Grupo Financiero Agromercantil (BAM)
Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala was created from the merger of two large banking entities Banco Agrícola Mercantil and Banco del Agro and currently stands as the fourth largest bank in Guatemala. It is also responsible for ensuring the international stability of the local currency and capitalising on government contributions. The legal department is led by legal manager Ana Gisela Castillo Aparicio, who is praised by peers all round for her advanced legal skills and impressive reputation in the legal market. In recent years ‘a specialised area has been created within the legal team to meet the different information requirements of public institutions in the country’, says Castillo. The team has also created and implemented manuals, policies and procedures in compliance with the requirements of the Sarbanes Oxley Act as well as a learning program on legal issues for the department. Another significant development the team worked on was the creation of corporate governance code that will serve as basic framework for sound, long-term oriented governance. ‘Our Bank was the first in our country to have a corporate governance code, anticipating new regulatory requirements before any other financial institution’, says Castillo. Further demonstrating its innovative credentials, the legal function has implemented a system of exchange of information between the Bank and the Ministerio Público (the Public Prosecutor’s Office), created a compliance administrative unit whose function is to verify compliance with various standards and implemented a trial digital control system. Notable business activities the legal team assisted the company on include the participation on structuring several syndicated loans involving projects with a high impact on Guatemalan development and taking over projects concerning insolvent debtors without recourse to litigation.