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Online Debate

Post-Russian invasion: renewed importance of sanctions compliance for banks and bank boards


21 May 2024

15:00 - 16:00 CET


Online event


As part of the Bank Board Academy initiative, the Florence School of Banking and Finance is convening an online seminar to discuss the challenges and strategic considerations surrounding the implementation of sanctions.

|| Event under the Chatham House Rule ||

Following Russia’s illegal and brutal full scale invasion of a Ukraine, the European Union has adopted 13th packages of sanctions against Russia listing around 2000 individuals and entities subject to strict asset freeze measures. These successive sanctions packages were adopted and coordinated in cooperation with key partners from the G7+ coalition including the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The main objective of these sanctions is threefold: 1) to provide Ukraine with a key military advantage by depleting Russia from accessing dual-use and advanced technology to manufacture cutting-edge weapons, 2) to degrade Russia’s ability to finance its war of aggression, and to 3) cripple the Russian industrial complex in the medium to long term. 

Banks and financial services are the gatekeepers and at the forefront to ensure that these sanctions are correctly implemented under the scrutiny of competent authorities responsible for their enforcement. This event will delve into the context, geopolitical implications and impact of sanctions against Russia so far. It will provide examples and explore strategies for navigating them that may be relevant for both bank executives and non-executive board members.


David O’Sullivan | EU's Sanctions Envoy at the European Commission 


Clay Berry | Head of International Government Relations at JP Morgan  

William Connelly | Independent Director and Chairman of the Risk Committee and member of the Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee, Société Generale


David O’Sullivan was appointed as EU’s Sanctions Envoy in December 2022 and formally took up his role in the second half of January 2023.

Prior to his appointment as Sanctions Envoy, he was a Director General of the Institute for International and European Affairs, a leading Irish think tank. Prior to that, he joined the Brussels office of the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson LLP as a Senior Counsellor (2019-2022).

David O’Sullivan served as Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to the United States from November 2014 until February 2019.

Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the EU's new diplomatic service, the ‘European External Action Service’. He had previously held a number senior positions within the European Commission including Director General for Trade (2005-2010); Secretary General of the European Commission (2000-2005); and Chief of Staff to Commission President Romano Prodi (1999-2000). Before joining the Commission, he started his career with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs (1977-1979).

He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and the College of Europe (Bruges), and holds Honorary Doctorates from the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded the EU Transatlantic Business Award by the American Chamber of Commerce in 2014. In 2019, he was awarded the Légion D’Honneur by France and made a Grand Officier de l’Orde de Léopold by Belgium. He is Chairman of the Governing Board of the European Policy Centre, and a Member of the Governing Board of the King Baudouin Foundation.

Clay Berry is the Head of Global Engagement, managing the international government relations and global engagement teams at J.P. Morgan. Clay joined the firm in 2020 after more than 15 years at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she held senior career positions in both International Affairs and Domestic Finance. She was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia, managing the Department’s engagement across the region, and was Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets, with responsibility for U.S. Treasury debt management policy, capital markets, and public finance.

Previously Clay was the Chief Economist for Europe at the Institute of International Finance, leading IIF’s research and analysis on emerging Europe and Eurasia. Clay also served as the U.S. Treasury Financial Attaché in Moscow, Russia. She held director positions at the U.S. Treasury focusing on a number of key international economic priorities, including managing Treasury’s participation in the G-7 and the G-20. Prior to joining the U.S. Treasury in 2003, Clay worked in the Markets Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was a consultant at the World Bank.

Clay holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. from Bowdoin College.

William Connelly is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington D.C. From 1980 to 1990, he was a banker at Chase Manhattan Bank in the US, Spain and the United Kingdom. From 1990 to 1999, he worked at Barings and later at ING Barings as Head of Mergers and Acquisitions in Spain, following which he was appointed Head of Corporate Finance for Western Europe. From 1999 to 2016, he was responsible for various positions in the Investment Banking Division at ING Bank N.V. (Netherlands). His last positions were Global Head of Corporate and Investment Banking and member of the Executive Committee, as well as Chief Executive Officer of ING Real Estate B.V. (an ING Bank subsidiary).

Scientific Organiser

Emiliano Tornese

EUI / European Commission DG FISMA

Prof. Elena Carletti

Bocconi University

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