Never mind the recent mayhem in financial markets: times are good for Charlotte McLaughlin, president and CEO of PNC Capital Markets. McLaughlin is riding a contrarian business boom over the last year in running a division which sells risk management tools, balance sheet analytics and hedging instruments, in addition to the usual menu of fixed-income products.

"The bad environment actually provided a boost," says McLaughlin, whose clients include everyone from wealthy investors to regional banks. "A volatile market environment like this stress-tests every company's balance sheet. Our success has been to help clients manage their risks and increase the value of their business."

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