* Art Korpach to focus on energy and utilities globally
* Mark Horsfall to join in May as managing director
TORONTO Feb 7 Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce (CM.TO) has appointed one of its top energy bankers as
its vice chairman of investment banking as it intensifies a
push to bolster its position in the energy industry as oil
prices trend higher.
CIBC, Canada's No. 5 bank by market capitalization, said
Art Korpach, who was its vice chairman and head of global oil
and gas and wholesale banking, will focus on the energy and
utilities sectors globally in his new job.
The bank said that Mark Horsfall, a 15-year veteran of the
sector who is currently at Morgan Stanley in Calgary, will join
CIBC in May as managing director and head of global energy.
The bank said the changes were made "in an effort to
strengthen and grow our industry-leading energy investment
CIBC has several dozen bankers in Calgary, including a
large research team. Among the deals on which it advised in
2010 was a C$1 billion secondary share offering by Husky Energy
(HSE.TO), Canada's No. 3 oil producer and refiner.
Investment banks are jockeying for position in the growing
oil and gas space in Canada, and the nation's oil capital,
Calgary, is drawing dealmakers in increasing numbers.
Last month Rothschild [ROT.UL], a family-owned bank founded
in London in 1811, announced plans to open offices in Calgary
as part of a drive to expand its advisory business in North
Last July Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Canada's second
largest bank, acquired Calgary's Ross Smith Sousa to work on
large private deals in the oil and gas sector. In the same
month Europe's largest bank, HSBC (HSBA.L), hired a new
director for its M&A advisory business in Canada to take
advantage of a recovery in dealmaking in the resource sector.
Oil and gas deals comprised about a third of all merger and
acquisition activity in Canada last year, with deals ranging in
size from the millions to the billions of dollars.
Global oil prices have gained fresh upward momentum
recently amid worries unrest in Egypt could spread to other
parts of the Middle East and north Africa, disrupting energy
supplies. North Sea Brent crude oil futures were back above
$100 a barrel on Monday.
A senior Kuwait official said over the weekend that oil
prices could exceed $110 per barrel if the turmoil in Egypt
continued, while Venezuela said prices could more than double
to $200 if the Suez Canal were to close. [ID:nLDE71505M]
(Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Peter Galloway)