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Early Wage Access Startup Snags Sotheby’s Transactions Lawyer

Feb. 24, 2020, 10:00 PM

DailyPay, an on-demand pay startup in the financial technology space, brought on Vladimir Kleyman earlier this month as its first-ever general counsel.

Kleyman, who is fluent in English and Russian, comes to DailyPay from Sotheby’s Financial Services Inc., where he spent five years as the top in-house lawyer for transactions at the New York-based auction house’s art lending and finance arm.

Founded in 2016, DailyPay allows employees at its client companies to access their earned wages prior to payday in order to control the timing and usage of their funds. Third-party companies like DailyPay provide the money upfront in return for an eventual transaction fee or debit from employee accounts at the time of payment.

Kleyman told Bloomberg Law that he has a “broad-reaching mandate to help DailyPay scale up” as it transitions from being a startup to a more established company. The privately held company’s headquarters are in downtown Manhattan and DailyPay also opened a second office last summer in Minneapolis as it expands, Kleyman said.

“As we grow and build up structures that mature companies have, the legal function is a part of that,” he said. “I want to make sure that the culture of integrity and compliance that DailyPay already has is continued and becomes more structured and professionalized.”

Kleyman joins a small in-house legal team at DailyPay that already includes deputy general counsel and head of legal and compliance Alesya Nasimova. Cooley and Goodwin Procter are the two primary outside law firms now doing work for DailyPay, Kleyman said.

Sotheby’s Exit

Kleyman previously served as senior counsel and director of transactions at Sotheby’s Financial Services, which uses art as collateral for lending transactions. It is separate from the main auction side of the Sotheby’s business.

Bloomberg News reported in December on an overhaul of Sotheby’s top management following its sale last year to telecommunications billionaire and prominent art collector Patrick Drahi, who took the company private in a $2.7 billion deal.

Among those to recently leave Sotheby’s was Kleyman’s former boss, general counsel Jonathan Olsoff, who earlier this month launched New York-based art law boutique Olsoff Cahill Cossu with former Sotheby’s chief commercial officer John Cahill and former Pryor Cashman partner Paul Cossu.

Kleyman said his decision to join DailyPay had nothing to do with the recent sale and reorganization taking place at Sotheby’s, but the opportunity to build out a law department at a growing company.

“I was in conversations with DailyPay for a few months before I joined, and I’m really excited to be here,” Kleyman said. “We’re going to evaluate what our needs are, but if we grow the legal department along with the rest of the company that will be an indication of our prospects overall.”

Kleyman noted that Sean Burke, a founding partner at Whistler Partners, and Sarah Wyman, a managing director and head of in-house at the New York-based headhunter, helped recruit him to DailyPay. Whistler announced last week its hire of Jonathan Drucker, a former general counsel at Godiva Chocolatier Inc. and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., as a senior consultant for its in-house counsel practice.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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