Jim Beqaj, who oversaw the expansion of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's New York investment banking unit during the past two years, abruptly resigned last week.

Mr. Beqaj, 42, whom the bank had brought in to be president of CIBC Wood Gundy Securities Inc., will be replaced by deputy chairman Wayne Fox, 48. A spokesman said the bank was not aware of Mr. Beqaj's plans.

Though Mr. Fox will assume most of Mr. Beqaj's responsibilities, the derivatives group will report to John Hunkin, president of CIBC Wood Gundy, the Toronto-based bank's investment and corporate banking division.

Analysts said internal conflicts over Mr. Beqaj's management style, which they described as rigid, may have been a factor in his departure. But they predicted the bank's strategy would remain in place.

"There has been a lot of turnover, stress, and reduction of staff members in the last few years," said Hugh Brown, an analyst at Nesbitt Burns Inc., Toronto. "But it does not mean CIBC won't continue to pursue the integration of wholesale and derivative products in the U.S."

Canadian Imperial bought Wood Gundy in 1988, and CIBC Wood Gundy acquired a team of derivatives experts in 1994 from Lehman Brothers Inc.

In April 1995, CIBC Wood Gundy bought the Argosy Group, a high-yield investment bank. Mr. Brown said Argosy has been meeting revenue and profit expectations.

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