UPDATE 1-CIBC shakes up management ranks as its new CEO takes charge

Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:52am EDT
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(Adds analyst comments, share price move)

TORONTO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - CIBC outlined a series of management changes on Monday with its new Chief Executive Victor Dodig shaking up the ranks just as he stepped into his new role.

While analysts and investors do not expect the management changes to result in a radical shift in direction for Canada's No. 5 bank, some do expect to see a greater emphasis on wealth management.

Morningstar analyst Dan Werner noted that Dodig, who earlier headed the bank's wealth management unit, has already indicated he wants to try to build wealth management and the fee business side of the bank's operations.

"I don't think that the vision or direction has changed much since he was named CEO," said Werner. "I think these changes are just a bit of a refinement of the team he wants in place to help meet that vision."

The bank said its Chief Operating Officer Richard Nesbitt, who originally planned to retire in October 2015, will now be leaving the bank, effective immediately. And Tom Woods, its senior executive vice-president and vice-chairman, will be retiring, effective December 31.

The bank also announced expanded responsibilities for a number of its executives with David Williamson, head of retail banking, taking on responsibility for CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

Steve Geist has been named group head of wealth management, taking on the role formerly held by Dodig. Harry Culham has been named managing director and group co-head of wholesale banking, along with Geoff Belsher.

The changing of the guard at Canada's fifth-largest bank 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 replaces Gerry McCaughey, who announced plans to retire earlier this year.

CIBC shares were down less than a percent at C$106.67 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)