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Michael B. Cahill, executive vice president and general counsel of City National Bank, was honored as the public company General Counsel of the Year for 2016 by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The award was given out at the Journal’s Leaders in Law event, held at the JW Marriott at LA LIVE on Oct.  18. The event acknowledges the significant role that attorneys play in the success of business enterprises.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the legal and business communities of Los Angeles,” Cahill said. 

Cahill, who joined the bank in 2001, was named the top general counsel amongst all of Los Angeles’ public companies. Candidates in each category were honored for “exceptional legal skill and achievement across the full spectrum of responsibility, exemplary leadership as evidenced by the highest professional and ethical standards and for contributions to the Los Angeles community at large.”

In giving the award, the Business Journal cited the key role Cahill played in executing the $5 billion merger between City National Bank and Royal Bank of Canada one year ago.

  • The deal, which closed successfully in November 2015, is RBC’s largest-ever expansion into the U.S.
  • At that time, it was considered one of the most important bank mergers since the Great Recession.
  • While he was working on the merger, Cahill also led the development, negotiation, strategy and execution of the bank’s landmark five-year, $11 billion Community Reinvestment Act commitment. He characterizes this effort as the “most significant accomplishment” of his 37-year legal and banking career.
  • City National’s earnings were cited as a major factor in RBC’s stellar fiscal performance through its 2016 third quarter, an important outcome of the successful merger.

In addition to his work on the RBC merger, Cahill has long played an important role in helping City National Bank be the most recommended bank for the legal industry. He collaborates with executives and relationship managers to ensure that City National’s service offering to the legal community is of the highest quality and dependability.

He also works to advance public-private collaborations to fight cybercrime and enhance financial cyber-security, working closely with local, state and federal agencies and law enforcement. His efforts have brought the bank multiple awards and recognition for its role on the forefront of this issue.

Active in the community, Cahill serves as executive sponsor of City National’s Dollars + Sense financial literacy and education efforts. He particularly enjoys taking a hands-on role, teaching the bank’s financial literacy curriculum to students in Los Angeles schools that lack the resources to teach financial education.

Earlier this year, Cahill took the lead for City National in the launch of “We Day” in Southern California, an RBC educational initiative led by international charity Free the Children. For decades, Cahill has been active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Los Angeles chapter, and is a former board member and corporate fundraising chairman for the organization.