Andrew Gotianun Sr., 88
TAIPAN Andrew Gotianun Sr. – patriarch of the Filinvest group of companies who built a fortune out of consumer finance and property development – passed away on Thursday at the age of 88.
In a press statement on Friday night, the family confirmed that the patriarch had passed away on Thursday, March 10. He is survived by his wife, Mercedes, his four children, Andrew Jr., Jonathan, Josephine and Michael, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 1955, the Chinese-Filipino businessman and his wife founded Filinvest Development Corp. which owns and controls Filinvest Land Inc., one of the country’s largest real estate developers. Forbes Magazine estimated his net worth at $910 million at the end of 2015, making him the 18th wealthiest man in the Philippines.
His other business include East West Banking Corp., as well as interests in the sugar, hospitality and power generation industries. Other companies under the group include Filinvest Land, Inc., Filinvest Alabang, Inc., FDC Utilities, Inc., Chroma Hospitality and Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp.
Gotianun, who was born on Nov. 24, 1927, moved to the Philippines from mainland China when he was 10. Like many of the country’s taipans, he didn’t finish school as he had to take care of three generations of women when his father and brother passed away. He married Mercedes, a Manilena of mixed French-Filipino-Chinese ancestry who bore four children.
The Gotianun family was originally based in Cebu. After World War, Gotianun salvaged naval vessels known as minesweepers for inter-island shipping. The family afterwards relocated to Manila and embarked on the consumer finance business – financing second-hand cars. This marked the beginning of the Filinvest conglomerate in 1955. In the 1960s, the family ventured into the property business, beginning with a subdivision project in Cebu, St. Michael.
Gotianun is among the few gender-neutral Chinese-Filipino businessmen when it comes to succession planning. The conglomerate he founded is now led by Josephine Gotianun-Yap, the third in a brood of four and the only daughter.
His remains lie in state at Santuario de San Antonio Parish, McKinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati City. Interment is scheduled on March 14 (Monday) after the 9:00 am mass.
He is the the second in his generation of tycoons to pass away after Emilio Yap in 2014.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.