President and CEO, PNC Capital Markets

It's easy to expand in a booming economy. Adding expertise and developing products is tougher in an uncertain environment, though it can pay off big, particularly if competitors are retrenching.

Such is the operating philosophy of Charlotte McLaughlin. Since assuming her position in 2002, she has been building up what had been a dormant business, making capital markets a profitable and strategically important part of PNC Financial Services Group.

Late last year, her role was expanded to include the newly formed financial institutions group. Previously, the capital markets division had a business line dedicated to providing investment banking and liquidity management services to banks. The new group broadened that expertise to include insurance companies, asset managers, broker-dealers, and international financial institutions. McLaughlin consolidated teams and made critical enhancements to improve client coverage, provide career-development opportunities and, ultimately, deliver superior risk-adjusted returns for PNC.

Though still in its development stage, the new team already has proved to be an asset. PNC now offers securities underwriting and distribution for its broker-dealer clients, allowing them to raise debt financing as well as acquire newly issued securities.

The fixed-income group also added a municipal strategist, who is responsible for publishing regular muni bond market commentary, advising clients about the strengths and weaknesses of issuers and evaluating investment portfolios. This new area of coverage has been a boost for the team, and the strategist, Tom Kozlick, is a social media celebrity of sorts, with 2,500 Twitter followers. Satisfaction ratings have surged because clients feel more connected and informed.

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