Fernando Zobel de Ayala lauds the 26-year legacy of outgoing CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and sets strategic priorities as the incoming CEO and President of Ayala Corporation
(Photo from left – Right) Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation President, and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation Chairman. AC Brand and Reputation Management Team
MANILA, April 23, 2021 – Today, after the company’s Annual Stockholders Meeting and as announced
last December 2020, Ayala Corporation (AC) transitioned the position of Chief Executive Officer from
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala to Fernando Zobel de Ayala, who has been designated President and
CEO. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala will focus on his role as Chairman of the Ayala Board. Jaime and
Fernando will continue to represent Ayala, retaining their current roles, as Chairman or Vice-Chairman, in the subsidiary boards of various Ayala group companies.
In his remarks, Fernando lauded Jaime for the latter’s outstanding leadership and track record of creating shareholder value in his 26 years of tenure as CEO. “Since 1995, our market capitalization expanded more than sixfold; our net income similarly grew more than six times. Since 1995, we rewarded our shareholders with dependable returns that averaged at 15 percent per annum. Over that period, we cumulatively paid P118 billion in dividends to our common shareholders.”
Beyond the stellar financial returns, Fernando also cited and thanked Jaime for his strategic five-point legacy which Fernando said will serve as a firm foundation for Ayala Corporation’s future sustainable growth:
1. Stronger, expanded and balanced portfolio mix. In the last 26 years, Ayala made massive and transformative investments in real estate, banking, telecommunications, energy, water, health, Fernando Zobel de Ayala President and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala Chairman education, and logistics where large societal gaps exposed opportunities to serve a broader, more inclusive set of customers, generate meaningful returns and improve our risk-resilience;
2. A culture of relevant and relentless innovation where Ayala’s inspired teams sparked new or enhanced solutions to remain relevant to the dynamically changing needs of customers;
3. Rigorous financial management discipline, thus enabling decisive investments to capitalize on opportunities and generate attractive returns, while strengthening risk-resilience especially in times of crises, including the current COVID-19 pandemic;
4. Championing the alignment of Ayala’s corporate ambition and goals with world-class standards for sustainability; and environmental, social, and corporate governance; and
5. Placing Ayala at the forefront of the evolving role of corporations to address society’s pain points—to create inclusive and sustainable prosperity for all stakeholders and to aid in nation building.
“As incoming President and CEO, I aim to build on the firm foundation that Jaime established, guided by our core strategy of maintaining leadership and relevance in the markets we serve,” Fernando said. “To support this, we will place greater emphasis on our portfolio strategy with a sharper focus on optimizing returns from existing businesses, a highly disciplined approach on capital deployment; and explore opportunities for value realization initiatives to fund future investments.
Fernando said that Ayala will continue to support the expansion of its core value drivers—Ayala Land, BPI, Globe, and AC Energy, while scaling up its healthcare and logistics businesses through AC Health and Entrego. In total, Ayala Group is allocating a combined capex of P196 billion in 2021.
During the meeting, Fernando also congratulated three senior executives who have been given new roles in the Ayala Group. Ayala Corporation’s CFO, TG Limcaoco, takes the helm at BPI as President and CEO; upon the retirement of his predecessor, Bong Consing. Bong will continue to be engaged with the Ayala Group as a member of the Board of Directors of BPI, Ayala Corporation, Globe Telecom and AC Energy Corporation. Albert De Larrazabal, most recently Globe’s Chief Commercial Officer, succeeds Limcaoco as AC’s CFO. Eric Francia, current President and CEO of AC Energy, was appointed to concurrently chair AC’s Investment Committee.
“We are cautiously optimistic about the business environment and will continue to prepare for a post-pandemic economic recovery. We are hoping for a successful implementation of the country’s vaccination program that would pave the way for a revival of the economy,” Fernando said. “With a healthy balance sheet and a set of diversified and strong franchises in our portfolio, we are confident that we will come out of this difficult period stronger.” #