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The new Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce logo on a building in Toronto on Sept. 27, 2021.CHRIS HELGREN/Reuters

CIBC Capital Markets has hired a familiar face to help lead its technology group, a sector that the bank views as fundamental to its strategy.

Colin Ryan will co-head the investment bank’s technology and innovation team with Kathy Butler, who is based in British Columbia. Mr. Ryan, who will be based in Toronto, began his new role on Tuesday. He arrived from National Bank Financial, where he was the co-head of the technology, media and telecom division.

Mr. Ryan started his career at CIBC Capital Markets, joining the firm’s technology and innovation group in 2002 and spending nearly a decade there before departing for a role at Credit Suisse.

“He’s a very strong competitor and has a terrific client [base],” Roman Dubczak, CIBC’s head of global investment banking, said in an interview, discussing Mr. Ryan’s attributes. Mr. Dubczak was involved in bringing Mr. Ryan back to CIBC.

“He and I actually did work together in the past, way back when, so it was, I think, a very easy conversation.”

Mr. Ryan will fill a vacancy left by Brent Layton, who died last September. Mr. Layton, who had been battling cancer, was in his early 40s. Mr. Dubczak described him as one of the most impressive bankers he had worked with.

“He was a happy warrior. He just loved the business. He just loved dealing with clients and doing deals and pitching against rivals.”

Mr. Ryan’s new job comes after a red-hot year in the Canadian technology sector. In 2021, Canadian tech companies completed 38 venture capital financings of $100-million or more, blowing out the previous record of 12.

Twenty tech-related initial public offerings on the Toronto Stock Exchange raised $50-million or more in the past 18 months. From 2009 to 2019, the average was just one per year. The performance of those Canadian tech issuers that have gone public has been mixed. At the end of 2021, half of the 16 tech companies that made their debuts on the TSX that year traded below their issue prices.

Mr. Dubczak expects money to continue flowing into the technology space.

“The degree of interest and liquidity for technology companies will remain strong, if not increase [in 2022],” he said. He also expects plenty of merger-and-acquisition activity in the sector, partly driven by the bevy of newly public tech companies armed with IPO cash and a desire to grow through acquisitions.

Developing the technology business at the investment bank is “fundamental to our strategy,” Mr. Dubczak said. He says the company is continually building on its 2018 acquisition of Wellington Financial, which provided venture loans to tech startups, and is now a part of CIBC’s innovation banking division.

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