First Hawaiian hires firm to help manage investments

Representatives of SEI Investments (NASDAQ: SEIC), an international provider of asset management and investment technology solutions, recently announced five-year contracts had been signed with First Hawaiian Bank.

SEI will administer and distribute Bishop Street Funds through 2008, and will for the same period provide account administration and back-office support for the bank’s trust department.

Bishop Street Funds is First Hawaiian’s family of proprietary mutual funds, with more than $1.1 billion in assets under management.

SEI was first selected to provide its mutual-fund services to First Hawaiian in 1995. At that time, First Hawaiian had one money-market fund and $300 million in assets under management.

Since then, SEI helped First Hawaiian launch another money-market fund, three equity funds, and two fixed-income funds.

“SEI has been a key factor in the growth in our mutual-fund business over the past few years,” said Robin S. Midkiff, First Hawaiian Bank executive vice president.

“We’ve had a long and very successful relationship with SEI. By outsourcing with SEI, we’ve been able to add more focus to the strengths that First Hawaiian Bank brings to our clients, asset management, relationship management and customer service,” he said.

“We are proud to be affiliated with First Hawaiian Bank, and to have been selected to be their outsourcing provider for Bishop Street Funds,” said Brandon Sharrett, SEI managing director for regional and community banks.

“From our standpoint, First Hawaiian has been an ideal client partner. They’ve allowed SEI to do what we do best, (which is) help our clients implement effective business solutions,” Sharrett said.

“In this case, the solution is around the packaging and distribution of First Hawaiian’s investment manufacturing capabilities,” he said.

“We look forward to our continued relationship.”

SEI Private Trust Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of SEI Investments, has assumed responsibility for automating and centralizing trust accounting, income collection, and other processing functions for First Hawaiian, in a second contract announced.

In addition, SEI’s Web-based technologies will provide First Hawaiian Bank with tools its employees needs to gain internal efficiencies and further improve customer service by streamlining daily procedures and creating a more paperless environment, Sharrett explained.

Employees of First Hawaiian’s trust department, with over $9.3 billion in assets under management, will also utilize SEI’s fully integrated, real-time solutions for order-routing and execution, performance reporting, and portfolio management, he said.

Additionally, SEI and First Hawaiian representatives are working jointly to develop customized wealth-management solutions for First Hawaiian’s high-net-worth clients, including customized, separately managed accounts and asset-allocation models.

“By choosing to develop new wealth-management solutions, First Hawaiian furthers its position as a progressive, forward-looking provider of asset management,” said Sharrett.

“We’re pleased that First Hawaiian has selected SEI to partner in this development, and believe that our selection further validates the value of our wealth-management solutions,” he said.

“SEI has reinvested millions of dollars each year to upgrade its technology, so using their platform provides us with a best-in-class solution that will really benefit our clients,” said Midkiff.

“We are looking forward to a major improvement in our client service through this selection.”

First Hawaiian Bank was founded in 1858, and is the oldest financial institution in Hawaii. It has 56 branches throughout Hawaii, including Kauai locations from Waimea to Princeville, as well as three Guam branches, and two in Saipan.

Principal subsidiaries include First Hawaiian Insurance, Inc. and First Hawaiian Leasing, Inc.

First Hawaiian Bank is a subsidiary of BancWest Corporation, a regional financial-services company with total assets of $34.7 billion as of the end of last year. BancWest is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, France’s largest publicly traded bank.

As of the end of last year, SEI Investments administered $241 billion in mutual-fund and pooled assets, manages $78 billion in assets, processes almost $50 trillion of investment transactions annually, and operates 21 offices in 10 countries.

For more information on SEI, please visit http://www.seic.com.

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