Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CIBC's New CEO Dodig Says He'll Be Cautious When Growing Bank's Business

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CIBC's New CEO Dodig Says He'll Be Cautious When Growing Bank's Business

Article excerpt

Caution is key in future growth: CIBC CEO

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Hardly a week into his new role as CIBC's chief executive, Victor Dodig is already showing he will be cautious and calculated when it comes to growing the business of the Canadian bank.

"Our shareholders should be prepared for a very common sensical, prudent approach to investing," he said Wednesday during an industry conference held by CIBC (TSX:CM) in Montreal.

Growth will primarily come from taking the assets the bank already owns and making them deliver improved profits with a more focused objective, he said.

In the United States, that will include increasing the presence of wealth management businesses American Century Investments and Atlantic Trust, which it purchased for a combined $1 billion last year, with a priority on serving high net worth clients, Dodig said.

"We're not going to be a mainline retail bank in the U.S.," he said. "We want to focus on a segment of wealth creation that has very attractive economic characteristics."

Dodig, who was previously head of CIBC's wealth management division, said he wants to expand the division to serve the top 10 or 20 markets for high net worth individuals in the U.S., with a goal of building a national presence.

"We also recognize the need to invest in our business organically and we need to have the flexibility for an acquisition," Dodig said.

Just a few months ago, CIBC was in the running to purchase U.S. money manager Russell Investments for as much as US$3 billion, according to media reports, and while a deal has not materialized Dodig said he's shopping for investments that top out around $2 billion. …

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