BARBADOS - 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, Rik Parkhill.
The two students pursing studies at Cave Hill will be the beneficiaries of two one-off Rik Parkhill Scholarships worth BDS$10 000 each which the bank has awarded in honour of Mr. Parkhill, whose tenure officially ends on December 31st, this year.
Mr. Parkhill, who assumed leadership of the bank in 2011 in the midst of the global economic recession, is credited with leading a team which 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 USD$97 million at end of the last fiscal.
During his tenure and specifically as Chairman of bank’s Comtrust Foundation, the charitable arm of the financial institution, he championed many community based social, environmental and educational causes and strengthened the bank’s longstanding Memorandum of Understanding with the UWI.
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 what Mr. 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 post-graduate students of the UWI as part of a longstanding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 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 post graduate 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 of 2002.