​​Giancarlo "John" Ortega

Academic Qualifications

LL.M. Banking and Financial Law, Boston University
J.D. University of North Dakota
BBA Finance, Baylor University

Bar Admissions


Professional Memberships

Minnesota Bar Association

Past Professional Leadership & Development

​Texas First Bank - Houston Market President
​Houston Business Bank - President & CEO

​​JP Morgan Chase - VP Middle Market
Graduate School of Bank Investments & Fin. Mgmt., U. of South Carolina
Southwest Graduate School of Banking, Southern Methodist University

​​Giancarlo "John" Ortega heads Financial Institutions Law, PLLC with over 18 years in the Banking industry.  As a former, bank President and CEO, and middle market banker for JP Morgan Chase, he brings a unique perspective to the practice of law.

In March of 2008, Mr. Ortega began organizing and conceiving Houston Business Bank.  In March of 2009, as the Dow tumbled to 6600 and the nation entered into its worst financial crisis, Mr. Ortega successfully raised the goal of securing over $10MM in the capital via private placement. By May of 2009, he was victorious in obtaining a De Novo Bank charter. The charter was one of only four awarded in the State of Texas that year, and Houston Business Bank was one of less than a dozen banks to receive FDIC insurance nationally.

From May of 2009 to 2012, Mr. Ortega served the highly demanding roles of HBB's Director and President/CEO. He led the bank through all regulatory examinations by the FDIC and the Texas Department of Banking.  Through Mr. Ortega's leadership, of the 14 Texas De Novos active in 2011, HBB was in the top third of those banks, reaching profitability in its 11th quarter of operations with the least amount of cumulative losses.  Despite a recession and a tough regulatory environment, HBB achieved profitability in above average time and on July 20, 2012 Mr. Ortega successfully closed on the sale of the bank providing all shareholders a return on capital invested.

Prior to HBB, Mr.Ortega served as Vice President in the  Commercial Middle Market group for JP Morgan Chase. At JPM he was responsible for traditional commercial loan development including, but not limited to corporate finance, cash management, investment banking, ABL, and international opportunities. He banked companies with revenues of $10MM to $500MM. In addition to his core commercial banking responsibilities, he was part of the National Beer Wholesaler Financial Services team as well as a mentor to junior bankers.

While at JP Morgan Chase, Mr. Ortega held various positions, including interim South Texas Market Manager, Senior Relationship Manager, and was a proven leader for JP Morgan Chase.  As a manager, he successfully hired, trained, and managed relationship managers; several of whom became nationally ranked in the organization. While managing the South Texas market, which was previously ranked last in the region, Mr. Ortega was able to turn the market into a top market. As a Senior Relationship Manager in the business banking group, Mr. Ortega was nationally ranked in the top 10% and number one in Houston for two consecutive years.

Mr. Ortega's banking career has been well-balanced, having spent time in larger financial institutions as well as smaller ones. While at Security State Bank in Odessa, Texas, he was Vice President of Commercial Lending, a Loan Committee member and Strategic Management team member.  Prior to this position, Mr. Ortega originated, underwrote and structured complex commercial loans and managed credit relationships of $500M and more as Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lending at Wells Fargo, Odessa, Texas. Formerly, Mr. Ortega was a Credit Analyst of Commercial Lending (middle market/business banking) at Southwest Bank of Texas, where he went through their officer development training program. He attained consumer/retail experience early on in his career at Frost National in San Antonio, Texas and Norwest Bank in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

​Past ​​Board & Committee Experience

First United Bank, Investment Committee, Parkriver, ND

Houston Business Bank, Director, Houston, TX

Texas Independent Bancshares, Inc., Advisory Director, Texas City, TX 

Texas Bankers Association, Director, Austin, TX

Past Recognition & Service

​Pillar of Fairness Award - Northside ISD, San Antonio, TX

Big Brothers/Big Sisters - Fund Raising Committee, Houston, TX 
40 Under 40 - Houston Business Journal

Leadership Houston - Class 26

National Leadership Conference J.P. Morgan
State of Texas Office of Governor George W. Bush - Intern

Past Legal Academic Achievements

Hunton & Williams - Financial Institutions Corporate & Regulatory Practice, Clerk
Immigration Clinic
​Moot Court Section I Class Champion

Our Strength

Who We Are
At Financial Institutions Law, we know banking and we know finance.  Our principal is an attorney who was a banker for over 18 years and truly understands your challenges.  He is someone who has been in your shoes as a bank President, CEO and more.  We know that the bottom line is critical to your business success. Our goal is to apply a common sense approach to help you achieve your goals.   

Our Values

Our Unique Approach
Exceptional legal services through relationship driven representation. Our Principal has walked in your shoes and knows your challenges first hand.  There will be no learning curve or time wasted, which allows us to proactively assist you in accomplishing your goals.


Financial Institutions Law’s core values are centered on trust, care, and a commitment to excellence.

Our Principal