Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Bankoh buys
firm to grow
insurance business

The deal is part of the
bank's plan to expand
profitable ventures

By Rick Daysog

The Bank of Hawaii has purchased Hawaii's Insurance Network in a deal that expands the bank's line of insurance services.

The bank said the acquisition of Hawaii's Insurance Network, one of the state's largest employee benefits companies, is part of its recently announced strategic plan to expand profitable ventures and sell off underperforming assets.

Bank of Hawaii Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This strategy fits perfectly with our growth strategy and expands our business opportunities," said Ron Tsukamaki, president of Bank of Hawaii Insurance Services. "The leverage that is gained through this acquisition is tremendous."

Bank of Hawaii said the deal will not affect policies or benefits of current Hawaii's Insurance Network customers.

Founded in 1989 by Les and Marilyn Levitt, Hawaii's Insurance Network is a full-service insurance agency that specializes in group employee benefits and property and casualty insurance.

The three-person company has seen its gross annualized premiums quadruple during the past 12 years to $20 million, the bank said.

All three employees will be retained.

Bank of Hawaii Insurance Services is focused primarily in the property and casualty insurance business and lists nearly 10,000 individual, family and business customers.

The purchase comes after Bank of Hawaii's parent Pacific Century Financial Corp. announced plans to sell its Asia-Pacific and California operations earlier this year while adding resources to its more profitable ventures.

"With the acquisition, Hawaii's Insurance Network customers now have access to a greater range of insurance products and services," said Marilyn Levitt, who was named senior vice president at Bank of Hawaii Insurance.

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