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Wednesday, January 10, 2001

GE Capital Hawaii
cutting 100 jobs
here and on Guam

It is restructuring to focus
solely on commercial real estate

By Tim Ruel

GE Capital Hawaii Inc., one of the state's largest financial institutions, said today it is slashing a total of 100 jobs here and in Guam as part of a restructuring.

The company said it is ending its financing operations for business equipment and residential real estate in Hawaii and Guam.

The job cuts will likely begin immediately and occur over a two-year period, said corporate spokesman Hal Platzkere. He did not know if terminated employees would have a chance to find other jobs at the company, or its larger mainland parent.

GE Capital Hawaii has 130 employees, and it was not immediately clear how many would be laid off.

"The change is a reflection of the company's global focus on the commercial real estate sector," Platzkere said. "It just so happens Hawaii is being hit at this particular time."

GE Capital Hawaii is a wholly owned subsidiary of Stamford, Conn.-based GE Capital, which is owned by diversified giant General Electric Co. GE Capital has more than $345 billion in assets and provides equipment management, financing, insurance, car leasing and other services to a global market.

GE Capital Hawaii plans to focus solely on lending to commercial real estate activities, Platzkere said. Half of the company's asset base is in commercial loans, while nearly 40 percent is residential loans, according to Pacific Business News' "Book of Lists 2000." Assets at the company slipped 13 percent to $1.06 billion as of January 2000 from $1.22 billion in 1997, according to the Book of Lists.

GE Capital Hawaii has already trimmed 45 positions since 1997.

It started in Hawaii as Amfac Financial, then became GECC Financial in 1979 when GECC Financial Corp. bought Amfac Financial. It later joined GE Capital.

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