Erica Duncan - Perseverance Through Flexibility


Written by Maci Killman

Hendrickson, Duncan, & Santin
l-r: Alexandra Hendrickson, Erica Duncan, and Dr. Claudia Santin

When the stock market crashed in 2008, Erica Duncan found herself in a new position at her work that didn’t quite suit her. But she persevered.

“There’s going to be ups and there’s going to be downs, but at the end of the day it’s going to help shape who you are.”

Duncan, Senior Vice President and Regional Sales Director for PNC wealth management, offered that advice as she wrapped up the Global Speaker Series on November 2, hosted by the College of Business.

Duncan started her career at PNC 15 years ago. While in her junior year of college at the University of St. Francis, Duncan landed an internship as a Credit Analyst at what was at the time, National City Bank. That job lasted two years. National City Bank would later be bought out by what is currently the sixth largest bank in the US (by deposits), PNC Bank. Duncan made the jump into small business banking with National City Bank after her internship. This allowed Duncan to “get her feet wet” in the sales side of small business banking.

After nine months with a focus in real estate, where she built a strong customer base, and created her “niche” in the sales world, Duncan was offered an opportunity in corporate banking. In Duncan’s new role as an analyst in Middle Market Lending, she handled real estate deals between $1 and $10 million dollars. After this she became a relationship manager dealing with real estate lending. The real estate market was exploding during this time which allowed her to work on deals ranging from $1 million to $250 million dollars such as skyscrapers in downtown Chicago. Unfortunately, in 2008, the market crashed, Duncan became a “workout officer” which meant working with clients to get them to pay back their bad loans. After some traumatic experiences with her clients, she decided workout was not for her, said Duncan.Duncan

Duncan jumped through many hoops but eventually found herself in Wealth Management in the Chicago market. When she entered the Chicago market her mission was to build business in the region. “Grow Chicago,” Duncan was told. The people in the department who were used to doing business their way, did not accept her. Fortunately, she was able to bring her own team in and have a fresh start, said Duncan. After four years Duncan’s leadership paid off, Chicago’s five advisors turned into 55 advisors across seven locations.

A year and a half ago, PNC asked Duncan to take on a broader banking position. Erica is currently Wealth Management Regional Sales Director for the Midwest. The role focusses on her “passion” which is business development. PNC Bank has presented many opportunities that allowed Duncan to further her career.

“Not taking the safe route, and be willing to raise my hand for different projects and different areas that maybe I didn’t 100 percent fit the job qualifications parameters, but I knew over time I would get there.”