CIBC set to expand portfolio with Geneva Advisors acquisition

By Mohammed Mestar

CIBC has followed its $5bn purchase of PrivateBancorp by agreeing to acquire another Chicago-based company, Geneva Advisors, in a surprise $200m deal.

The fifth biggest lender in Canada has struck a deal for the wealth management firm which specializes in high-end clients and is understood to manage assets to the value of $8.4bn.

CIBC is acquiring Geneva through its Atlantic Trust arm and says 25% of the purchase price will be in cash, with the remaining 75% in the bank’s common stock.

It maintains its goal of ultimately achieving a quarter of its profits in the United States, with the PrivateBancorp and Geneva Advisors deals taking it beyond the 10% mark.

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“We were a little surprised by this transaction, announced so soon after the close of the PrivateBancorp acquisition,” said industry analyst Doug Young. 

“With that said, in terms of size the transaction appears manageable and overall is on strategy with management’s goal to further add scale in the U.S.”

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 subject to regulatory approvals. Once completed, it will take CIBC’s United States assets value over $50bn.

“Coming together with CIBC Atlantic Trust gives us the power to do more for our clients,” Geneva Advisors commented in a statement.

“We will now have access to additional investment strategies that can complement a client’s existing portfolio. This new alliance also provides access to the Wealth Strategies Group at CIBC Atlantic Trust, which allows further integration with tax, trust, estate and philanthropic planning.”

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