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CIBC Private Wealth Management Review

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CIBC Private Wealth Management

CIBC Private Wealth Management is a fee-based financial advisor firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. An indirect subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), the firm also has offices located in other major cities around the U.S. It is quite a large firm, with well over 100 advisors on staff and nearly $19.4 billion in assets under management.

The firm primarily works with high-net-worth individuals, though it also serves a number of corporate and institutional clients. It’s earned numerous accolades and awards from financial publications including Barron’s, Financial Advisor, Financial Times, Bloomberg and Family Wealth Report.

CIBC Private Wealth Management Background

CIBC Private Wealth Management is an indirect subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), which is a financial institution based north of the border in Canada. It is publicly traded and has been in the banking business for over 150 years.

CIBC bought out the Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management group of four large firms in 2014 in an effort to extend its client reach in the U.S. This network included Whitehall Asset Management in New York, Pell Rudman Trust Company in Boston and Stein Roe Investment Counsel and Geneva Advisors in Chicago. Through its ownership of these firms, CIBC’s roots can be traced as far back as 1923.

What Types of Clients Does CIBC Private Wealth Management Accept?

High-net-worth individuals make up nearly 90% of CIBC Private Wealth Management’s client base. A distant second and third in this hierarchy are corporations and profit-sharing and pension plans. The firm does work with other clientele as well though, including estates, trusts, families, state and municipal government entities, employee benefit and contribution plans and charitable organizations.

CIBC Private Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes

In most cases, the minimum investment required to open a new account at CIBC Private Wealth Management is $1 million. However, the firm says it does engage in service arrangements with other advisory groups that have lower account minimums.

Services Offered By CIBC Private Wealth Management

When working with an advisor at CIBC Private Wealth Management, you’ll have access to a large number of client services. These include investment management, financial planning, corporate and institutional services and more. The firm divides its offerings into the following areas:

  • Investment management
    • In-depth client profiles
    • Portfolio customization
    • Investing strategy creation
  • Wealth strategies
    • Retirement planning
    • Annual tax reviews
    • Tax minimization
    • Risk management
    • Personal financial security
    • Philanthropic gift planning
    • Estate planning
    • Insurance review
    • Medicare/long-term care planning
  • Private banking
    • Incorporation of deposit accounts into financial plans
    • Use of secured lines of credit for liquidity
  • Corporate/institutional services
    • Cash management across bank deposits, bonds and fixed-income securities
    • Customized investment portfolios
    • Escrow services
    • Custodial services

CIBC Private Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

CIBC Private Wealth Management uses a standardized system for client portfolio creation. The process begins with a face-to-face meeting, in which you and your advisor will work together to create an investment policy statement. This will be based on your personal risk tolerance, liquidity needs, personal financial goals and time horizon.

Once this is developed, your advisor will select a number of investment types for your portfolio based on the aforementioned statement. The firm tends to use equities, warrants, corporate debt securities, mutual funds, CDs, real estate, oil and gas partnerships, municipal securities and options contracts in client portfolios, though the exact investment types chosen will depend on each client’s unique situation.

Fees Under CIBC Private Wealth Management

CIBC Private Wealth Management has four different fee schedules for its client accounts. More specifically, the firm has a different fee schedule for wealth management accounts, new accounts with equity and balanced portfolios, new accounts with fixed income portfolios and new accounts with cash portfolios.

Wealth Management Fees
Portfolio Size Annual Fee
First $5MM 1.20%
Next $5MM 0.80%
Above $10MM 0.60%


New Accounts with Fixed Income Portfolios
Portfolio Size Annual Fee
First $10MM 0.50%
Next $20MM 0.35%
Above $30MM 0.25%


New Accounts with Cash Portfolios
Portfolio Size Annual Fee
First $50MM 0.20%
Next $50MM 0.15%
Above $100MM 0.10%


New Accounts with Equity and Balanced Portfolios
Portfolio Size Annual Fee
First $5MM 1.00%
Next $5MM 0.80%
Above $10MM 0.60%

All fees from CIBC Private Wealth Management are charged on a quarterly basis, in advance. The firm uses the fair market value of your investments to calculate the fee.

Below, you can see how CIBC Private Wealth Management’s fees for its wealth management services compared to the national median. These fees are only estimates though, so remember that actually fees may vary.

Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets CIBC Private Wealth Management National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $6,000 $5,000
$1MM $12,000 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $60,000 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $100,000 $50,000
*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount. **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.

What to Watch Out For

CIBC Private Wealth Management is a fee-based firm, which means that it earns compensation outside of the fees its clients pay. Some of its employees will receive commissions for including certain investments and/or securities in your portfolio. This could cause a conflict of interest, as these employees may be incentivized to include these investments in client portfolios. However,  the firm  is a fiduciary though, meaning it is required to act in your best interest at all times.

Additionally, prospective and current clients should note that the firm does have disclosures, which you  can read more about below.


CIBC Private Wealth Management faced a major legal issue in 2016. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in Canada found that the firm had been charging its clients too much in investment fees for nearly 15 years. The OSC required that these be repaid, which amounted to a total of $73 million. Additionally, the firm also had to pay $3 million towards investor protection initiatives and another $50,000 to cover the costs associated with the investigation.

Opening an Account With CIBC Private Wealth Management

If you visit CIBC’s website, you’ll find a list of its advisors that shows where they are located and how you can reach them. Once you find an advisor you want to work with in your location, you can simply call the listed phone number or stop by to talk in person. If you want to speak to someone from the company’s main directory instead, call (312) 368-7700.

Where Is CIBC Private Wealth Management Located?

CIBC Private Wealth Management’s headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois, at One South Wacker Drive. In addition, it has branches in Boston, New York City, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Dallas, St. Simons Island, West Palm Beach, Washington, D.C. and Austin.

Tips for Your Retirement

  • Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Annuities can be a great way to supplement your retirement savings. However, they might not be the right choice for everybody, so make sure to do your research first on the different types of annuities and the pros and cons of them.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research