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CIBC Private Wealth Advisors Review

CIBC Private Wealth Advisors is an advisory firm with over $50 billion AUM. This page reviews its services, fee structures, and reputation.

An indirect subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), CIBC Private Wealth Advisors is an advisory firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It offers various services, such as investment management, financial planning, and private banking. In 2023, Barron’s ranked the company number six on its Top 100 RIA Firms list.

This article will review CIBC Private Wealth Advisors, which will include an outline of the types of clients it serves, its available services, and its fee structure. We’ll also detail the firm’s investment philosophy and examine whether it has any disclosures on its Form ADV.

Assets Under Management

$51.105 billion

Number of Employees

455

Date Founded

1961

CEO

John S. Markwalter

Fee Structure

Fee-based

Headquarters Address

3290 Northside Parkway NW, 7th Floor

Atlanta, GA 30327

Phone Number

(312) 368-7700

Pros and Cons of CIBC Private Wealth Advisors

Pros

  • Offers services that other companies may not, such as private banking
  • Annual fees decrease as assets grow
  • Zero disclosures
  • Upholds a fiduciary duty

Cons

  • High account minimums
  • Unavailable in many states

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Types of Clients

CIBC serves many different types of clients. This includes both wealthy and non-wealthy individuals and families, who make up over 90% of the company’s clientele, as well as corporations, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, and government entities.

Like most investment advisory companies, CIBC requires incoming clients to have a minimum account size. According to its Form ADV Part 2A, the typical requirement is a lofty $1 million, which may be out of reach for beginning or average-net-worth investors. However, the firm clarifies that it may waive this at its discretion, including under circumstances where it seems you’ll remain a long-time client.

Financial Advisor Services

CIBC Private Wealth features a slew of advisory services, including portfolio management and comprehensive planning for several financial areas. It also provides services you may not find at other companies, such as estate planning and private banking.

Below is a more detailed overview of the services the company offers:

Investment Management

CIBC offers investment management on both a non-discretionary and discretionary basis. If you opt for the latter, your advisor will have uninhibited authority to make trades on your behalf and carry out your investment strategy. On the other hand, with the former, you must approve each transaction, meaning you still maintain full control over your portfolio.

Upon enrolling, you’ll work with a professional to build an investing strategy that works for you and your objectives. The company says that this may involve using strategies it’s already developed, or it could be something unique to you. However, keep in mind that the firm points out on its website that it values techniques such as diversification across asset classes and overall approaches.

According to the CIBC’s client-facing brochure, you’ll work one-on-one with a “relationship manager.” This person, whom you’ll meet with at least once a year, will examine your investment strategy and help ensure you’re on track to accomplish your goals.

Wealth Planning

CIBC also offers wealth planning, which encapsulates investment management, along with planning for several other components of your financial picture. This may include any of the following:

Under this arrangement, you and a professional will meet and discuss how each of the above aspects, or more, work together with your portfolio’s overall strategy. Then, they’ll assist you with creating a plan that can allow you to accomplish your targets. During this process, CIBC notes that its team will coordinate with your other team of experts, such as lawyers or accountants.

Institutional Services

CIBC extends a variety of services to institutional clients, including:

  • Cash management
  • Escrow services for mergers and acquisitions
  • Custodial services

Private Banking

Finally, CIBC offers private banking as part of its advisory arm. This gives you access to several services, which the company notes, may work well with other services you’re receiving. According to the firm’s website, here’s what you could expect:

  • Lines of credit
  • Lending as a means of supplying capital for investments
  • Residential mortgages

Fee Structure

CIBC Private Wealth charges fees based on a percentage of the value of the assets under management (AUM) you have with the firm. The company uses a tiered structure, where the rate you pay will drop as your assets grow. It also notes in its Form ADV brochure that costs may be negotiable in certain situations.

Your fee schedule will vary based on your account and the services and strategies within. With separately managed accounts (SMAs), which encompass the firm’s investment advisory and wealth planning, you may see one of four structures. For each, however, the minimum yearly fee is $10,000.

New Accounts with Equity and Balanced Portfolios

Asset ValueAnnual AUM Fee
First $5 million1.00%
Next $5 million0.80%
All additional amounts0.60%

New Accounts with Fixed Income Portfolios

Asset ValueAnnual AUM Fee
First $5 million0.50%
Next $5 million0.35%
All additional amounts0.25%

New Accounts with Cash Portfolios

Asset ValueAnnual AUM Fee
First $5 million0.20%
Next $5 million0.15%
All additional amounts0.10%

Wealth Management Accounts

Asset ValueAnnual AUM Fee
First $5 million1.20%
Next $5 million0.80%
All additional amounts0.60%

Investment Philosophy

CIBC uses a dominantly client-centric approach to investing. As explained in full detail in its Form ADV, the firm works with you to understand your goals, both short- and long-term, and risk tolerance. Then, it’ll use its expertise to tailor an applicable strategy to your needs. Over time, it’ll take rebalancing measures, which it refers to as “tactical adjustments,” to keep your portfolio on track.

When collaborating with you on the right direction for your portfolio, the company might use both internal and external knowledge. This works as a means of diversifying input and building comprehensive strategies, which may include anything from ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing to allocating across different asset classes, such as fixed-income assets, equities, and alternatives.

Disclosures

CIBC Private Wealth Advisors, Inc. is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment advisor. One of the primary requirements of this official designation is disclosing all disciplinary and/or regulatory actions it’s received to the public, but especially to prospective or current clients.

According to its latest filing, CIBC Private Wealth has zero disclosures. This means it hasn’t received any discipline from the SEC or state regulatory agencies.

Customer Service and Opening an Account

The primary way to get in contact with CIBC Private Wealth or become a client is to visit the “Contact Us” page on its website. From there, you’ll be able to write a message to the company and specify which office you’d like to connect with.

You could also visit the company’s “Our Locations” page, which allows you to locate a branch in your area. After selecting one, you’ll be able to find an office’s phone number, address, and the names of the wealth management employees at the firm.

Methodology

This review is based on publicly available information directly from CIBC Private Wealth Advisors’ website and the SEC. Neither the firm nor its representatives have any say on what we’ve included on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CIBC Private Wealth Advisors a fiduciary?

CIBC must uphold a fiduciary duty when working with clients because it maintains registration with the SEC as an investment advisor. This also binds any of its employees who perform advisory duties to the same high standard. Therefore, when delivering advice, the company and its representatives must maintain transparency and make clients aware of conflicts of interest.

Is CIBC a good advisory company?

CIBC is a sizable company held in high regard for its advisory services. Reputable organizations, such as Barron’s, have ranked the company in its top ten several times. Many of its advisors have also earned individual awards for either being the top women in the industry or the best in their respective states.

What is the minimum amount for CIBC Private Wealth?

CIBC requires an account value of $1 million before becoming a client. Compared to other companies in the industry that offer similar services, this is on the high side and largely makes the company available only to upper-middle-class or wealthy clients.

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