PNC Bank Corp. said Monday that it has hired Kerry Kearney from Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney Inc. to head its own capital markets unit.

Mr. Kearney, who was a managing director in debt capital markets at Salomon Smith Barney, has been named president and chief executive officer of PNC Capital Markets Inc., the Pittsburgh banking company's 240-member section 20 unit.

Mr. Kearney began the job on Monday. He will oversee many of PNC's debt products, including a growing high-yield bond effort, and report to Ralph Michael 3d, head of PNC's corporate bank.

PNC received approval from the Federal Reserve Board to underwrite stocks and bonds in November. At that time, Richard Tito, a former NationsBank executive, was interim president and chief executive of the section 20. Mr. Tito remains at PNC Capital Markets as head of institutional sales and trading, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Mr. Kearney spent 18 years with Citicorp in a variety of senior corporate finance and capital markets positions. He was head of Citicorp's investment grade debt capital markets team, where he was responsible for origination and U.S. issuer activity in overseas markets.

"He was well respected, well liked and a great products guy," said a former Salomon banker. "It's a good move for him."

Citicorp combined its investment grade debt operations with those of Salomon after Travelers Group Inc. merged with Citicorp in October 1998.

PNC Capital Markets has long been known for its extensive municipal bond originations and trading desk. In November, it began to build a high-yield bond effort, hiring Timothy Gigliotti and Robert Shi, both formerly of NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, to help launch it.

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