PNC Bank has promoted a company veteran to chief investment officer of the asset management group.

Thomas Melcher, currently managing executive of Hawthorn, PNC's ultrahigh-net-worth wealth management unit, will assume his new role on Jan. 1. He will succeed James Dunigan, who will be retiring in 2016, the company announced on Tuesday.

Melcher and Dunigan will work closely through mid-2016, PNC said.

Melcher was named managing executive of Hawthorn in 2004. He joined PNC in 1991 as a credit analyst, advancing through a number of roles including chief investment officer for PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.

Dunigan joined PNC predecessor Provident National Bank as a portfolio manager in the Trust and Investment Management division in 1987. Over nearly 30 years with the company, he held various management and investment leadership roles and today chairs PNC's Investment Policy Committee and Administrative Committee with oversight of pension and 401(k) plans.

"Jim's financial insights and deep knowledge of the markets earned him the trust and respect of our clients over his 15 years as chief investment officer," Orlando Esposito, head of the PNC Asset Management Group, said in a statement. "Thom will build on Jim's outstanding service. He brings a strong appreciation of our clients' needs, as well as 20 plus years of investment experience to that role."

Nicole Perkins, market director of fiduciary services for Hawthorn's Philadelphia and Delaware markets, will succeed Melcher to lead Hawthorn. She joined PNC in 2011. Prior to that, she ran her own private legal practice, where she counseled families and the owners of family-owned businesses in the areas of wealth preservation and multigenerational, business succession and charitable planning.

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