Thursday, September 9, 1999

Campbell Estate
mulls Bankoh exec
for trustee

Pacific Century's
Larry Johnson says he is
not pursuing the post

By Rick Daysog


The head of Bank of Hawaii has emerged as a candidate for an $800,000-a-year trustee post at the Estate of James Campbell, just as the bank is set to unveil a companywide redesign that will result in significant job cuts.

Lawrence Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Pacific Century Financial Corp., confirmed that he is one of several candidates being considered for the board vacancy at the $2 billion Campbell Estate.

But Johnson -- who has headed Pacific Century and its Bank of Hawaii subsidiary since 1994 -- stressed that he has not sought out the Campbell position nor have members of the private trust's selection team contacted him about the post. However he has been told that he is being considered.

A Campbell Estate official had no comment.

Johnson said he hasn't given any thought to accepting the job if it is offered, noting that Pacific Century's soon-to-be unveiled redesign has required all of his attention. "I'm up to my ears in the redesign," he said.

Pacific Century recently hired Connecticut-based Aston Associates to conduct a review of the $15 billion financial institution's operation, which has been hurt by rising global competition and a struggling local economy.

On Monday, the bank plans to unveil its resulting redesign which aims to improve its operations and shareholder value. The plan is expected to include significant job cuts.

Campbell Estate is a private, for-profit trust established in 1900 for the benefit of the heirs of Scottish seaman James Campbell. The estate is the isles' eighth-largest private landowner with more than 70,000 acres in Hawaii. It also has extensive real estate interest on the mainland.

Set to terminate in 2007, the estate is looking at ways to create a successor organization. Under state law, trustees serving at the time of the estate's termination are entitled to multimillion-dollar commissions.

The estate's board of trustees include former Theo H. Davies & Co. executive David Heenan and former estate chief executive Clint Churchill. Former trustee Paul Cassiday retired at the end of 1998 and board member Tom Leppert announced in June that he is leaving the estate to head the Turner Group, a large mainland construction firm.

In 1997, the estate paid each of its four trustees $852,000, up from the year-earlier's $840,000. Trustees typically annually waive about $1 million in commissions to which they are legally entitled.

Johnson, who joined the Bank of Hawaii in 1958, earned $1.02 million in 1998, up about 10 percent from $925,605 in 1997.

Earlier this year, Campbell descendants Abigail Kawananakoa and Fred Trotter, a former Campbell Estate trustee, proposed state Supreme Court Associate Justice Robert Klein as a replacement for Cassiday but that plan was opposed by several family members.

Former Bishop Estate trustee Oswald Stender, a former Campbell Estate chief executive, also has been mentioned as a possible candidate, sources have said. One source noted the estate is in the early stages of its search for a replacement.

The search for a successor trustee comes as the Campbell Estate has asked the Probate Court to shrink the number of estate board members from four to three. The request is pending.

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