(Adds quotes, details on new and old CEOs, background on other
By Cameron French
TORONTO, July 31 Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce has named wealth management head Victor Dodig
as its next president and chief executive, replacing Gerry
McCaughey who will retire in September.
The changing of the guard at Canada's fifth-largest bank
announced on Thursday follows recent succession moves at larger
rivals Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank
and Bank of Nova Scotia, as the generation that
took the reins of the country's lenders in the early-to-mid
2000s makes way for new blood.
Dodig, 49, joined CIBC in 2005 and has been group head of
wealth management since 2011. Before that, he was an executive
at UBS Global Asset Management.
Dodig has "demonstrated his ability to complement CIBC's
organic growth plan with acquisitions and investments that align
to the bank's risk profile," CIBC Chairman Charles Sirois said
in a statement.
McCaughey, 58, said earlier this year he planned to retire
by April 2016, but noted that the actual date would be finalized
after a new CEO was selected.
Dodig and CIBC retail banking head David Williamson were
seen as the most likely internal candidates for the CEO job.
But the fact that the bank announced McCaughey's departure
before naming a successor suggested that others were being
considered, said Tom Lewandowski, an analyst at Edward Jones in
St. Louis. "The thought here was that it as going to come from
McCaughey became CEO in 2005, when the bank was licking its
wounds from a series of disastrous investments during the
dot-com bust and dealing with the fallout of its ties to
collapsed energy trader Enron Corp.
He embarked on a plan to reduce the bank's risks, sharply
downsizing CIBC's Wall Street presence, and shifting away from
wholesale and investment banking toward domestic retail lending
and wealth management.
CIBC is the most domestically focused of Canada's five
biggest banks, with modest aspirations to expand its wealth
management business in the United States.
Lewandowski said Dodig's promotion suggests the bank does
not plan to deviate from its current strategy.
"Generally, it's going to be less of an event if it's an
internal candidate," he said.
CIBC is the fourth big Canadian bank in the past year to
move to replace its CEO.
Brian Porter succeeded Rick Waugh as CEO of Scotiabank last
fall, while Dave McKay will take the reins of RBC in August,
replacing longtime CEO Gord Nixon. Bharat Masrani will take on
the top job at TD in November, replacing Ed Clark.
Canada's banks escaped the financial crisis with relatively
little damage, and have been named the world's soundest for six
straight years by the World Economic Forum.
(Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Richard Chang)