Team Member-Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen A. Kelly

Managing Partner

Kathleen Kelly, originally from Ballston Lake (Saratoga County), NY, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wake Forest University. She is a Founding and Managing Partner of Compass Financial Partners, LLC, and a 25-year veteran of the financial services industry, specializing in the areas of retirement plan consulting & investment advisory services for qualified retirement plans and executive benefit planning. Ms. Kelly has achieved the Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS) designation, and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA) designation through the Center for Fiduciary Studies. A nationally recognized firm, the team at Compass Financial Partners has been recently named to Barron's Top Institutional Investment Consultants, Pension & Investments Top Consultants, the PLANADVISER Top Retirement Plan Advisors and NAPA Top DC Advisor Teams. Kathleen was also recently named to the NAPA Top Women Advisors listing.

In further recognition of Kathleen’s leadership within the retirement plan consulting community, she has been selected to serve on the Defined Contribution Institutional Investor Association (DCIIA) RIA Advisory Council, Empower Advisory Board, Nuveen Retirement Leadership Council, Principal Financial Professional Advisor Council, the Prudential Advisor Council, the MassMutual Retirement Partners Council, the Transamerica Retirement Solutions RIA Advisory Board, the JP Morgan DC Advisor Council, the Fidelity Workplace Investing Advisor Council, the T. Rowe Price Retirement Client Advisory Board, the EY Innovation Studio and the Retirement Advisor Council. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and regularly quoted in trade publications.

Active in her community, Ms. Kelly was appointed by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to the Board of Trustees for Winston-Salem State University, one of the nations leading HBCUs, where she was recently appointed Chairman of the Board; Chairs the Endowment Committee; and serves on the Finance Committee and Governance, Advocacy, Trusteeship and Ethics Committee. Additionally, she has served on both the Wake Forest Board of Visitors and Greensboro College Board of Visitors, and is currently on the Wake Forest Board of Visitors Emeritus. She was awarded a “Women in Business” Award (based on successful entrepreneurship) through the Triad Business Journal, and was named a “2019 Women of Distinction” by the Peaks to Piedmont Girl Scout Council for making a difference in the community, where she served as a past Board member.

Other community involvement has included work with Operation Smile, founding membership in the Steering Committee for Women’s Programming with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, and her current position on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Greater Greensboro and Co-Chair of the Tocqueville Society, the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Science Center, and the Canterbury School Endowment Committee. Ms. Kelly also completed her 1-year term as the 2011 American Heart Association Guilford Heart Ball Chair, having achieved both fundraising and attendance numbers representing new records. In her spare time, Ms. Kelly enjoys playing golf and tennis and spending time with her husband, two children and golden retriever.


We are not yes-people to our clients. We are thoughtful, honest and strategic partners who engage in a rigorous process to help clients reach their goals.