TORONTO – CIBC has tapped the head of its wealth management division to be the bank’s next president and chief executive.

The bank said Thursday that Victor Dodig, 49, will take over the helm at CIBC, Canada’s fifth-largest bank, on Sept. 15, when chief executive Gerry McCaughey retires.

Dodig is currently the senior executive vice-president of the wealth management group.

The appointment was unexpected because McCaughey said in April at CIBC’s annual meeting that he planned to retire in April 2016 when he turned 60.

But the board at CIBC (TSX:CM) said in a statement that it engaged in a “robust succession planning process” and chose Dodig to lead the bank into the future.

CIBC said Dodig has experience with both wealth management and retail banking and helped the bank grow over the past three years through acquisitions in the U.S.

Dodig, who worked CIBC customer service representative as a university student, has been a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., a managing director at Merrill Lynch and the Canadian head of UBS Global Asset Management.

He joined CIBC in 2005 as executive vice-president of wealth management before moving to the retail distribution business. Dodig has been senior executive vice-president and group head of wealth management since 2011.

“In addition to his broad understanding of the Canadian banking business, Victor has played an integral leadership role within CIBC Retail Markets and Wealth Management,” said board chairman Charles Sirois in a statement.

“He has a deep understanding of CIBC’s strategy, culture and opportunities, and has demonstrated his ability to complement CIBC’s organic growth plan with acquisitions and investments that align to the bank’s risk profile.”

Dodig said he was excited to help build on the positive momentum at the bank.

“I feel privileged that the board has asked me to lead CIBC into the next phase of its growth and development,” Dodig said in a statement.

McCaughey is the fourth CEO from Canada’s Big Five banks in the past year to announce his retirement, following Gordon Nixon of Royal Bank (TSX:RY), Rick Waugh of ScotiaBank (TSX:BNS) and Ed Clark of TD (TSX:TD).

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