CIBC FirstCaribbean founding executive chairman Michael Mansoor, died Tuesday morning in his native Trinidad & Tobago. He served as executive chairman of CIBC FirstCaribbean from its inception in October of 2002 to his retirement on Dec. 31, 2013, after which he continued to serve on the company’s board of directors.
Rik Parkhill, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s chief executive officer, paid tribute to Mr. Mansoor.
“In 2001, Mike led the team that traveled tirelessly throughout the Caribbean presenting the idea of what was to eventually become FirstCaribbean (now CIBC FirstCaribbean) to the governments and regulators of the day.
“Approximately a year ago, we named our head office building after Mike, as a mark of our deep appreciation for his contribution to the creation of CIBC FirstCaribbean, his leadership for the thirteen years he served this bank, and his stewardship of the CIBC brand prior to that,” Mr. Parkhill said.
A chartered accountant and former partner at Ernst & Young in Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Mansoor had an extensive background in corporate finance and planning. He held senior executive positions with the ANSA McAl Group and was also an independent senator of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago from 1987 to 1995. During his tenure in the Senate, he was often involved in legislation related to economic, finance and general business development.
In 1966, he was awarded the Open Island Scholarship in languages for being top student in Trinidad. He then studied in Canada, receiving the Chartered Accountant designation in 1972, and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1974, where he was placed on the Dean’s Honor List. Mr. Mansoor also served as the chairman of the Campus Council of the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies and in 2012, the degree of honorary Doctor of Laws was conferred on him by the University of the West Indies.
Mr. Parkhill said, “Mike’s calm and pragmatic approach allowed him to set out the sound business case for forming FirstCaribbean. Difficult as that exercise might have been, building the case with our people was even more so. Mike provided his guidance to the management team and 3,000 skeptics became the enthusiastic builders of this bank, which he led admirably until his retirement last year. As chairman of our charitable foundation, Mike was also deeply involved in efforts to give back to our communities, an activity that was clearly close to his heart.”
In a message to employees of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Mr. Parkhill said, “Most of all he will be remembered by many, including me, as a great friend. Mike made many friends across the region at all levels of our society, chiefly among you, our employees. We know that many of you will feel his passing very deeply and we at the Executive level grieve with you. “
Victor Dodig, President and CEO of CIBC, added, “Mike was instrumental in charting the course for CIBC FirstCaribbean. Of particular note is the role he played in bringing CIBC and Barclays together more than a decade ago to combine our operations in the region to become FirstCaribbean International Bank. Mike was a man of tremendous character. He was a role model, a leader and a gentleman. His wise counsel and sincere friendship to CIBC and its Caribbean operations will be greatly missed.”