5 in 5: Pia Thompson, LendUp General Counsel

Pia! It’s been about two months since you’ve joined LendUp as General Counsel. How’s it going?

It is going great. The people who work at LendUp are talented, passionate, smart, funny, and fun. I definitely feel part of the LendUp team. It is energizing, challenging, and fun coming to work each day. I could not be happier with my decision to come on board. When people ask “why did you move to San Francisco?” it is an easy answer: to work at LendUp!

You’ve had a long career, including roles in-house and at some leading law firms. What first attracted you to the company?

The industry, the stage of the company, and the mission. It is hard to divorce one from another. Consumer-facing financial services is my most favored area of expertise. Coming to LendUp is the first time that I have worked at a company that shares my values. Now that I have had this experience, I don’t think I could ever go back to just having a job. Building something with like-minded and passionate people is something I wish for everyone.

We love our legal team -- they are such passionate, smart and collaborative colleagues. But we’d love to hear about them in your words, and what you’re looking for as you build out your team.

I am happy to report that I work with fantastic attorneys. LendUp Legal proves that different approaches and perspectives yield the best outcomes. LendUp Legal has great depth in the business units. We take advantage of the opportunities we have to work at the enterprise level as a team. There will certainly be more and more enterprise projects for us as a group as the company continues to grow. Stella, Greg, Krista, and Jesse are practical, clever, dedicated, devoted to learning, and funny (like, really funny).

Besides hiring, what else are you focused on these days?

There is a lot to do, which I consider ideal. We have a theme for the Legal Department for 2018: Highest & Best Use. We use this to measure all of our activities. We evaluate timing, scope, and necessity of projects based on whether it meets a highest & best standard for LendUp. Our intention is to maximize our performance by dedicating time and resources to those actions that result in the highest & best use of LendUp Legal. It is a neat way to approach our work, rather than reacting to our work.

And on a more personal note, how are you liking living in San Francisco for the first time? Do you miss Chicago?

San Francisco is great. We are having a really great time. We left our large house in the suburbs, sold 85% of our belongings, and live in a high-rise apartment. I have a short walk to work and it really is terrific.

I promise that soon, I will stop saying, “Well, in Chicago . . . “ “Well, Chicago has . . .” and other variations.

And as those on the #pet-friendly slack channel at LendUp know, Wellie the kitten joined us in May. I provide photographic evidence of her development on an almost daily basis. Wellie is a slice of heaven on earth -- right here in San Francisco.

Wellie The Cat

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