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The large CIBC sign outside the bank's Bay St. office is pictured in this file photo.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce bulked up its newly launched "innovation banking" team Monday by hiring cross-border tech financier Robert Rosen away from rival Comerica Inc.

Mr. Rosen worked with technology and life science companies across Canada over the past 17 years as the Toronto-based senior vice president and regional managing director at Comerica, which is based in Dallas. Comerica and California-based Silicon Valley Bank rank as the most significant U.S. lenders doing business in Canadian tech circles.

Mr. Rosen jumped ship to join a fresh-minted unit called CIBC Innovation Banking, created in January when the Toronto-based bank acquired specialty finance firm Wellington Financial and its $300-million tech-focused debt fund. The CIBC group is run by executive managing director Mark McQueen, former CEO of Wellington.

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At CIBC, Mr. Rosen will be managing director. Prior to joining Comerica in 2000, he spent four years at Deutsche Bank Canada.

CIBC pledged it would expand the resources it devotes to early- to mid-stage tech companies when it acquired Wellington. The unit's focus is providing advisory services and capital to growth companies.

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