Former business oversight commissioner brings unparalleled financial technology and regulatory experience to the firm’s financial services group
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated national professional services firm, announced today that Jan Lynn Owen, former Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight, has joined the firm’s Sacramento and San Francisco offices as a senior advisor in the financial services group. Her arrival is the latest in the financial services group’s recent growth, following last month’s addition of consumer financial services partner Scott Pearson and his team in Los Angeles.
Appointed by Governor Brown in 2013 as California’s first ever Commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight, Owen oversaw the operation and regulatory enforcement of state-licensed financial institutions, including banks, credit unions and money transmitters. Owen is a strong proponent of technology adoption and fostering innovation, and her elite background in regulatory finance and government affairs complements the firm’s commitment to providing unequaled legal and consulting services. Owen is among several high-profile attorneys and consultants to join Manatt in recent months, including venture capitalist Lisa Suennen as managing director in San Francisco, cyber and regulatory compliance advisors Suzanne Folsom and Rob Garretson in Washington, D.C., and leading privacy and data security lawyer Scott Lashway and his team in Boston and Washington, D.C.
“Jan will be a tremendous addition to our hybridized professional services model that includes almost 100 consultants and business advisors working in lockstep with our lawyers,” said Donna L. Wilson, Manatt’s CEO and Managing Partner-Elect. “Jan played a key role in establishing the age of fintech in California and will further strengthen our considerable abilities in helping clients operationalize the legal advice we also provide.”
As Commissioner, Owen dedicated her attention to both the financial technology and cannabis banking spaces. She played a significant role in nurturing the development of some of the nation’s largest and best-known fintech startups, embracing technology and working to reduce undue regulatory burdens on the industry while remaining fiercely protective of those companies’ consumers. Addressing the problem of cash-only cannabis retailers was a priority for Owen and she worked closely with state regulators and business owners to move toward safe, practical, commonsense solutions. In addition to her accomplishments in California, Owen worked closely with state and federal financial services regulators and attorneys general across the country.
“I knew Manatt’s financial services group would be the ideal place for me to advise and counsel businesses that face a number of complex regulatory and marketplace challenges in today’s rapidly evolving new economy,” said Owen. “I look forward to combining my firsthand understanding of these pressures with Manatt’s robust experience helping clients navigate and find innovative yet compliant solutions to those issues.”
Owen’s responsibilities within the firm cover a wide range of oversight work, including accountancy, asset recovery, auditing, banking, benefits administration, budget preparation and financial reporting. Prior to serving as Commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight, Owen was the Commissioner of Corporations. Before becoming a regulator, she ran a business consulting firm, worked for a consumer technology company as a strategic initiatives manager, and served as vice president for an investment bank and financial services company. Owen earned her Bachelor of Science in economics from California State University, Fresno.