Robert P. Cooper
Mr. Cooper is the chief legal strategist and architect for OneUnited Bank, the largest African-American owned bank in the country. Since joining the OneUnited senior management team, the bank has acquired and turned around three troubled banks and grown from $56 million to $650 million in assets, making it the fastest growing and largest African American-owned bank in the nation. Mr. Cooper oversees OneUnited’s certification by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Due to his efforts, the Bank is an eleven-time recipient of the prestigious CDFI Bank Enterprise Award for its lending in distressed communities. Mr. Cooper directs all legal, regulatory and external affairs for the bank’s Boston, Los Angeles and Miami markets. 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 thirty 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.
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. During his tenure, OneUnited 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.
Mr. Cooper has served in several notable positions as a banking and legal industry representative. Mr. Cooper is a Past Chairman and currently serves on the board of the National Bankers Association, the nation’s oldest and largest trade association representing minority and women-owned banks. Since 2003, he has served as Secretary and board member of the Community Development Bankers Association. He is also a member of the Mass Bankers Association. Mr. Cooper served as Vice President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and as the Chair of the commercial finance subsection for the Bankruptcy Section of the Boston Bar Association. He currently serves on the United States Bankruptcy Court Diversity Task Force.
Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, Mr. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Yale College and a Juris Doctorate 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 are the proud parents of two teenage children.