Friday, March 12, 1999

BancWest taps
merger specialist

Star-Bulletin staff


BancWest BancWest Corp., parent of First Hawaiian Bank and California's Bank of the West, has hired a Honolulu expert on financial institute mergers and acquisitions to be its top in-house lawyer.

He is William E. Atwater III, who has had 22 years experience with the Honolulu firm of Carlsmith Ball. Atwater joins the bank April 1 as senior vice president and general counsel of BancWest and executive vice president of First Hawaiian Bank.

Atwater will be a key figure in transactions as BancWest continues its policy of expansion, primarily in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, bank officials said. No specific transactions are planned, said company spokesman Gerry Keir. But BancWest has been saying since it was formed last year that it would continue to seek acquisitions. Atwater replaces Thomas P. Huber, who retires March 31.

At Carlsmith Ball, Atwater was a partner since 1983, specializing in corporate and business law, including Securities & Exchange Commission laws.

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