As PNC Bank Corp. prepares to put its name on Midlantic Corp.'s private bank this month, it plans to change the way the bank serves New Jersey's affluent consumers.
PNC plans to approach the client base inherited from Midlantic's private bank as a team. The lenders, trust officers, and brokers - who once worked the same prospects separately - have started to sit together.
PNC is also offering wealthy New Jerseyans more sophisticated products, such as tax-free bond issues underwritten by the bank. That differs from Midlantic, whose offerings were limited to its proprietary Compass funds and a handful of other mutual funds and annuities from third-party providers.
PNC, which manages $300 billion in client assets, is heralding its arrival in New Jersey with an ad campaign set to hit local papers in two weeks. The bank completed its acquisition of Midlantic late last year.
The merger partners' private banks have meshed well, according to executives from both. Although the banks offer different products, their strategies are the same, they said.
"A lot of commercial banks have emphasized credit on the private banking side, but we both had a leaning towards investment management," said Joseph Guyeaux, senior vice president in charge of all PNC private banking. "It's important to the affluent clients, and in New Jersey there are more of them."
But Midlantic clients will find many familiar faces. One belongs to Barbara Z. Parker, who headed Midlantic's trust department and has been appointed market manager for New Jersey. In a telephone interview, Ms. Parker and Mr. Guyeaux both emphasized their desire to compete with Merrill Lynch & Co. and Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.
"We do all the things a nonbank does, but we now do it from one room," Ms. Parker said.
But PNC also has other banks to with which it must contend. Well- established with New Jersey's affluent are local banks such as Summit Bancorp. There is also First Union Corp., which acquired Newark-based First Fidelity Bancorp. last year.
"PNC is a formidable investment company and has a very fine record for client services," said Frank G. Frey, president of FMS Consulting in Blue Bell, Pa."If you put that all together there is no reason they can't compete in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or wherever."
Before the merger, Midlantic managed approximately $6.8 billion in trust assets. With the opening of an office in wealthy Westfield, PNC's private bank now has eight locations in New Jersey.
"Success is going to be whether or not they have people who can go out an sell them," Mr. Frey added.