Through the back door

In his Streetwise blog Andy Willis today has a rumor that Dominic D’Alessandro will be named to the CIBC board of directors. The whole idea resonates with ironies. After D’Alessandro left the Royal Bank in 1988, everyone assumed he did so because he was passed over for the CEO role. As I say in my book, there were other reasons, but that move set in motion a years-long belief by others that D’Alessandro always felt jilted and longed to be a senior banker.

At Manulife, one of the deals he did not pull off was a merger with CIBC in 2002. Again, I won’t go into details that are in my book. Suffice to say that he would have been CEO in the combined institution. Another brass ring lunged for and missed.

So here he is, on the verge of joining the CIBC board. What will happen when the CIBC directors go looking for a successor to CIBC CEO Gerry McCaughey? What if they take a look around and decide the right man is right in their midst?

For D’Alessandro, it would be the back door to the job he almost had. Or, given the terrible track record of CIBC (a.k.a. The bank most likely to walk into a sharp object) it could be the trap door.

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