Top auditing firm co-founder Alfredo Velayo dies at 92
MANILA, Philippines—Alfredo Velayo, a business leader, co-founder of auditing firm SGV and a pioneer in the “Filipinization” of accountancy, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92.
SGV announced in a statement on Tuesday the passing of Velayo – the “V in the firm’s iconic SGV acronym. His remains will lie in state at The Heritage Memorial Park, Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City until Wednesday evening.
Velayo was also a university professor, a public servant, and a generous philanthropist. He was also described as a devoted husband to Harriett, his wife of 72 years, a loving father to their children Kathy, Buddy, Mike and Rick and a doting grandfather to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, SGV said in its statement.
The ninth in a brood of 10, Velayo was born on August 26, 1921 in Santa Mesa, Manila. He was a product of the Philippine public school system.
He graduated from P. Burgos Elementary School and V. Mapa High School. He then obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with a major in Accounting, summa cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas, where he started teaching night classes on his third year.
After passing the Certified Public Accountant licensure examination with the fourth highest score, Velayo started building his public accounting career by joining the Manila office of Haskins & Sells known as Clarke & Larkin while taking up his Master’s degree at the Far Eastern University. His time as a junior auditor in the firm and as a graduate student came to an end as World War II erupted.
In 1942, he got married to Harriett Lazaga and the couple migrated to the US in 1945. Velayo was drafted into the US Army.
Velayo had planned to continue his graduate studies in the US once he was discharged from the Army but his childhood friend and classmate Washington SyCip encouraged him to “seize the excellent opportunities in the Philippines to build an accounting practice as the country started its recovery after the war,” SGV said. He thus joined W. SyCip & Co. in early February 1947 as a partner. The partnership was later renamed SyCip, Velayo, Jose & Co. in April of that same year, and assumed its final name of SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV) in 1950.
In the early years of the firm, Velayo was a sought-after professor at the University of the East, where he became the head professor of accounting for the CPA review classes. He taught until he was appointed by then President Ramon Magsaysay as the Chairman of the Board of Accountancy in 1954, a position he held for three years. During this time, he continued to work towards the expansion of SGV to more locations in the Philippines, serving not only local companies, but also multinational corporations.
Velayo retired from SGV & Co. in 1970 after almost 24 years of service. Among the positions he held after his SGV & Co. years are chief executive officer, executive vice president, and treasurer of Lepanto Consolidated Mining; director of a number of companies such as Far East Bank & Trust Co., Manila Cordage Co., Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co., and
Manila Golf & Country Club; chair and CEO of Interbank; and owner of Ding Velayo, Inc.
In addition to his active role in Philippine business, SGV said Velayo strongly believed in giving back to the community in order to create better opportunities for others. “As President of the William J. Shaw Foundation and Chairman of the SGV Foundation, he set an example in donating funds, materials and facilities to public educational institutions as well as numerous organizations, especially those involved in improving the quality of education in the country,” it said.
“The legacy of Mr. Velayo as a pioneer in the Filipinization of accountancy, a business leader, and an educator endures not only in SGV and in each of the companies he has managed throughout his seven-decade career, but also in the Philippine business landscape,” SGV said.
The University of Santo Tomas established the UST Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy in 2004 – the first degree-granting unit named by the university after a private individual.
The statement said that in lieu of flowers, donations to the UST – Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy Foundation Inc. would be very much appreciated.
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