Nellie Kim and Chris Hirsch join Lg2

The new partners and co-creative directors are tasked with helping the agency set up its first Toronto shop.

A few months shy of celebrating 10 years at John St., Nellie Kim and Chris Hirsch join Lg2 in a move that will see the two creative directors help launch the Montreal-based agency’s Toronto shop.

The co-CDs were head-hunted with the help of Mandrake and Radar Recruitment, according to Mathieu Roy, VP and general manager at Lg2, adding that the agency had spent only a couple months in the recruitment phase before offering the jobs to Hirsch and Kim.

“Nellie and Chris are the perfect fit in terms of the culture, the vision and shared values,” he explains.

They’ve been named partners, and will arrive at their new Liberty Village office on July 15 when the shop slowly starts to open, with the official launch in September. This is the third office for the agency; its other two are in Montreal and Quebec City.

First on the agenda is the hire of a general manager for the new office. The Quebec team has already met with a few candidates, and will leave the decision up to the new partners as to who takes the GM position, adds Roy. And while staff won’t be relocated from the Quebec City or Montreal offices to Toronto, Roy says they’ll be tapping some of the French region creatives to help “share the DNA and transfer some of the culture” that’s been a part of Lg2′s success.

Hirsch began as a copywriter at John St. in 2005 (after beginning his advertising career at Publicis), and was named creative director in 2013. Kim took a similar path, joining John St. the same year, after working at Grip Limited for two years as an art director. The pair are multiple award-winning co-creatives, and most recently worked with clients such as Mitsubishi, Tangerine (Formerly ING Direct), Stanfield’s, Kruger Products, Corby Spirit and Wine Limited and WWF Canada.

This isn’t the first time Lg2 has made a significant hire in the hopes of opening a Toronto office. In 2012, the agency named Jason Chaney as its new VP of strategy, with an eye to opening a shop here, though at the time there was no definitive date set for an opening. Chaney has since moved to Cossette in January of this year as SVP strategy and planning.

“It takes the required time to find the right people that will bring the right work, so we were not in a hurry to do anything,” Roy says of the delay in launching its Toronto office. “This is just a natural evolution. About a third of our business, if not more today, is already produced outside of Quebec, so it was just natural for us to move into this exciting phase. We took time to do things properly and it paid off.”

More to come.