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After 21 years at Winston & Strawn, five of them heading its corporate department, John MacCarthy surprised many of his colleagues when he opted to become general counsel of Nuveen Investments, Inc. “I’ve worked with a lot of management teams and general counsel over the years, and I’ve always wondered what it would be like on the other side,” MacCarthy, 46, says. In spite of this curiosity, he was not willing to leave Winston unless he found the right opportunity. Chicago money manager Nuveen, a client of MacCarthy’s for five years, turned to him when its GC, Alan Berkshire, took another management post at Nuveen. Having gotten to know the company and assessed its potential for growth, MacCarthy accepted without much hesitation: “If I was ever going to make a move like this, now was the time.” The right time for MacCarthy couldn’t have been better for Nuveen. Last spring The St. Paul Travelers Companies, which owned 80 percent of Nuveen’s shares, sold them back to the company and to the public. MacCarthy’s work in Sarbanes-Oxley compliance will play an essential role in helping Nuveen transition to a stand-alone public company. (Nuveen had its IPO in 1992.) Over the last five years Nuveen has also diversified its business into individual investment products, including mutual funds, hedge funds, and accounts tailored for high-net-worth investors. Though Nuveen made its name underwriting municipal bonds, less than half of its current assets are municipal-related securities. Having guided the company through these changes, MacCarthy is familiar with both Nuveen’s past and its plans for the future. In spite of close work with the firm as outside counsel, MacCarthy predicts there will be much to learn about both the investment products Nuveen sells and life in-house. If anything, he is most excited about his new position because of the new challenges it offers. “My last job was as a trackman on the Missouri Pacific Railroad during summers at school,” he says. “I feel like it might be good to try something new.”

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