It is the season for giving. And CIBC World Markets, Toronto, has made the first Tuesday of December its day to give, by donating all of its global commissions and fees to disadvantaged children around the world.
The program, known as Miracle Day, started 24 years ago when the late Tim Miller, CEO at Wood Gundy, which had been acquired by CIBC World Markets, decided to raise money for charities at Christmas time. Now it has become a tradition at the investment banking firm and its affiliates around the world.
That first year, CIBC raised $164,000 for needy children on Miracle Day. Last year, it raised $4 million, and the goal for 1998 is to exceed that amount.
This year for the first time, CIBC Oppenheimer Corp., New York, which manages more than $13.5 billion in assets for institutional investors, has joined the miracle tradition. Spokesman Wayne Gretzky said: "The miracle is a special event that has taken root in communities all over the world to the benefit of children who really need the help that it provides."
In Toronto, the entire financial community trades through the CIBC brokers on that day, said Debra Douglas, managing director.
She added that different affiliates run a variety of other special events for needy children during the holiday season. In Singapore, for example, senior managers this year will present a talent show, auctioning off their singing and dancing to the highest bidders. In New York, CIBC Oppenheimer will hold a skating party and raffle for several charities.