CIBC First Caribbean CEO assures staff over new partner

By RASHAD ROLLE 

Tribune Staff Reporter 

rrolle@tribunemedia.net 

COLETTE Delaney, CEO of CIBC FirstCaribbean, assured employees Friday that the bank remains committed to them as a new partner assumes majority ownership of the bank. 

In an internal email to employees, she confirmed CIBC’s intention to sell part of its shareholding to GNB Financial Group, which is owned by financier Jaime Gillinski. 

“This transaction remains subject to regulatory approval," she said. "Post-closing of the transaction, GNB will become our majority shareholder owning 66.72 percent of our shares. CIBC will continue to retain 24.9 percent interest.

“This is an excellent development for FirstCaribbean, as it demonstrates that there is continuing investment interest in our bank. It will also provide a strong platform for the future while retaining part of our heritage."

Some things will change during the transition to new ownership. The bank is moving away from CIBC provided service, so this will affect the technology area as services will be moved to independent service providers, she said, adding that the bank will also rebrand. 

“It is important to note that CIBC is not leaving the region, but is maintaining a 24.9 percent ownership stake in our bank,” she said. “For CIBC, the agreement is about reallocating capital to advance their long-term strategy, focused on growth in their core business. A partnership with Mr Gilinski will allow CIBC to reallocate capital and senior management focus to areas of growth for them, while at the same time retaining an investment in the region.”

She said the current executive team will remain in place throughout the period of transition. 

For the financial year ending October 2018, the Bahamian operation of the bank generated $85 million in net income, its greatest profit in five years.