I had coffee recently with Rick Snyder, a longtime banker who is now the market president for  the Iowa-Nebraska office of CIBC in West Des Moines. Based in Toronto, CIBC [Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce] is the fifth-largest bank in Canada and is working to grow its U.S. operations and assets. 

The West Des Moines office of CIBC came into being in mid-2017 when CIBC, which bases its U.S. operations in Chicago, acquired the Private Bank and made it a wholly owned subsidiary. Snyder, who was previously an investment banker with Wells Fargo’s Structured Products Group, had been with Wells Fargo for nearly 29 years before joining CIBC last summer.  

Although he’s just 52, he was considering a career pivot away from banking when CIBC presented an opportunity to lead the regional office. 

“I see my role as being an adviser to prospective clients, like being an extension of a chief financial officer,” Snyder said. Under CIBC, the bank has sufficient assets to lend to much bigger clients than the Private Bank did, as well as access to the full suite of products of a national bank such as individual wealth management through its Chicago office, he said.

The West Des Moines office is one of 17 national commercial banking offices that CIBC now has in the U.S., and Snyder currently heads a growing staff of two senior bankers and a treasury management specialist. Its niche is commercial and industrial lending to middle-market companies that have EBITDA of about $7.5 million up to about $300 million.  

The loan office currently has about $90 million in assets, and Snyder is looking for significant growth. “My personal goal is to have $250 million in assets in the next two years,” he said. 

On a personal level, Snyder and his fiance, GuideOne CEO Jessica Clark, will be getting married in July. “The other thing I’m going to do is get really involved in the community,” he said.