CIBC paints a picture

An artistic take on how the bank views its relationship with high-value clients.

CIBC’s recently expanded Private Wealth Management operation has launched a new national campaign that uses painting and portraiture as a message of intimacy and understanding for potential high-value clients.

A series of four-minute films show the meeting and collaboration of prominent Canadian artists with some of CIBC Private Wealth Management’s clients. The documentary-style videos showcase the creation of the client’s portrait in a bid to create a unique message in a cluttered financial marketing field.

The first video to be released features up-and-coming artist Jen Mann interviewing and painting Monika Deol, a former television host and founder of the Stellar cosmetics brand. The series (which is housed on a new section of will soon launch a second video.

The tagline for the work is “Artists capture the real you. So do we.” Rob Assimakopoulos, CIBC’s chief marketing officer, sees it as a way of illustrating how the bank builds relationships with its clients. (CIBC Private Wealth Management handles finances for clients with more than $1 million in investable assets.)

“Each client is unique,” Assimakopoulos says, which he admits “sounds like a truism. But in private wealth management, that uniqueness in the client’s mind is amplified… We found how an artist builds a portrait such a powerful metaphor for how we build financial plans.”

That metaphor is expressed at one point by Deol, who says, “you feel very vulnerable and you really hope that the person painting the picture gets you.”

Juniper Park\TBWA is the creative agency behind the campaign, with Mediacom overseeing media (which will focus on digital and social channels, with additional urban out-of-home buys in high traffic areas such as airports).

In April 2016, CIBC merged its CIBC Wood Gundy and Private Wealth management teams together. CIBC Private Wealth Management now serves as the umbrella brand for four separate customer-facing divisions: CIBC Private Banking, CIBC Trust, CIBC Private Investment Counsel and CIBC Wood Gundy.

Within this market space, Assimakopoulos sees most competitors “making the same promises in the same packaging.” He calls “Portraits” a bid to “challenge ourselves to step outside that. You have to take some risks. We’re trying stuff.”