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Wall St. and Business Wednesdays: Robert Patrick Cooper, Senior Counsel for OneUnited Bank, Elected Chairman of The National Bankers Association

At the annual meeting of the National Bankers Association held on October 11, 2007 in Durham, North Carolina, Robert Patrick Cooper, Senior Counsel of OneUnited Bank, was elected Chairman of the Association.

NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest banking trade association representing minority and women-owned banks. The organization represents bankers from 25 states and the District of Columbia, and nearly $50 billion in banking assets.

Mr. Cooper is the first Massachusetts banker and attorney to be elected to this position at the eighty year old Association.

Mr. Cooper is the chief legal and regulatory strategist and architect for OneUnited, the largest African-American owned bank in the country. Since he joined the OneUnited management team, it has acquired and turned around three troubled banks and grown from $56 million to $650 million in assets, making it the fastest growing African American-owned bank in the nation. Mr. Cooper has overseen OneUnited Bank’s certification by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and has been instrumental in the Bank receiving the maximum CDFI Bank Enterprise Award the past four years for its lending in distressed communities. Mr. Cooper directs all legal, regulatory and external affairs for Boston-based OneUnited, which also has operations in Miami and Los Angeles. He is committed to building an institution that marries technology with managerial skill to link and empower inner city communities across the country.

As a corporate attorney for over twenty years, Mr. Cooper has engaged in a broad range of business transactions, and has represented numerous small entrepreneurial startups as well as large international concerns. Prior to joining OneUnited, he honed his practice skills with the law firm of Hale and Dorr and acquired international merger and acquisition experience as Associate General Counsel for Battenfeld GmbH in Germany.

During his tenure, OneUnited Bank has also been widely recognized in magazines and newspapers as one of the leading African American owned banks in the country. In 2000, Black Enterprise magazine named OneUnited its Financial Company of the Year.

As a leading expert on minority banking affairs, Mr. Cooper is also a frequent speaker and presenter on the topic of access to capital in America’s inner city communities. Most recently, Mr. Cooper has been invited to testify before the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations regarding the role of minority banks and federal regulators’ compliance with Section 308 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA). As NBA Chairman, Mr. Cooper plans to pursue an aggressive legislative agenda designed to help ensure minority banking can grow and prosper, and continue to serve as a beacon of hope to minorities in rural and urban communities across the country. “We look forward to working with and making sure that bank regulatory agencies meet their Congressional mandates as they relate to the preservation of these vital and unique institutions,” Cooper said. “It is our hope that current efforts will result in minority depository institutions being entitled to treatment concerning capital, the Community Reinvestment Act, and mergers and acquisitions, that reflects this unique status.”

Mr. Cooper has previously served in other positions as a banking industry representative. Since 2003, he has served as Secretary and board member of the Community Development Bankers Association. During 2006 and 2007, he served as Chairman of the NBA’s Legislative Committee and also served as the Association’s Secretary. He is also a member of the Mass Bankers Association.

Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, Mr. Cooper holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale College and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Prior to commencing his professional career, Mr. Cooper received a Rotary Foundation scholarship for study abroad at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, where he researched issues related to West Indian migration and development.

Mr. Cooper lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He and his wife Julie have two children, Lillie Shao Hsien and Robert, Jr.

This release was made available through

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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