New Bankoh exec Donna Tanoue poses in front of the "coin" sculpture at the bank's downtown headquarters.


Donna Tanoue brings
her expertise home

By Dave Segal

Donna Tanoue is an expert on money.

But she said there's no chance she'll break in her new job at Bank of Hawaii with the same splash that Michael O'Neill did when he was hired 16 months ago to rebuild the bank's parent company, Pacific Century Financial Corp.

The chairman and chief executive vowed to purchase $10 million in stock on the open market to show his confidence in the bank.

"I don't have $10 million," laughed Tanoue.

What she does have, though, is a vaultful of experience.

The 47-year-old Tanoue, the highest-ranked Hawaii resident in the Clinton Administration as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has been back home since ending her Washington, D.C., post in July.

It's been a reflective period for her. She has been working independently as a financial services consultant out of her former Honolulu law office at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, where she was a lawyer and partner from 1987 to 1998.

"It gave me some time to think about what I really wanted to do in the future for the long term," she said.

That led her to the Bank of Hawaii, where she will begin April 8 as the vice chair of financial services and oversee the bank's trust, private client, asset management and brokerage businesses.

Tanoue, who actually has been affiliated with the bank since being tapped in October to serve on the board of directors, wasted little time in making her first investment with the bank. In December, she purchased 5,270 shares at $25.68 -- a value of more than $135,000 -- to go along with the 200 shares she was granted earlier as a nonexecutive board member.

"I think it's a good investment," she said. "I really think the bank is on the move with the caliber of management, the very solid strategy they have going forward and with an incredibly talented team at the bank. That's going to benefit consumers."

Tanoue, who attended Kalani High School before going on to graduate from University of Hawaii and then Georgetown University Law Center, is back in her old stomping grounds.

"I tell my daughter I'm her personal chauffeur," said Tanoue of 7-year-old Maya. "We like to go swimming in the ocean, go to the Aina Haina public library and we have our favorite coffee shop (where Maya drinks hot cocoa and whipped cream). I like to go to contemporary museums and take her to the (Honolulu Academy of Arts).

"I also do a lot of driving, taking her to piano lessons and horseback riding. I feel like a chauffeur on the weekends."

It's only fitting she drives a lot because she's had a lot of drive throughout her career.

Tanoue, who's married to attorney Kirk Caldwell, oversaw the Manoa Finance Co. and Great Hawaiian Financial Corp. bailouts in the 1980s as Hawaii's banking commissioner and helped worried depositors get back most of their savings.

As a Clinton appointee at the FDIC, she was responsible for the federal banking agency that insures $3 trillion in bank and savings and loan deposits.

Tanoue, whose first job was in the Dole Cannery as a teenager, identifies that as her first service position.

"The one common thread (between all the jobs she's had), particularly on the public sector side, was that I was working to maintain public confidence and really working as a steward in terms of the public interest," she said.

"I think in some ways that experience will help me in my new role (at Bank of Hawaii) because I'm really looking forward to serving those people who are the bank's clients and to serve them with honesty and integrity and fair dealing. The bank serves as the steward for the assets of these clients, and I'll be working to hold those interests paramount."

Donna Tanoue

The former FDIC chairwoman will start as vice chairwoman of financial services for Bank of Hawaii on April 8

>> Company: Bank of Hawaii

>> Title: Vice chair of financial services

>> Responsibilities: Overseeing Financial Services Group, which includes the bank's trust, private client, asset management and brokerage businesses; board of directors; member of bank's 12-member managing committee

>> Age: 47

>> Past positions: Financial services consultant, 2001-02; chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., 1998-2001; law partner, specializing in banking, real estate finance and governmental affairs, Honolulu-based firm of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, 1987-98; campaign manager for Sen. Daniel Inouye, 1992; commissioner of financial institutions, state of Hawaii, 1983-87; special deputy attorney general to the director of commerce and consumer affairs, state of Hawaii, 1981-83

>> Past board memberships: University of Hawaii Board of Regents; University of Hawaii Research Corp.; Aloha United Way; Palama Settlement; Legal Aid Society of Hawaii; Oceanic Cable and Oceanic Communications.

>> Honors: Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year 2000, Hawaii Women Lawyers Association; University of Hawaii 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient

>> First job: Dole Cannery (summer job at age 16)

>> Education: Kalani High School; B.A., English with honors, University of Hawaii, 1977; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1981

>> Family: Husband, Kirk Caldwell, married 20 years; daughter, Maya, 7

>> Born: Honolulu

>> Hobbies: Spending time with family, swimming in the ocean, reading

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