When Gary Fiedler joined PNC Bank Corp. as an executive vice president in May 1994, some eyebrows were raised.

Mr. Fiedler, after all, had already held the top job at Equimark Corp. He's credited with managing a successful turnaround at the Pittsburgh bank before selling it to crosstown rival Integra Financial Corp.

Would the former chairman and chief executive, some wondered, be content with his responsibilities limited to consumer loans and credit cards?

Apparently not. In April, Mr. Fiedler left PNC, banking, and the United States for the top job at a London investment company.

Mr. Fiedler said the job at the privately held Richbell Group was an "unusual opportunity" to work with an old friend. And while being chief executive has its "pluses and minuses," Mr. Fiedler said he's happy to be back at the helm.

The former banker said he's still a close friend of PNC's chairman Thomas H. O'Brien. A PNC spokesman said the "parting was extremely amicable."

One banker who knows Mr. Fiedler said, "He probably figured it was an opportunity to do his own thing. He kind of likes to run his own show.

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