Kristie Scott was ready for her next chapter. After nearly seventeen years at Cision, the general counsel had been through a handful of private-to-public and public-to-private transformations. Scott understood where her true passion was: working with an organization on the cusp of going public, where she is able to build effective legal teams from the ground up and help prepare for life after an IPO.
Xometry was the perfect place to lean into that expertise. Scott arrived in March 2021 and while the world was still in various stages of pandemic lockdown, Xometry was in the middle of preparing for its IPO.
“Xometry knew they were planning to go public, and so they were on a very fast track through the IPO process,” she says. “Start to finish, it was about six-and-a-half months.”
Fortunately, Scott says leadership at Xometry was already operating with a long-term vision in mind. Along with a new head of HR and a new CFO, Scott was brought to Xometry for her expertise in working through an IPO.
“The IPO process is one thing,” Scott says. “You’ve got the high fives, the dinner afterward, and the pricing. But it’s something else entirely when you talk about the next day. That’s where the real work comes and, frankly, a lot of education is required many colleagues haven’t had that experience before.”
There was an additional challenge: she was the first internal legal hire. While a contracts professional was on board, they’re still on the GC’s team today and Scott needed to learn her new company, start building out a department, and help guide through the IPO process, all at the same time.
“It was sort of showing up and saying, ‘Hi, here are some of the legal processes going forward—which everyone loves to hear—but also, since we’re going public, there will be a whole different set of processes and procedures that will be a little more complicated,’” she explains. “And you know that everyone loves having more processes to follow.”
While the process might sound hectic, and it is, Scott returns to the reality that this is what she’s really good at. As she collaborated with the new HR head on compliance and corporate governance pieces, it was also time to meet the new board of directors. But there were countless other people to meet at the same time.
Scott says when you’re a company’s first attorney, the rest of the organization can be quick to knock on your door. It’s a practice she encourages, but the timing was tough. There were only a core handful of people onsite at Xometry due to pandemic protocols, so making time for phone and Zoom calls was essential to interfacing with a business that was eager to get in touch.
“Regardless of those challenges, I found it easy to build those relationships because of how welcoming everyone was here,” Scott says. “I’ve always seen myself as a part of the business team, and I want to understand their concerns, risks, and perspective because it’s important to me. I think the business understands how much I care, and that really helped me jump in head-first.”
It should go without saying that the IPO was a success, but as Scott already mentioned, that was just day one. At present, she’s deep into regulatory compliance, cybersecurity, ESG (environmental, social, and governance), and the seemingly endless changes coming out of the Securities Exchange Commission in the past few years. Scott says these are big, hairy issues that aren’t just the charge of a GC, but multiple people from multiple departments all working together.
The good news is that since arriving, Scott has seen an organization all rowing the boat in the same direction.
“That’s something else I love about working with businesses at this stage,” Scott explains. “Everyone is on the same page trying to grow the business and looking for new ways to be efficient. Down the line, companies can get much more into the hamster wheel of private equity and M&A, but right now, this is what I love. It’s about growing the business and making it successful for our employees, our customers, and our partners.”