Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's investment banking unit said it hired two former Chase Manhattan Corp. executives to help start a new group to provide financial services to the aeronautics industry.

The investment bank, CIBC Wood Gundy, named Thomas J. Gallagher as managing director to head the effort. Mr. Gallagher formerly was a managing director and global airlines and aerospace executive with Chase.

CIBC also hired Luca Bettini, formerly vice president in Chase's global aerospace group, as a managing director.

The group plans to hire corporate finance professionals for CIBC Wood Gundy's offices in Canada, Europe, Asia, and the United States. The group will be based in New York.

CIBC Wood Gundy president John Hunkin said that he expected the aeronautics industry to grow rapidly, and that the company's new group would be able to capture a significant share of the buildup.

The group will offer clients asset-based finance, structured trade finance, private placements, corporate financial advisory, derivatives, high yield debt, and merchant banking.

The group will report to CIBC senior vice president Michael Goldhawk.

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