Charlotte McLaughlin
President and CEO, PNC Capital Markets

Innovation is often slow going at large financial institutions, but Charlotte McLaughlin can push a new product through the gauntlet of project managers and committees quickly.

Over the last year, she helped identify the need for a tool to help PNC clients comply with the Volcker Rule. "I put a small team on it with a vision," McLaughlin says. "After a few weeks and several iterations, PNC had a proprietary product that exceeded anything available to purchase, at a fraction of the price."

This kind of innovation, she says, "does not necessarily increase revenues or provide our clients with new bells and whistles, but it does increase compliance and efficiency in a time where each is increasingly important."

McLaughlin tries to allocate resources in the most efficient manner and takes a creative approach to doing more with less.

"I am constantly challenging my people with new and 'stretch' assignments in order to manage my business efficiently," she says. "It is a common misstep in large financial organizations to throw additional people at an issue. While that is often necessary, most managers do it by increasing overall headcount."

Instead, McLaughlin aims to "self-fund" new projects by repurposing individuals to a new project as an older one winds down. For example, the lead attorney working on implementation of the Dodd-Frank regulations for swaps was recently named chief risk officer for PNC Capital Markets, working under McLaughlin's chief operating officer. "This individual has a unique perspective on the business and is well qualified to identify and mitigate risks within the business," she says.

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