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PNC’s Demchak pushes ‘be national’ strategy with $11.6bn BBVA USA deal

The chief executive of PNC Financial Services is making good on his plan to deploy the proceeds from this year’s sale of its stake in BlackRock in ways that dovetail with his long-held strategy of pushing for a coast-to-coast presence.

PNC branch.jpg
Photo: Rick Smith

Bill Demchak is putting his money where his mouth is.

When Euromoney spoke to the chief executive of PNC Financial Services this summer, in the wake of the group’s disposal of its 22% stake in asset manager BlackRock, it was obvious he was looking around for strategic ways to deploy the $11.1 billion that the sale added to the bank’s war chest after tax.

And given that everything Demchak has done since taking the helm of PNC in 2013 has been geared around a strategy that could be summed up as ‘be national’, Monday’s announcement by the bank of a $11.6 billion acquisition of BBVA USA Bancshares ticks the most important box of all. It expands the bank’s footprint to 29 of the 30 biggest markets in the US.

“This is a strategic transaction that will help us create a leading national franchise,” Demchak told analysts on a conference call to announce the transaction on Monday morning US time. For the past few years, PNC has been focused on an organic expansion plan, building on previous acquisitions.

“BBVA is going to supercharge these national expansion efforts,” he added.