Laura O’Hara serves as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer with M&T Bank. In this role, she oversees all of the company’s legal affairs, as well as the Office of the Corporate Secretary. She is a DEI champion as a member of the steering committee and sponsor of M&T Pride.
She is a key member of M&T’s executive leadership team, which is responsible for the company’s strategic direction under the leadership of M&T Bank Chairman and CEO René Jones.
O’Hara has more than 30 years of financial services experience, litigation, regulatory compliance, and risk management experience, including her role as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Santander Bank from 2015 until she joined M&T in 2017.
Prior to Santander, she was Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Consumer and Commercial Banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland, RBS Citizens from 2011 to 2015. There, she led legal support for all consumer and commercial lines of business including retail banking, mortgage, broker dealer, business banking, credit card, auto lending and student lending, as well as servicing and operations for those businesses.
From 1991 to 2011, O’Hara was with J.P. Morgan Chase and Company, where she held various senior level positions responsible for legal, compliance, risk management, mergers and acquisitions and regulatory affairs, ultimately serving as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Chase Home Lending.
O’Hara holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Economics from Villanova University, where she graduated summa cum laude.
O’Hara is a member of the Executive Committee for the Bank Policy Institute, a Board Member for The Clearing House, and a Council Member for New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice.