Two students of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, will receive special farewell gifts from outgoing chief executive officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank,
The two students pursing studies at Cave Hill will be the beneficiaries of two one-off Rik Parkhill Scholarships, worth $10,000 each, which the bank has awarded in honour of Parkhill, whose tenure officially ends on December 31.
Parkhill, who assumed leadership of the bank in 2011 in the midst of the global economic recession, is credited with leading a team that turned around the fortunes of the 13-year-old bank, a merger of the former Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Barclays, and which recorded net income of US$97 million at end of the last fiscal year.
During his tenure, and specifically as chairman of bank’s Comtrust Foundation, the charitable arm of the financial institution, Parkhill championed many community-based social, environmental and educational causes and strengthened the bank’s long-standing memorandum of understanding with the University of the West Indies.
At a recent dinner for members of the bank’s board of directors where the scholarships were announced, board member Christina Kramer hailed the departing CEO, who formerly worked at the Toronto Stock Exchange before joining CIBC in 2008, as “an incredibly intelligent, hard-working, collaborative and respectful leader”.
“As Rik leaves at the end of this year, our business is much stronger, our financial results have improved, losses are down, and we are well positioned to begin the next phase of our journey to help drive growth,” Kramer, executive vice president, retail distribution and channel strategy at CIBC, said.
She added that Parkhill also “provided visible leadership to our team across the region and represented CIBC FirstCaribbean very effectively with key stakeholders, including government, media, and our clients”.
In addition to this latest initiative, CIBC FirstCaribbean awards 15 scholarships annually to undergraduate and postgraduate students of the UWI as part of a long-standing memorandum of understanding. It also offered a one-off Student Empowerment Scholarship earlier this year as part of the bank’s Adopt-A-Cause programme.
The bank also offers research grants for postgraduate students, and supports a number of lectures as part of the MOU. It entered its first MOU with the university in 2003, shortly after its formation in October, 2002.