Canada’s CIBC to buy Chicago-based wealth manager for up to $200 million

A Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce sign is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has struck a deal to acquire Chicago-based wealth management firm Geneva Advisors for up to $200 million to build on its U.S. expansion, it said on Monday.

Last month Canada’s fifth-biggest lender completed the $5 billion acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp, its biggest ever, as it diversifies from its home market.

Geneva Advisors, which focuses on high-net-worth clients, has $8.4 billion in assets under management and a staff of about 100.

“This investment will add scale in key markets where we can offer clients differentiated, high-touch service,” said Larry Richman, CIBC’s group head, U.S. region.

CIBC will pay an initial $135 million and a further $65 million if performance conditions are met, with 25 percent in cash and the rest in shares.

“Coming almost immediately off the heels of the PrivateBancorp purchase closing, this could raise some concerns that CIBC could be back on the acquisition trail too soon,” said Barclays analyst John Aiken.

CIBC Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig said last month that the bank would focus for the next two years on integrating PrivateBancorp but could make some acquisitions in wealth management.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham)