Gregory J. Lyons is a corporate partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Institutions Group. Mr. Lyons is also Chair of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Banking Law. His practice focuses on serving the needs of financial institutions, as well as private equity and other entities that invest in financial institutions, with a particular emphasis on domestic and cross-border bank regulatory, transactional and examination matters.
His practice includes U.S. and foreign bank regulatory, formation, merger, conversion, structuring securities and securities finance work, risk capital and trust matters and corporate and securities law matters. Mr. Lyons has represented banking and other financial institutions before the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and state banking and securities regulatory agencies.
He has extensive experience counseling clients in the securities, securities finance, insurance and other non-banking financial service sectors regarding acquiring, leveraging and on-going ownership of banking institutions, as well as advising banking organizations with nontraditional banking activities and assisting clients in the analysis of associated business and regulatory risks.
Chambers USA and Chambers Global, which have recommended Mr. Lyons as a top financial services lawyer for numerous years, a source reports: “I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, he’s a top-notch lawyer. Not only has he a keen intellect, but he also has a vast knowledge of the bank regulatory landscape, from straight regulatory issues to corporate governance issues to the structuring of a transaction, where he’s able to handle all the attendant regulations that are involved in a deal.” Sources praise him as an “outstanding” lawyer with “unparalleled experience and depth of knowledge.”
Mr. Lyons is also recognized by The Legal 500 US (2013-2018) for being “extremely responsive and knowledgeable about the industry and its players.” The guide also praises him for his ability to “add value by providing a practical perspective on regulatory matters.” In addition, he was recognized as an MVP by Law360 for banking, and listed in BTI “Client Service All-Stars.”
Mr. Lyons has spoken at numerous seminars on banking and related issues. He recently created and chaired national conferences regarding ways to leverage the benefits of a bank within a diversified financial services organization, the application of the Basel II and “Basel III” capital regulations to large domestic and institutional financial services organizations and private equity investing in banking institutions.
He is a frequent panelist at The Risk Management Association’s conferences and recently presented on “The Impact of Dodd-Frank on Securities Finance” at the 27th Annual RMA Conference. He also has spoken on securities lending, common and collective fund and other fiduciary and securities matters.
Mr. Lyons has authored various articles on legal developments affecting financial institutions, private equity and other entities. Recent publications include “Federal Reserve Proposes Enhanced Prudential Standards For Insurance SIFIs,” FC&S Legal (July, 2016); “Federal Reserve Publishes Advance Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking On Capital Requirements For Insurers,” FC&S Legal (July, 2016); “Enforcement Outlook For Foreign Banks In New York,” Law360 (July, 2016); “Preparing For The New Reality Of Bank Activism,” Bank Director (April, 2016); “The ISDA Resolution Stay Protocol And Its Impact On The Securities Lending Industry,” Securities Lending Times (November, 2015); “NAIC Begins To Develop A Group Capital Measure For U.S. Insurance Enterprises,” FC&S Legal (August, 2015); “The Regulatory Tiers: Should You Grow Past $1 Billion, $5 Billion Or Even $10 Billion In Assets?,” BankDirector.com (May, 2015); and “FSOC: Are Asset Managers’ Products And Activities Creating Systemic Risk?,” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (January, 2015).
Prior to joining Debevoise in 2009, Mr. Lyons was Co-Chair of Goodwin Procter’s Financial Services Group and Chair of its Banking Practice, where he created and wrote Goodwin Procter’s weekly financial services newsletter and regularly advised clients as to the ramifications of legislative and regulatory developments in the financial services industry.
Mr. Lyons received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1987. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 1990.
- Principal Financial Group in its $1.2 billion acquisition of Wells Fargo & Company’s Institutional Retirement & Trust business.
- Citizens Financial Group in its agreement to purchase certain assets of Bowstring Advisors, an Atlanta-based merger and acquisition advisory firm.
- Canaccord Genuity Group on its acquisition of Petsky Prunier, a preeminent boutique M&A advisory firm.
- KeyBank in its acquisition of Laurel Road’s affinity-focused digital lending business.
Citizens Financial in its acquisition of Clarfeld Financial Advisors.
- Citizens Financial in its acquisition of Franklin American Mortgage.
- Citizens Financial in its acquisition of Western Reserve Partners, a merger and acquisition advisory firm.
- Admirals Bank, a private equity-sponsored bank, in its merger to form Bank & Trust Company of Boston, and its concurrent spinoff of a nationwide solar lending business.
Fifth Third Bank in the sale of its Pennsylvania branch presence to First National Bank of Pennsylvania, and the sale of its Missouri branch presence to Great Southern Bank.
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its $12 billion acquisition of GE Capital’s sponsor lending business, including Antares Capital, the leading lender to middle market private equity sponsors in the U.S.
- Principal Bank in its transfer of $173 million of deposits to BofI Federal Bank.
- Thrivent Financial in its sale of all the deposits and assets of its thrifts to a credit union.
- The acquisition of College Savings Bank, a New Jersey bank, and its pursuit of other banking franchises.
- Principal Financial in its $740 million acquisition from Washington Mutual of WM Advisors, manager of approximately $26 billion in assets, including the WM Group of Funds.
- FNBNY Bancorp and its sponsor, Modern Capital Partners, in FNBNY’s acquisition of Madison National Bancorp and its subsidiary, Madison National Bank.
- Financial industry groups, such as the American Council of Life Insurers and the Financial Services Roundtable, in the rulemaking process under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
- Major U.S. and European banks on Dodd-Frank implementation issues.
- Private equity investors seeking to a acquire stakes in numerous banking organizations, including Blue Ridge Bank, Opportunity Bancshares, Bay Cities National Bank, Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son, East West Bancorp, and First Southern Bancorp.
- A minority bank management group in acquiring a Mid-Atlantic or Southeast franchise, with an expected capital raise of $300 million.
- Boston University School of Law, 1990, J.D.
- Wesleyan University, 1987, B.A.
- New York
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