The new CIBC CEO, Victor Dodig, is getting right to work this fall. The bank announced a new executive leadership structure this morning.
Among the changes: A new Executive Committee replaces the Senior Executive Team structure. Steve Geist, the former president and CEO of the bank's asset management company, CIBC Asset Management, is on the team. With the announcement this morning Geist takes on a new title: senior executive vice-president and group head of wealth management. That is, Mr Geist moves into Mr. Dodig’s former position and takes over leadership of Canadian and U.S. wealth management.
Prior to joining CIBC, Geist acted as president of TD Mutual Funds. Previous to this he worked with Price Waterhouse and Fidelity. Mr. Geist is a chartered accountant and certified financial planner. He is also a director of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada. According to a CIBC press release, under Mr. Geist's leadership, CIBC Asset Management has achieved “superior growth with record assets of over $100 billion, driven by five consecutive years of net sales records.” Geist also holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
There has been speculation that the ascension of Dodig to the top spot suggests CIBC is focusing on wealth management as a major business line for the years ahead.
Another key appointment: David Williamson is to be senior executive vice-president and group head of retail and business banking. Mr. Williamson is said to have been considered for the top spot. There was some speculation about whether he would continue on with the bank. Today’s announcement seems to settle that—he’s staying on. According to the Globe and Mail, this is a “sign of continuity.” Williamson will continue to run the all-important retail banking operation, responsible for 70% of the bank’s profits. Williamson also assumes expanded responsibility for CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, which is a nice perk in terms of winter business trips.
The new executive leadership structure is meant to "build on the positive momentum we have generated over the last number of years," Dodig was quoted as saying.
Two retirements were also announced. Richard Nesbitt, once head of the Toronto Stock Exchange, originally planned to retire in October 2015. According to the presser, Nesbitt "has advanced his departure date and is now leaving the bank.” Tom Woods, who has been at the bank since 1977 (when the wealth management arm was still known as Wood Gundy), is also retiring.
"The experience of this team combined with our strong foundation, strong capital base, leading retail and wholesale banking franchises, as well as our North American wealth management platform, position CIBC for continued long-term success," Dodig was quoted as saying.