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    06.27.18 Hannah Cao ’03 Named to FT Global GC 25
    Hannah Cao '03

    Less than three weeks after being named one of the top general counsels in the Asia-Pacific region by the Financial Times, Brooklyn Law School Alumni of the Year honoree Hannah Cao ’03, General Counsel of China’s Silk Road Fund, has been named to the FT’s Global GC 25, which highlights general counsel around the world “who demonstrate the importance of the corporate legal department.”

    “Ms. Cao, who has worked as a lawyer in private practice and as a banker at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, straddles a legal and commercial role at the Silk Road Fund,” said the FT. “The Chinese sovereign wealth fund has $40bn under management and is focused on infrastructure investment in China, its geographical neighbors and its political allies. The Yamal project, Silk Road’s $27bn flagship deal, saw the fund invest in one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) fields.”

    Cao told the FT that the biggest challenge of her role is “the inherent tension between acting as gatekeeper and as strategic adviser.” Meanwhile, the “CEO’s view” praised Cao and her team for their active involvement in all aspects of the fund’s work: “The [legal] team proactively takes part in every phase of investments, from the initial strategic planning and structuring to completion and post-closing management.”

    Earlier this month, Cao and her team were recognized as one of the most innovative in-house legal departments in the FT’s Innovative Lawyers Asia-Pacific 2018. “The first lawyer at the sovereign wealth fund, Cao now oversees a team that supervises investments in projects which include Yamal LNG, a $27bn flagship liquefied natural gas development on the Arctic coast of Siberia in Russia,” said the FT. “She is a promoter of local legal talent and argues general counsel can become more influential in their organizations’ direction and values.”

    “My job as general counsel of Silk Road Fund is exciting,” Cao said. “My team and I work on some of the most meaningful projects—putting into place critical infrastructures in underdeveloped locations and helping to de-bottleneck local economies. It is satisfying to see that my legal training is making a tangible impact on people’s lives around the world.”

    Cao was honored by the Law School last February. “To me, the legal education at Brooklyn Law School was transformational and empowering. This award is not just a recognition of my efforts, but also [a reflection of] the school’s strong international vision. It is a celebration of all our alumni’s commitment to making this world a better place,” Cao said at the time.

    While a student at the Law School, Cao was executive articles editor of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law and an International Business Law fellow, as well as a member of the Safe Harbor Project. Prior to joining the Silk Road Fund, Cao practiced law in New York and Beijing at international law firms, honing her experience in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, fund formation, private equity investment and capital markets.

    Read about the FT Global GC 25 here
    Read the FT Innovative Lawyers story here