Kikelomo Lawal has been appointed executive vice president and chief legal officer (CLO) at CIBC, effective October 12.
In her new position, Lawal will oversee the bank’s legal function globally as well as its corporate secretary, ombudsman and privacy office functions, and related policies and programs. She will join CIBC’s executive committee and report to president and CEO Victor Dodig.
Shawn Beber is Lawal’s predecessor. He was appointed general counsel in August 2019. In February of this year he was named chief risk officer while also continuing as general counsel, according to a spokesperson.
Lawal is moving to CIBC from Interac Corporation, where she has most recently been CLO, ombudsman and corporate secretary. Her legal experience includes work as both a trial lawyer and a transactional lawyer.
CIBC describes Lawal as a strong advocate for inclusion who speaks regularly on the importance of inclusion across gender, race/ethnicity and life experience, among other things. Her appointment to the bank comes at a time when companies are facing increasing pressure, including from major investors, to improve diversity and inclusion in their workforces.
For example, State Street Global Advisors’ global chief investment officer Richard Lacaille recently told board chairs that starting in 2021 the asset manager will ask portfolio companies to explain their risks, goals and strategy relating to racial and ethnic diversity and to make relevant disclosures to shareholders.
A recent survey by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association found record numbers of women and members of minority racial and ethnic groups among the ranks of general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies in 2019. But it also found that male general counsel and white general counsel were more likely to be chosen than women and minority candidates when opportunities arose to increase diversity.
‘Kike is a proven leader and she will play a key role as we continue to build a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world and live our purpose – to help make our clients’ ambitions a reality,’ Dodig says in a statement. ‘She is an accomplished legal professional with strong business acumen who brings a strategic approach to the position. We look forward to having Kike join our leadership team and adding her expertise, experience and perspective to our bank.’