Magazine article Personnel Journal

Bancorp's Market-Empty Ocean or Dynamic Islands?

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Bancorp's Market-Empty Ocean or Dynamic Islands?

Article excerpt

When you fly over the Pacific, you see water. Lots of it. But if you look more closely, you'll see opportunity. At least, that's the way Bancorp Hawaii Inc. views those tiny green specks below. One of the company's strategic advantages lies in its proximity to the Pacific Islands-where it first established its presence 35 years ago. In recent years, Bancorp formed affiliates with Banque de Nouvelle Caledonie and Banque de Tahiti-complementing the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands acquisitions. Says W. Michael Ord, senior vice president, South Pacific division of Bancorp's largest subsidiary, Bank of Hawaii: "We've gone from being an investor in the South Pacific to being an actual player. Our challenge is the huge training job on our hands-to make sure our employees can adjust to that quantum leap forward."

One of the first challenges is to speak in the same language as the acquired staff. "HR is scrambling to train individuals in French," says Jean Hamakawa, one of two HR assistant directors. …

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