Former federal cabinet minister Lisa Raitt is leaving politics and joining Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as vice-chair of global investment banking.
Ms. Raitt, who served as deputy opposition leader for the Conservative Party of Canada before losing her seat in October’s election, will join CIBC’s capital markets arm on Jan. 27. Last month, she agreed to help lead the effort to choose a new Conservative leader to replace Andrew Scheer, and will continue to serve as co-chair of the organizing committee for the forthcoming leadership race.
At CIBC, she will report to Roman Dubczak, the bank’s head of global investment banking, and will focus on developing and nurturing relationships with key clients, and bringing in new business for CIBC, especially in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors.
“Our clients in these industries are seeking to grow their businesses in a changing environment, and Lisa’s insights and experience will enhance the perspective and advice we can offer,” Mr. Dubczak said in an internal memo to staff on Friday. “Lisa will also play a key role in furthering our leadership in emerging sectors in the new economy, such as renewable energy.”
Ms. Raitt is only the latest of several politicians to turn the high-level connections they made in public life into careers in banking. Though each bank treats the vice-chair role slightly differently, it is typically a full-time job – usually in investment banking, but sometimes in a broader role – reserved for well-connected people who can act as rainmakers, building and expanding relationships with important new clients.
The late Jim Prentice, a federal cabinet minister, was once a vice-chairman at CIBC, before he returned to politics as Alberta’s premier. At Bank of Montreal, former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin, former Liberal cabinet minister Scott Brison and ex-clerk of the Privy Council Kevin Lynch all have vice-chair roles. And Michael Fortier, a former minister of International Trade and before that, Public Works, is a vice-chairman at the capital markets arm of Royal Bank of Canada.
Ms. Raitt is a Cape Breton native and lawyer by training, who was president and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority and held senior ministerial portfolios in the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper, including Natural Resources, Labour and Transportation. After the Liberal Party took power under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, she served as the opposition Finance critic.
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