Confidence and Resilience are Keys to Success

As an executive vice president of PNC and the managing executive of Hawthorn PNC Family Wealth, Nicole Perkins is personally accountable for the fiduciary administration of over $1 billion for net worth individuals and families. She also brings a history of entrepreneurism to her role.

As the daughter of small business owners, early in life Perkins assumed responsibility for managing the family’s restaurant business located in Harlem, New York. Following law school and a career in the legal profession, Perkins launched her own successful legal practice serving high-net-worth individuals. Her colleagues say she brings self-starter character to everything she touches and a successful track record of achievement.

Today, Perkins is virtually unequalled as one of the few woman setting the business strategy and overseeing a leading organization serving individuals and families with investable assets of over $20 million. The company administers about $43.8 billion in assets.

Perkins says the key to success is to be authentic and resilient. “You must bring your authentic self every day.  You will make mistakes,” she said. “People will doubt your decisions, you will doubt your decisions; but you have to bounce back right away and keep going. Otherwise, you’ll never move forward and gain the confidence to trust in your own decisions and who you are,” she added.

Earlier in her career, Perkins served as the market director of Fiduciary Services in the Philadelphia and Delaware market. She was accountable for managing the fiduciary business segment of Hawthorn as well as ensuring the quality and consistency of the client service experience. She was also responsible for the oversight of the compliance and risk management functions of those markets.

Perkins says confidence is the most important quality a woman leader should have. “You can be confident in your worth and leadership and still be collaborative and inclusive,” she said.

Perkins has long embraced the PNC corporate value of community commitment, currently serving on the board of First Person Arts. Among her many accolades, she was recently recognized among the Top 50 Most Influential Woman in Private Wealth.

She has served as president of the Starr Garden Recreation Volunteer Association, which she founded in 2004 to help revitalize the nation’s first municipal park. Perkins is a past president of the board of trustees of Independence Charter School and served on the board of directors of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and on the board of directors of Education Voters PA.

Perkins lives by the words, “just do it.” She holds a B.A. in communications from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.