PNC Global Investment Servicing's key customer group is the world of financial advisors, broker/dealers and asset managers involved in complex investment products. The recession has not made president Nancy Wolcott's life easy. The group's enterprise investor services business ranks as the No. 1 sub-accounting provider in the U.S. and No. 2 full-service mutual fund transfer agent in the U.S. But overall net income declined to $12 million in the second quarter of 2009, off 64 percent from second-quarter 2008.
Wolcott has firmly addressed the international ramifications of the downturn on her business. In Europe, for example, the bulk of PNC Global Investing Servicing's revenue had come from hedge funds, and decreased dramatically along with hedge fund outflows. Wolcott worked with others in the firm's c-suite to expand the operation into more traditional investments. Under her leadership the group also launched fund distribution support services in Asia to meet demand from U.S. and European fund managers, which boosted assets serviced in Europe by $8 billion.
The past year has presented Wolcott with a tough tightrope act - "maintaining our level of client services while working on the cost base." Her team worked together much more closely; jointly studying intended investments, business opportunities, and the possibility of postponing initiatives.
"When you bring everyone together, all the business leaders understand what each is doing," Wolcott says. "The best ideas end up on the table, and there's a greater sense that if you're doing X and I just do Y we can husband our resources with less pain."
The focus on client retention remains undimmed. The work done within the group "never touched client service levels," she says. "At the end of the day, we're not here if clients aren't here."
"She is a passionate advocate for the client, and her dedication is reflected in the stickiness of our client relationships - some of them go back 25 years," says Stephen Wynne, chief executive officer of the PNC unit.