Michael Karp

Leadership Team | L. Kevin Kelly

L. Kevin Kelly

L. Kevin Kelly is Vice Chairman of Options Group based in Chicago. In his role at Options Group, Kevin, formerly CEO at Heidrick & Struggles, is extending the firm’s already significant global presence. His portfolio includes collaborative strategies across the firm, expanding Options Group’s well-established footprint in financial services and technology while assisting in growing new practice areas including CEO and board practice. Kevin’s addition to the senior team is a signal to the executive search industry that the firm is determined to grow well beyond the conventional dimensions of the recruiting industry. Kevin has served as the CEO of Halo Privacy, a cyber-security and consulting firm focusing on advanced secure communications. Halo combines proprietary technologies and sophisticated tradecraft born of extensive public and private sector experience to offer a true privacy solution. Kevin has been instrumental in growing Halo’s footprint and projecting its strong reputation in the cyber security space.


Kevin has joined Options Group at an important inflexion point in the talent lifecycle and is instrumental in helping to the firm to be at the forefront of industry trends in predictive analytics and cognitive tools. Kevin’s role is to also support clients in developing a strategic understanding of talent, everything that touches on talent, operational structure, corporate governance, culture, leadership development and assessment.


Before assuming his role of CEO at Halo Privacy, Kelly was CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, the global executive-search firm, from 2006 to 2013 and also served as president of Europe, Middle East, Africa of Heidrick & Struggles International and also ran the firm’s Asia Pacific operation as regional managing partner. Kelly then served as CEO of Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the world’s largest paper companies. Additionally, he is an advisor and board member of several companies and organizations as well as Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.


Kelly is a frequent speaker on global issues, executive management and human capital. He has authored three books on leadership: CEO: The Low Down on the Top Job, Top Jobs: How They Are Different and What You Need to Succeed and Leading in Turbulent Times. Kelly earned a BA from George Mason University and an MBA from Duke.