Bancorp Hawaii is overhauling the management of its trust subsidiary in a step toward integrating the operation with the Honolulu company's private banking and retail investment units.
Walter J. Laskey, an executive vice president of Bank of Hawaii, will take on the additional title of president of Hawaiian Trust Co. in June, the holding company announced.
Mr. Laskey, whose duties for the past two years have included oversight of the trust company, is taking on responsibilities currently handled by Thomas J. Macdonald.
Mr. Macdonald announced last week that he is taking early retirement after 25 years with Bancorp Hawaii and two years as president of the trust unit.
Officials said Mr. Macdonald's decision spurred them to accelerate management changes that had been planned for later this year.
Mr. Laskey noted that $12.6 billion-asset Bancorp Hawaii is halfway through a two-year plan to mesh trust, private banking, and retail investment services.
"It's only coincidental that Tom (Macdonald) is leaving during our realignment," Mr. Laskey said.
Bancorp Hawaii also announced that Michael A. O'Brien and George C. Weir have named executive vice presidents of Hawaiian Trust.
They will oversee the day-to-day operations of Hawaiian Trust and will report directly to Mr. Laskey. Both were previously senior vice presidents of the unit. They will sit on a newly created management committee for the trust company.
Mr. Laskey said the changes portend a shift in direction for the trust company, which administers $12 billion of client assets and contributed about 10% of the banking company's 1994 earnings of $117.7 million.
Mr. Laskey, a former brokerage executive with Merrill Lynch, said he plans to form a more aggressive sales team under the new management.
"Our trust officers need to be cross-trained to know all the services we can offer," said Mr. Laskey. "Customers are very concerned with performance these days, so we need to be investment-oriented and be able to convey confidence to them."
Personal trust services are one area that the company see as potentially lucrative. As the general population grows more comfortable with investments, the need for personal trust will grow, Mr. Laskey said.
"I see a tremendous potential as the pre-baby boomers begin passing on their assets to the younger generations who are more investment savvy," he said.
Mr. Laskey said he does not rule out more changes in the company's management as the restructuring continues. He added that the company is considering adding trust officers in an effort to drum up more business.