David Scandiffio of CIBC Asset Management is part of this year's Wealth Professional Canada's Host List.


CIBC Asset Management

One year into his term as CEO of CIBC Asset Management – a year when market volatility has caused plenty of consternation across the industry – David Scandiffio nevertheless is decidedly upbeat about the future.“Coming into the role, I wanted to have a clear understanding of the business and the clients, both from the retail level right up to institutional,” he says. “At CIBC, there’s real focus on the client and making sure we’re meeting their needs now and as things are changing in the market.”

Of course, being an advisor in this day and age is about moving with the times in a constantly changing industry. In Scandiffio’s view, those who can do so will be at the forefront, while those who can’t or won’t will mostly be left behind. Heading CIBC’s retail and institutional asset management business and its portfolio management team, Scandiffio clearly has to be on top of regulatory developments. “The industry is transforming rapidly, and with CRM2, transparency is the new normal,” he says. “Being a client-focused bank, transparency is very much engrained in our business, and we see this as a great opportunity. We need to focus on value for the client and delivering value. [For] those who understand CRM2 and understand creating value for the client, there’s a big opportunity to gain market share, whether it’s as an asset manager or an advisor.”

Prior to coming to CIBC, Scandiffio spent time at IA Clarington and Mackenzie Financial. Now part of one of Canada’s big five banks, he will have a key role to play as the industry continues to evolve over the coming years. “As an asset manager, we think it’s important to embrace transparency,” he says. “At CIBC Asset Management, that really means having a laser focus on how we add alpha from an investment standpoint for clients. For our advisor partners, we need to anticipate ways to support them as their business model changes – whether that’s the way they deliver their services or the economic model they use, if that’s a fee model or not. There is a fair bit of change happening, so it’s about focusing our priorities to make sure we’re in the best spot to help support our clients.”