By KERRY SMITH
Michael Scully, PNC Bank regional president for St. Louis and Southern Illinois, says he’s proud to work for a company that has pledged $500 million to support a myriad of early education initiatives in celebration of the bank’s 15th anniversary of Grow Up Great, its signature outreach.
“This year marks a $150 million increase in PNC Bank’s commitment to fund support for preschool teachers, Head Start programs and more across the nation,” said Scully. “I’m very proud to work for a company that will take $500 million out of earnings and devote it to growing and supporting young learners, knowing it’s going to impact our workforce 20 years from now as well as the communities in which we live,” he added.
In addition to Grow Up Great – which regionally supports the Vivian Adams Early Childhood Center in East St. Louis – PNC Bank’s community-wide leadership extends to several other Southwestern Illinois nonprofit entities. Kristin Tanzyus, PNC Bank vice president and WorkPlace Banking market manager, serves as board chairwoman for Riverbend Head Start & Family Services, headquartered in Alton, and represents the bank as a director of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, a regional economic development organization.
As for day-to-day operations at PNC Bank, Scully says the abundance of commercial development that is occurring in and around Edwardsville and across the Metro East provides a bevy of opportunities to serve and support businesses here.
“There’s so much activity on the east side,” Scully said. “Look at what’s happening in Edwardsville in terms of attracting investment for large-box warehouse/distribution hubs at Gateway Commerce Center. The first thing you have to do as a large bank is to make sure your people on the ground are knowledgeable about these trends. Ours are. We recently sat down with the park’s founders, Mike Towerman and Rod Thomas, on (PNC Bank’s) ‘C-Speak: The Language of Executives’ and asked them about the trends and drivers of large-scale commercial and industrial development. As a large bank – we’re one of the nation’s largest – speculative building investors are part of the population we serve and support. We back them in their capital needs.”
Economic development is a key component in real estate development, according to Scully.
“PNC is a robust small business lender as well,” he said.
The rapid evolution of technology, particularly over the past 15 years, has changed the very nature of how individuals and businesses bank and has driven banks’ internal priorities as they adapt.
“Technology has had a huge and transformative impact upon banking,” Scully said. “The cost of technology coupled with compliance is significant for banking organizations. Much of our investments are in making technology easier, but much of it is also in products that are making their way to the corporate suite such as sophisticated processing of payments. Often as a means of fraud prevention and because it’s easy and efficient for the business, companies opt to have their bank make their payments electronically.”
Also, as a byproduct of technological advances, banks are repositioning themselves to be leaner and more customer-centric than ever, said Scully.
“A lot of the banking products have been commoditized,” Scully said. “This is clearly evident in services such as payments processing, but also in wealth management. You’re going to see the largest transition of wealth taking place in the next five to 10 years, and it will manifest in a changing landscape of banking. Right now, you’re seeing a bifurcation in our industry between the community banking model and the larger regional model. The PNC Bank business model emphasizes being embedded within the fabric of our communities. We need to serve and work on the ground level where we’re regularly interacting with business leaders in the region to understand and meet their needs and to ensure that as a bank we’re doing all we can to build tomorrow’s leaders and to support a healthy workforce now and well into the future.”
PNC Bank serves both corporate and institutional clients as well as small businesses. On the corporate and institutional side, the organization offers strategic insight and financial solutions for businesses, organizations, municipalities and nonprofits throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. Bank-wide, PNC has more than 32,000 clients who fall into this category.
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.
By KERRY SMITH