CIBC says CEO McCaughey to retire in 2016, no successor named

Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:51pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) said on Thursday that Chief Executive Gerry McCaughey will retire in two years, the latest in a series of leadership changes at Canada's top lenders.

Toronto-based CIBC, Canada's fifth-largest bank, said McCaughey, 57, will step down on April 30, 2016. The bank did not name a replacement, and said the actual date of McCaughey's retirement could change upon the completion of a succession plan that is currently under way.

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. The bank ultimately agreed to pay $2.4 billion to investors to settle a lawsuit accusing the bank of helping Enron hide its debts before it collapsed in 2001.

McCaughey embarked on a plan to de-risk the bank, sharply downsizing CIBC's once-mighty Wall Street presence, and shifting its focus away from wholesale and investment banking and toward domestic retail lending and wealth management.

McCaughey "made significant contributions to the bank, leading the firm through the financial crisis, and returning CIBC to consistent, sustainable, and profitable growth," Barclays Capital analyst John Aiken said in a note.

While CIBC is now the least internationally exposed of Canada's top five banks, it has in recent years made some modest acquisitions in the U.S. wealth management space, such as its 2011 purchase of 41 percent of Missouri-based American Century Investments for C$848 million ($769.06 million).

Earlier this week Reuters reported the bank and two private equity consortia are exploring offers for global asset management Russell Investments.


The CIBC logo is seen on the trading floor during the CIBC Miracle Day charity event in New York December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton