Allison Amadia, a veteran attorney who has worked in the high-tech industry for nearly three decades, has provided legal services for dozens of technology companies, including traditional hardware manufacturers, electronic-commerce providers, software-as-a-service providers, networking, big data, payments, and more. “While every business I have represented has provided value to its customers, Personal Capital is the first company where I have been able to appreciate that value on a personal level,” says Amadia, Personal Capital’s first in-house general counsel. “I joined the team for that very reason.”
Personal Capital, sitting firmly in the fintech space, is both a technology company and registered investment advisor, with personalized solutions and services that are uniquely suited to the current age of financial complexity. There’s a lot for Americans to consider, not only in terms of piecing a financial life together, but also in planning effectively for the future: monthly bills, mortgages, assets, retirement savings. With easy-to-use technology, Personal Capital delivers a holistic, clear view of people’s finances that empowers them to make strategic decisions on their own or with the help of a financial advisor.
“Our purpose is to bring clarity and confidence to financial lives,” Amadia says. “We do that in a way that’s truly transformative for our customers. We give our users and clients a whole new way to see, understand, and manage their money with online tools and insight-driven guidance from advisors.”
In addition to selecting Personal Capital because of its transformational technology and talented people, Amadia joined the company because of how each of its core values resonated with her. The foundation of Personal Capital is built on five core values: being up-front, working hard to make things simple, making business personal, building on a legacy of trust, and teaming up to break down challenges. These values, embodied by current CEO Jay Shah, are ones Amadia has subscribed to in her work for decades—and to which she attributes much of her success as a legal executive. “It’s not just experience that makes us good at what we do; it’s the way we choose to work that truly matters,” she says.
Amadia began her legal career as an associate in the business group at Morrison & Foerster, then spent more than a decade as in-house counsel for large technology companies, including HP, VeriFone, and Seagate. Amadia has also served as a general counsel to many privately held companies. She even founded and managed her own independent law firm for more than a decade and taught technology law at University of Santa Clara School of Law. While her career path has taken her in many different directions, she has never veered from her value system. “I believe that outstanding executives, including outstanding lawyers, value integrity, transparency, hard work, ownership, trust, and collaboration,” she says. “They incorporate those values into their leadership and work product every day.” Amadia’s strengths earned her recognition as a finalist for Public Company General Counsel of the Year in 2015, from the Silicon Valley Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times.
Amadia is a particularly strong believer in cross-functional collaboration, which fits perfectly with Personal Capital’s emphasis on teaming up to solve problems. The company’s cross-functional teams collaborate on dozens of day-to-day initiatives, from driving core business metrics to strategizing about privacy and security.
Simplicity is also highly valued by Amadia, who believes it’s important to do the heavy work up front to set up internal processes in a way that maximizes business performance. “My teams focus on executing strategic planning that sets the company up for success rather than taking a reactive approach,” she says. “It’s a lot more effective to get in front of issues and challenges by thinking ahead strategically rather than sweeping up after the mess. It’s the difference between bringing in a caterer ahead of time to plan an elegant meal for a big event versus a run to Costco minutes before the first guest arrives.”
In the coming months and years, Amadia will help the executive team steer Personal Capital’s growth and maturity while relying on her core values as her North Star. She will also focus on fine-tuning her nimble and strategic legal and compliance team to scale with the company’s high-growth trajectory. “Hiring the right people is critical,” she says. “Although that can take time, it is time well spent. Once you find a fit, empowering your employees to make decisions is critical to growing a successful organization.”
And, Amadia is looking forward to her own continued growth and transformation as a legal executive, even after more than twenty-five years of experience. “At this point in my career, I am more focused on meaningful relationships at work than ever before, on building a strong company culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion, and on personal quality of life,” she says. “We give so much of our lives and ourselves to our work. It’s imperative that we take the time to get to know our colleagues, support one another with a strong mentoring culture, and encourage personal time to recharge.”
Given Amadia’s experience, talent, and commitment, it’s safe to assume Personal Capital will continue to be transformative for its customers as well as nurture a culture of success.
“Allison brings a strong portfolio of varied skills and depth to Personal Capital. She’s business oriented, an innovator, and a team builder. Allison has invaluable experience in public and private company settings that I’m confident will help enable Personal Capital to realize the company’s vision.”
—Ed Batts, Global Head of Orrick’s M&A and Private Equity Practice