April 24, 2012 / 9:35 PM / 5 years ago

Demchak, new PNC president, seen as heir apparent

April 24 (Reuters) - PNC Financial Services Group, the 12th-largest U.S. bank company by assets, elevated William Demchak to president of the company on Tuesday.

The move confirms the 49-year-old executive’s anointment as heir apparent to James Rohr, the 63-year-old chairman and chief executive, analysts said. Demchak has been touted as a likely successor since he was promoted to head all the Pittsburgh-based bank’s businesses in August 2010.

“PNC is laying out a transparent and well-articulated succession plan, with Bill’s slow and steady progression,” said Scott Siefers, an analyst at Sandler O‘Neill & Partners LP, which has a buy recommendation on PNC’s shares.

The president’s position has been vacant since February, when Joseph Guyaux vacated the post to become chief risk officer of the company. Guyaux, a senior vice chairman, had been head of retail banking at PNC.

Fred Solomon, a PNC spokesman declined to comment on succession plans. “His responsibilities have progressed as he’s demonstrated proficiency at each new level of leadership,” he said of Demchak.

The new president joined PNC in 2002 as chief financial officer, took charge of its corporate and institutional banking businesses in 2005, and also has managed its asset-and-liability functions and overseen capital markets, real estate finance and leasing.

A graduate of Allegheny College with an MBA from the University of Michigan, Demchak had previously been head of structured finance and credit portfolio at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York.

Demchak was the second-highest paid executive at PNC last year, earning $7.2 million in cash and stock while Rohr was awarded $8.02 million.

A majority of voting shareholders at PNC’s annual meeting on Tuesday approved the company’s executive pay plan, Solomon said, but he would not disclose the vote tally. Last week, Citigroup shareholders gave an unexpected vote of no confidence to the New York banking giant’s executive pay plan.

PNC, an aggressive acquirer of smaller banks and branches, last week reported a 64.5 percent gain in first-quarter net income to $811 million from the 2011 period. In last year’s fourth quarter, it had a profit of $832 million.

Shares of PNC rose 0.9 percent on Tuesday to close at $65.57, and are up about 14 percent year to date.

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