recognized the importance of building rapport with her business counterparts. She invested time and effort to understand their business goals and objectives, positioning herself as a collaborative partner in achieving mutual success. Through her responsiveness, work ethic, and interpersonal skills, Meyer has fostered a culture where legal guidance is seamlessly integrated into business operations rather than perceived as a hindrance or red tape. 

Despite the rapid growth of R.J. O’Brien’s legal team, which has more than doubled in size during her tenure, continues to attract and retain top talent. Leveraging a combination of strategic recruitment efforts, the involvement of key stakeholders in the hiring process, and the company’s supportive culture has been crucial, she says.  

“We consistently bring on board the best and brightest legal minds,” she adds.  

Navigating the complexities of day-to-day legal challenges poses a significant hurdle in Meyer’s role. Each issue presents unique nuances and demands swift, well-informed decision-making. However, Meyer thrives on the dynamic nature of her job, relishing the opportunity to tackle new challenges head-on and continuously expand her knowledge and expertise. 

Despite the inherent challenges, Meyer finds satisfaction in being a trusted partner to the business. Collaborating with colleagues to navigate the gray areas of legal matters, she relishes the opportunity to strategize and provide unique perspectives in mitigating potential risks. For Meyer, the best part of being in-house lies in adapting and innovating rather than adhering to rigid frameworks typical of external legal advisors. 

From law school to senior director 

Meyer’s interest in the legal field dates back to her childhood, when she declared her aspiration to become a lawyer in third grade. However, her journey into law was not a straight path but a circuitous route marked by deliberate choices and fortuitous opportunities. 

After obtaining her business degree at Ohio State University and her law degree from Capital University Law School, Meyer began her career as a contract attorney for Citadel. This experience laid the groundwork for her subsequent role at R.J. O’Brien, where she joined in March 2012. 

Despite initially envisioning a career in criminal law, Meyer’s internship experience with a legal department at an insurance company during her last year of law school provided her with a unique intersection of her business acumen and legal expertise. This fusion of disciplines piqued her interest in corporate law, setting the stage for her future endeavors. 

Meyer’s tenure at R.J. O’Brien has been marked by professional growth and personal fulfillment. Starting as a junior attorney, she found herself on a small legal team for a large company, relishing the dynamic challenges and opportunities for learning. Meyer attributes much of her success to the mentorship and supportive environment fostered by her manager and R.J. O’Brien, where work-life balance is a tangible reality. 

“I feel incredibly fortunate to work for R.J. O’Brien, a company that remains committed to its core values while continually striving for growth and innovation,” Meyer says. 

View this feature in the Vanguard Summer I 2024 Edition here.

Published on: June 12, 2024

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