Cleo Kirkland
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Cleo Kirkland

Managing Partner, Toronto & Montreal
Toronto

Cleo Kirkland is the Managing Partner of Korn Ferry’s Toronto and Montreal offices and is a key member of the Firm’s Financial Services Practice. She has extensive experience in Insurance and is a member of the Legal, Risk and Compliance Centers of Expertise.

Ms. Kirkland has led dozens of general counsel, chief compliance officer, corporate secretary, chief risk officer and other senior in-house legal, compliance, risk and executive searches. Much of Ms. Kirkland’s time is spent advising leading Canadian and International law firms on succession planning, expansion and targeted lateral partner recruitment. She also has deep experience identifying functional leaders in operations, marketing, finance, information technology and professional development for law and other professional services firms.

Ms. Kirkland also brings diverse experience in Insurance working with a broad range of clients, including diversified financial services companies, multiline and multinational carriers, small monoline writers and mutuals in Property Casualty (Personal Commercial, Specialty, E&S), Life, and Group insurance, Brokerage, Retirement and Annuities. Her recruiting experience spans an array of functional areas and titles, e.g. CEO, President, CFO, COO, CMO, CRO, and GM, as well as leaders in Finance, Underwriting, Product, Actuarial, Sales, Marketing, Distribution, Claims, Operations, etc.

Ms. Kirkland is actively involved in broader firm-building activities, including serving on the North American Promotions Committee, acting as a faculty for new partner training and leading development sessions for consultants across lines of business. She also sits on the Participant Approval Committee for the Catalyst Women On Board Program.

Ms. Kirkland is a lawyer and before starting her career in search, she practiced commercial litigation.

Ms. Kirkland holds a bachelor of arts in philosophy and music (with First Class Honours) from Queen’s University and both civil and common law degrees (with Distinction) from McGill University. She was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 2004.