Episode 5: Lindsey Savage, Blackstone
Ontra Senior Managing Director of Sales Randi Lynn Veenstra and Senior Vice President, Legal & Compliance at Blackstone Lindsey Savage took a walk to discuss the importance of gratitude, keeping up with evolving legal technology, and how Blackstone is being proactive rather than reactive in terms of a digital transformation.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:01):
I’m Randi Lynn Veenstra, and I’m a senior managing director at Ontra. I’m in the park with Winnie, and we’re going to go talk to Lindsey Savage at Blackstone. Feel free to join us.
Lindsey Savage (00:18):
Hi, Randi Lynn, how are you?
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:19):
Good. How are you?
Lindsey Savage (00:20):
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:21):
Good to see you.
Lindsey Savage (00:22):
Nice to see you. Who is this?
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:24):
This is Winnie.
Lindsey Savage (00:25):
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:26):
Can you say hi? How’s it going? Now remind me, do you have a dog?
Lindsey Savage (00:31):
Yes, I have a dog, Dakota. She’s about three years old now.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:34):
Oh my gosh.
Lindsey Savage (00:35):
Winnie looks young.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:36):
Yes, Winnie’s a puppy. Nine months. She’s being very calm right now. I’m impressed. Good job, Win. Showing off. Should we head out?
Lindsey Savage (00:43):
Randi Lynn Veenstra (00:43):
All right, great. You’ve had a pretty interesting career. What was it like working in Japan? I’m sure you have some amazing stories.
Lindsey Savage (00:51):
Oh, absolutely. Japan was so fun to work there. It was great. I felt very tall there and so sometimes on the train, I would be towering over everyone, in my heels. It was really wonderful.
We had a great community there, and some of the things that I learned working at the Japanese law firm were, when you’re in the elevator, the most junior person in the elevator is the one who’s supposed to push the button. That was always fun for me to experience.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (01:16):
That’s a new thing you have to experience, for sure.
Lindsey Savage (01:18):
Have to remember, “Who’s pushing the button?”
Randi Lynn Veenstra (01:22):
Now, something you said that really stuck with me is that you try and make gratitude a part of your everyday life.
Lindsey Savage (01:28):
It doesn’t take too much when someone sends you an email and asks you to do something and then you respond back to it, to just always reply back and acknowledge that you’ve got it and say thank you. That really can go a long way for people.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (01:30):
It’s the little things.
Lindsey Savage (01:40):
Randi Lynn Veenstra (01:41):
It’s the little things that end up meaning the most, I think, for people. It makes them feel appreciated at work, and it goes unnoticed by a lot of people at times. Especially for lawyers because people are asking you for something, and then you give it to them, and then they got it, and it’s done. I always like the classic, though, when you’re working with a lawyer of, they say, “Thanks, dad.” You wait until, “Who’s going to be the last one to say thanks?” I’ve trumped your thanks with my thanks.
You called yourself a part of the Napster generation. How do you think that’s helped you keep pace with the evolving utilization of AI, being a part of that generation?
Lindsey Savage (02:19):
I think because I was a part of the generation where we had this analog childhood, digital adulthood, it’s been really cool because we really try to keep up with the legal technology and different technologies now. I’ve really brought that into my work at Blackstone, by being able to use legal tech to help me do my work better and help me streamline processes, help things just run faster and smoother. Using automation tools, technology, to have that digital format has been really helpful in the legal world as well.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (02:51):
I feel like that’s all the more important right now, too, because there’s such a regulatory focus on private markets in particular.
Lindsey Savage (02:58):
Absolutely. If someone asks you for a document, you need to be able to find it very quickly. Being able to find things, understand your obligations, make sure that you have everything that you need, and that you can check to confirm that you’ve done it is so important and so valuable to a legal team right now.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (03:16):
How often are you guys talking about digital transformation?
Lindsey Savage (03:19):
Well, we talk about it a lot. I’ve been asked to be a legal tech liaison between our tech team and our legal team. I talk about it a lot in my day to day. At Blackstone, we’re talking about it a lot, just to make sure that we’re keeping up to speed with what’s going on, that we’re being proactive instead of reactive, and making sure that we have the technology that we need to do our jobs, and being at the forefront of it.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (03:46):
Lindsey, what’s top of mind for you all right now at Blackstone?
Lindsey Savage (03:49):
Well, we have just stood up our NDA department, a centralized department where we handle all NDAs across the firm. That’s been really, really wonderful to have that all up and running now. We’ve been able to build a great team over the last six months, six to eight months, I guess, now it’s October. We’ve built a great team over the last year, and we’re really up and running now. That’s just been really, really great.
I always like to be able to like going to work every day. It’s really important to me to just be able to, most days, you want to go to work. I love working at Blackstone because it sorts that.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (04:24):
I know obviously, you’ve said you love the team. It’s been wonderful. You talk about gratitude a lot here, and it seems to really flow into your work at Blackstone, considerably.
Lindsey Savage (04:34):
Oh, absolutely. We try to be doing the best work that we can in the most efficient ways possible. Trying to use technology to get the admin out of the way for people, I think, has been really significant. A lot of people, if you ask them what’s annoying at work that they do, all the little admin pieces. If we can use technology to automate that, get that off their plate, then this frees them up to do more substantive work. That’s really helpful. It makes people happier to be able to do interesting things.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (05:04):
I can say that for myself. This has been great, Lindsey.
Lindsey Savage (05:08):
Absolutely. Thank you so much. Good to see you.
Randi Lynn Veenstra (05:09):
We’re going to stick out here. Good to see you as well. See you, Lindsey.
Lindsey Savage (05:12):
Randi Lynn Veenstra (05:13):
Lindsey Savage (05:14):