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Sy, 2 others on ‘powerful businesswomen’ list

Leaders of SM, RCBC, Rustan’s make it to Forbes Asia roster
/ 03:29 AM February 27, 2015

Teresita Sy-Coson of conglomerate SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) is one of three corporate leaders from the Philippines who landed on Forbes Asia Magazine’s 2015 roster of 50 “powerful businesswomen” in Asia.

The list, the fourth annual roster of this kind drawn up by Forbes Asia, recognizes 50 powerful businesswomen in Asia “who are driving change across diverse industries,” Forbes Asia said in a press statement.

To make the list, candidates have to be active in the upper echelons of the business world in Asia, wield significant power and have access to robust financial resources.


Sy-Coson has made it to this elite list every single year.

Helen Yuchengco Dee, chair of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., and Zenaida Rustia-Tantoco, chair and chief executive officer of SSI Group/Rustan’s Commercial, joined the list for the first time.

Second-generation tycoon Sy-Coson is the daughter of taipan Henry Sy, the wealthiest man in the Philippines with a net worth of $12.7 billion, based on Forbes’ estimate.

The magazine noted that Sy-Coson’s vision for the family company continued to widen in 2014.

“Under her lead, SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap,” the magazine said.

The magazine added that banking arm Banco de Oro Unibank, which Sy-Coson chairs, recently acquired Citibank’s thrift operations in Manila, Deutsche Bank’s trust business in the Philippines as well as the country’s second largest rural bank, referring to Mindanao-focused One Network Bank.

Meanwhile, Yuchengco-Dee, the eldest of eight children of Philippine businessman and former ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco, runs the Yuchengco Group of companies, which has interests in banking, insurance, construction, education and travel.

“Dee says she is more conservative than her risk-taking father, now 92,” Forbes said.


The family ranks 23rd on Forbes Asia’s list of the Philippines’ richest with a  net worth of $685 million.

With more than 700 sales outlets in 69 malls nationwide, including the upscale Rustan’s department stores, Forbes Asia said Rustia-Tantoco was “poised to build further on what her parents founded 60-plus years ago.”

Specialty retailer SSI debuted on the Philippine Stock Exchange last year, leaving 30 percent of its shares in public hands.

“Tantoco will use the IPO (initial public offering) proceeds to expand the company’s FamilyMart convenience store chain and midrange Wellworth department stores. She is an active fundraiser for music and humanitarian causes. In her free time, she gets together with family—all three of her children work at Rustan’s—and enjoys the beach,” the magazine said.

Women leaders from 16 countries are represented on the list.

China and Hong Kong again dominated the list with 14 women, followed by India with six, Thailand with five and Singapore with four. South Korea, Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia have three each, while Japan and Vietnam have two. Malaysia, Taiwan, Myanmar, Mongolia and New Zealand have one each.

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TAGS: Forbes Asia, SM Investments Corp., Teresita Sy-Coson
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