Ilona Niemi

Ilona Niemi
Head of Compliance,
Zurich Canada

Skills and experience

As Head of Compliance for Zurich Canada, Ilona Niemi leads a team responsible for Zurich Canada's compliance program including promoting an ethics-based culture, delivering compliance and regulatory solutions to business partners, and providing assurance that compliance risks are identified and managed.

Prior to transferring to Zurich Canada, Niemi held the role of Head of Global Compliance Oversight and Reporting at Zurich Insurance Company in Switzerland, having responsibility for driving compliance insights across five regions. Niemi joined Zurich Insurance Company in 2008, serving as Head of Corporate Center Public Policy Issues, managing Zurich’s International Advisory Council; a group of business leaders, former heads of state and ministers and academics from mature and emerging markets which advised Zurich’s CEO and other senior executives on market entry and access strategies.

Preceding that, Niemi had varying positions in management, strategy and communications consulting in Germany and Washington D.C. and served as EU policy advisor in Brussels.

External appointments

Niemi is an Advisory Board member for Osgoode Hall Law School’s regulatory compliance management program at York University in Toronto. She is also part of the program’s faculty since 2018.

Educational background

Niemi holds a PhD and M.A. in International Relations, Public International Law and Business and Organizational Theory from Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich and a Master in Policy Management from Georgetown University. Niemi also has a Certificate in Finance and Accounting from Columbia Business School and a Certificate in Women on Boards: Succeeding as a Corporate Director from Harvard Business School.

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