April Lindauer – Carta
Landing your dream job during the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t ideal timing. April Lindauer has made the most of it, though, developing her department as the newly promoted general counsel of Carta as of October 2020.
Her team has expanded over the past several months and has supported the launch of several new products for startups and venture capitalists, which she says was an interesting challenge with employees in every time zone.
“It’s forced me to push myself in new ways, but I really enjoy mentoring, training and building legal and compliance teams,” Lindauer says. “Being in the driver’s seat for that has been a goal of mine for a few years now.”
Carta’s core product is an equity management platform used for capitalization table management, which helps private companies maintain market value calculations, and valuation software, which produces analyses and reports . Founded in 2012, Carta has offices in North and South America, Asia and Australia.
The company has recently grown its products to include enhanced liquidity offerings, compensation tools, tax tools and investor services. Helping companies and giving them the resources to grow and succeed is important to Carta, Lindauer says. For example, in April, the company launched Carta Total Compensation, a tool for companies to compare their salary and equity packages to market rates.
Lindauer says she’s proud of how Carta worked company-wide on the products launched over the past year and that working with her legal team and outside counsel was especially rewarding.
“It was really a team effort,” she says. “It couldn’t have been accomplished by one person.”
While Lindauer has built legal and compliance teams before, doing so as general counsel has allowed her to have more freedom in hiring.
Since October 2020, she’s hired several attorneys, compliance personnel and support staff. One attorney specializes in commercial contracting and privacy while another is an expert in securities law. Lindauer is now looking to hire an attorney specializing in corporate development.
“We’re really focused on building a well-rounded team and hiring folks of diverse backgrounds,” she says.
The legal and compliance team now has over 25 people, compared to only a few when Lindauer started at Carta in 2018. With such quick growth, she’s been determining how legal and compliance operations must adapt so there’s no redundancy.
The department has started using digital tools for contract management and tracking outside counsel, which has been helpful in staying consistent and organized, Lindauer says. It’s also intended to make reporting more automated so she can more easily share numbers with Carta’s executive team and board.
She’s also tracking metrics to predict future workloads “so the team can scale” and be prepared.
Lindauer worked with Carta’s procurement and information security departments to select and implement the tools, including eDiscovery software, which processes legal documents, and matter management software, which tracks and records everything legal works on.
Boulders of innovation
Managing a department remotely, especially having never met some staff, has been a challenge, Lindauer says.
Communication has been especially important over the past year, with Lindauer being available and present whenever her team needs her. She says she’s “been purposeful in giving them my time,” and is excited for offices to reopen this fall.
“I have one of the best teams out there,” she says. “I’m very grateful for their support and hard work, especially during the pandemic.”
Lindauer says the difficulty of her job, whether pandemic-related or in general, is what makes it fulfilling.
“The challenges are enjoyable for me because I get to solve complex problems,” she says. “I’ve never been bored a single day at Carta.”
Prior to working at Carta, Lindauer was a compliance officer at Assurant, a Fortune 500 insurance company, for two years. She’s also worked in compliance, legal affairs and operations for Encore Capital Group, a financial services company based in San Diego. Working at a fintech like Carta has been most exciting, though, she says.
“I love being on the frontline of innovation,” Lindauer says. “That’s what I enjoy most about working at Carta. We’re tackling big boulders.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Fall II 2021 Edition here.
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