Bay Street veteran Richard Nesbitt is taking over as president and CEO of the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services (GRI), a financial industry research and education organization.

Nesbitt will join the organization as its new chief, effective May 1, replacing Dr. Michel Maila. GRI is a non-profit institute founded by the federal government, the Ontario government, TD and Manulife in 2011. It delivers applied research and education to financial institutions, policymakers and regulators focusing on financial risk.

“I am delighted that an individual of Richard’s caliber has agreed to become our new president and CEO. Richard has experience working at the highest level in financial services, as well as teaching and research. Together with his wider commitment to public service, I am sure he will be an outstanding president and chief executive officer as we seek to continue to grow GRI and build upon our recent successes,” said Paul Cantor, chair of GRI.

“GRI has grown significantly since its inception four years ago. From our strong Canadian base we have the opportunity to build upon GRI’s accomplishments and to further our reach globally,” Nesbitt said.

Until last fall, Nesbitt was chief operating officer at CIBC. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management; and, he is chair of the advisory board of the Mind Brain Behaviour Hive at UofT. Before joining CIBC in 2008, he was CEO of TSX Group, and prior to that he’d worked at CIBC Wood Gundy, HSBC Securities Canada, and BayStreetDirect Inc., among other postings.

He has an M.Sc. in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, an MBA from UofT, and a B.A. in Business Administration from The University of Western Ontario. He is also chair of the finance committee for the upcoming Pan Am Games, a member of the Women in Capital Markets Advisory Council, a member of the Rotman School’s financial services advisory board, a member of the SickKids Foundation board, and a member of the London School of Economics, North American advisory board.

Last week, CIBC shareholders voted against an advisory resolution on executive compensation at the bank, which included millions in post-retirement compensation for Nesbitt and former CIBC CEO, Gerry McCaughey, who both accelerated their retirement plans last fall after the bank named a new CEO. Shareholders voted 57% against a resolution to approve its approach to executive compensation. The vote is not binding on the bank’s board, as it is merely an advisory resolution.

See: CIBC investors shoot down compensation-plan motion