For PNC's Bill Demchak, being heir apparent to the nation's ninth-largest bank came with a handful of burdens. Now, after 10 years of helping to build up expectations, he will have to surpass them.

The Pittsburgh company last week announced that Demchak, who currently runs all of its businesses and serves as president, will take over for retiring chief executive Jim Rohr in April. His promotion was expected, and Demchak has been widely credited for helping Rohr build out the bank after the financial crisis. But now he will have to prove that he can single-handedly continue the bank's expansion, even in a more difficult deal environment, and help it overcome the sluggish economy and terminally low interest rates.

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