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jerryking : cibc   6

CIBC Acquires Accenture's Tech Venture Portfolio - WSJ
Aug. 6, 2002

In a move that surprised some secondary market executives, CIBC World Markets said Tuesday, Aug. 6, it has purchased most of Accenture Ltd.'s venture capital portfolio for an undisclosed price.

The Hamilton, Bermuda, consulting firm will retain 5% of the portfolio, which comprised 80 early- to mid-stage technology companies, mostly in software. Accenture has paid about $325 million for minority stakes in them.

Accenture, which rode the venture capital investment wave starting in 1999 with an intent to invest $500 million, is one of many corporate venture capitalists to exit the industry now that returns have soured. It has shopped the portfolio around to secondary-market buyers at least since March, when Accenture said it was halting new venture capital investments and selling its venture portfolio because of its losses. At that time, it reported a book value of about $95 million for the portfolio and said it would take a charge of $212 million in the second quarter to cover anticipated losses from the sale. No additional charges are expected in connection with this sale.

CIBC, the New York investment arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, was a surprise buyer. It has not been an active buyer of secondary private equity interests for at least 18 months, despite frenetic dealflow coming from corporate venture portfolios.

"Acquiring portfolios with direct investments is a much different game than buying limited partnership interests in venture funds," said Scott Conners, a principal at Landmark Partners Inc. of Simsbury, Conn. "It's much less diversified, and managers of corporate venture units don't normally have the same disciplines as the traditional venture fund managers. Also, even if they had the requisite management skills, why not handpick your own investments rather than acquire other people's baggage?"

According to sources, Accenture had been negotiating with frontrunner Thomas Weisel Partners LLC of San Francisco. Credit Suisse First Boston, retained as investment adviser, was also believed to be a potential buyer. Neither could be reached for comment.

CIBC gave no details on the transaction, due to close at the end of the year. As with all secondary market transactions, it remains subject to transfer approvals from companies within the portfolio.

Some secondary market sources said they had given Accenture's offer a "quick look" but declined because the portfolio consisted of direct investments that are tougher to manage or require undetermined extra financing to make them viable.

"They've been trying to sell for a long time now, and it didn't look spectacular to me," said one potential New York buyer.

Conners added: "Many corporate venture deals tend to be 'me-too' deals that they pay a high price for."

CIBC executives described the deal as "an attractive investment" opportunity.

"The acquisition clearly demonstrates our commitment to the technology sector generally and software specifically," said Marshall Heinberg, a CIBC World Markets managing director and head of U.S. corporate finance, in a statement.

It isn't clear whether the transaction will include the transfer of any managers from Accenture Technology Ventures, the Palo Alto, Calif., business unit that made the original investments, to help manage the assets.

CIBC's venture group, consisting of six investment professionals, makes direct investments as part of CIBC Capital Partners. Its portfolio currently includes about 50 companies, primarily in North America. Since its inception in 1989, CIBC Capital Partners has invested more than $1 billion.

The firm would not elaborate on its secondary market activities, but one New York-based secondary specialist said CIBC hasn't bought such interests since a $300 million purchase nearly two years ago.

Accenture, which split from Arthur Andersen LLP and was formerly known as Andersen Consulting, said it will continue its existing client relationships with companies in the portfolio.

Accenture made only direct investments in companies, putting in $2 million to $30 million, according to New York financial markets research firm Capital IQ. Portfolio companies include AltoWeb Inc., a Palo Alto-based supplier of application production platforms, and Epylon Corp., a San Francisco-based online procurement company.

Accenture and CIBC World Markets also said they plan to join an alliance to offer CIBC access to Accenture's technology-sector knowledge.
Accenture  CIBC  corporate_investors  early-stage  economic_downturn  exits  mergers_&_acquisitions  portfolio_management  secondary_markets  selling_off  start_ups  venture_capital 
november 2019 by jerryking
CIBC’s Victor Dodig warns about global debt levels; urges Canada to prepare

Who/Where/Occasion: CIBC's CEO Victor Dodig, in a speech to the Empire Club

* alarm over rising global debt levels, warning that Canada needs to start preparing now for the next economic shock.
* some of the most acute threats to the global economy are beyond this country’s control, but cautioned Canadians not to get too comfortable while times are good.
* developing problems could ripple through interwoven financial markets around the world.
* “It sounds counterintuitive, but that same debt that helped the world recover is actually infusing risk into the global financial system today," ...“I think there’s a real serious global challenge of this low-interest-rate party developing a big hangover."

* clarify rules around foreign direct investment, which is falling in Canada. The main culprit is the uncertainty plaguing large business deals that require approval from Ottawa under opaque foreign-investment rules – and he cites the turmoil surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as an example.
* more immigration to Canada, asking the government – which has already set higher immigration targets for the coming years – to open its arms even wider.
* governments and employers to work more closely with universities and colleges to match the skills graduates have to employers' needs, promoting what are known as the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – as well as skilled trades.
* remove interprovincial trade barriers.
* allow companies to expense capital investments within one year to be more competitive with U.S. rules.

My Takeaways:
CEOs  CIBC  debt  FDI  global_economy  interconnections  interest_rates  opacity  pipelines  resilience  speeches  uncertainty  Victor_Dodig  war_for_talent  threats  beyond_one's_control  complacency  preparation  financial_system  readiness 
september 2018 by jerryking
CIBC shakes up leadership team amid U.S. push - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017
june 2017 by jerryking
Canada must fill three gaps to reach its high-growth future - The Globe and Mail
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

While Canada is roundly – and rightly – envied for its solid economy and how it withstood the financial crisis, we have three gaps to fill if we are going to continue to prosper and be leaders among the advanced economies.

First, I believe we need to do a better job of building the intellectual capital and skills necessary to fuel innovation and execute in a modern economy.

Second, we need to ensure our innovative entrepreneurs are able to attract both the formation and sustainability capital necessary to commercialize new ideas into valuable products and services.

Third, we need to ensure that we build an innovative ecosystem that effectively encourages and nurtures that development......Actually, some troubling issues lie behind those positive numbers:

* We have a much lower proportion of graduates in the all-important STEM sectors – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – than 22 other OECD countries.
* Only about 20 per cent of our graduates are from those disciplines.
* Postsecondary graduates rank 19th of 21 in numeracy, 18th of 21 in literacy and 14th of 18 in problem-solving skills.

We’re talking about the very people and very skills we need to need to lead Canada in innovation and create the high-value jobs for the future.

In effect, a postsecondary education is simply not enough in today’s modern economy. Our students, by and large, are choosing an educational path geared toward acquiring credentials rather than skills acquisition and what the labour market needs.

So, what do we need to do?....
(1) promote education choices that match the needs of the job market.
(2) promote policies and models to support emerging industries that focus on creating solutions in the global supply chain as opposed to just building products.

Canadians are no strangers to discovery and innovation, but today’s innovation ecosystem is highly complex. Far too many Canadian high-tech startups get bought out before they have a chance to grow. They often sell out before attaining their true potential.

When small and mid-sized startups are sold, the country is weaker for it.

Why? Because the really smart innovators never stop. After a successful sale, many are back the next day looking for the next opportunity and dreaming of the next big discovery. And retaining highly paid head-office jobs in Canada rather than seeing them farmed out elsewhere will help spread those benefits to the broader economy.
Canada  Canadian  future  CIBC  CEOs  high-growth  innovation  innovation_policies  policy  labour_markets  start_ups  sellout_culture  STEM  intellectual_capital  think_threes  smart_people  overambitious  policymaking  head_offices  ecosystems  digital_economy  Victor_Dodig 
may 2016 by jerryking Charles Sirois: 'You need to be born an entrepreneur'
April 27, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by GORDON PITTS. Interview
with uber-entrepreneur

Mr. Sirois, at 54, recently became chairman of the Canadian Imperial
Bank of Commerce. These days, he gets as big a kick out of mentoring
nascent African capitalists through his Enablis Entrepreneurial Network
as kick-starting ventures of his own.
jck  Gordon_Pitts  Charles_Sirois  risk-assessment  risk-taking  CIBC  serial_entrepreneur  interviews 
april 2009 by jerryking

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