The turmoil at First Union Corp. is putting new emphasis on returns from the company's capital markets group.
Part of the pressure is landing full force on David Knowlton, hired just four months ago from investment banking boutique Gleacher & Co.
Mr. Knowlton was brought in to run the private equity business of Bowles Hollowell Conner, a Charlotte, N.C.-based investment banking boutique founded by former presidential adviser Erskine Bowles in 1975 and acquired by First Union in April.
Mr. Knowlton heads a group of 30 that has specialized in getting middlemarket companies the necessary financing for mergers and leveraged buyouts.
The money comes from some of the most …