This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Spotlighting W 14 TECHNOLOGY


Ambitious and energetic, Wanji Walcott is making her mark as managing coun- sel in the general counsel’s office of the American Express Company. She particularly enjoys and excels at the increasingly technology-related aspects of the job. “It’s an exciting area where I have aptitude and proven ability to make an impact and contribution, and technology is everywhere. Today, it’s almost impossible to find an aspect of our business that doesn’t in some way involve technology.”


alcott joined

American Express in December 2002 as a staff lawyer in the technology law group at the

company’s New York

headquarters. Most of her time was spent negotiating tech- nology transactions including outsourcing and managed services agreements. In less than four years, she became head of the technology law group. In addition to a full workload of her own, she was now managing an increas- ingly diverse group of lawyers. Soon after, the technology law group also included responsibility for providing legal support to American Express’ interactive group, an online utility tasked with managing the company’s interaction with current and future customers through online and mobile channels. Several years later Walcott was named managing counsel. T e Global Business Services function, which handles real estate, procurement, fi nancial and HR operations, as well as the Enterprise Growth Group, the company’s newest business unit consisting of ecommerce, digital, and other online and mobile services, was added to her sizable managing responsibilities. Among her most interesting work involving technol-

ogy, Walcott counts emerging payments. “It’s cutting edge and exciting, and essentially the intent of our current CEO Kenneth Chenault who is to lay the foundation for the future.” In March, the Enterprise Growth Group launched “Serve,” a digital payments platform similar to PayPal. Being part of the launch, says Walcott, has allowed her to help think through regulatory sand legal issues that are pertinent to American Express’ move into the digital payments landscape. But with innovation comes challenges. “My practice

has always been busy, but tackling uncharted areas increases the volume of work. We’re doing things at a very quick pace in order to remain competitive in relatively new territory. While our Enterprise Growth Group views itself as a nimble startup, I need to keep in mind that American Express is a heavily regulated bank holding company and that creates another layer of complexity. So, there’s always the tension of balancing cool new things with adhering to law and regulations that are very real but not half as much fun.” Prior to American Express, Walcott was an associate

at the international law fi rm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (formerly Shaw Pittman LLP), where she


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52