Filinvest Group embarks on a new era of resilience, growth

Filinvest Group embarks on a new era of resilience, growth

/ 09:00 AM September 09, 2023

Written by: Amy R. Remo

Visionaries and trailblazers distinguish themselves by their ability to navigate shifting tides and evolving business landscapes. Innovative and agile, they embrace change while capitalizing on emerging opportunities.

Filinvest City

Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC), led by the Gotianun family, stands as a Philippine conglomerate that has shown resilience throughout economic cycles, political upheavals, and market volatilities. Over the decades, this institution, with a P700 billion asset base, has successfully diversified into various industries, including banking, real estate, power and utilities, and hospitality, among others.

Today, as an organization comprising close to 11,000 individuals, Filinvest Group marks a new era with the appointment of new leaders. With a fresh leadership approach and a focus on synergies among sister companies, the Filinvest Group is poised to effectively leverage its diverse portfolio to create long-term value for its customers.

A More Robust Future, Ready for Acceleration

Filinvest Group

FDC President and CEO Chiqui Huang and COO Ysmael V. Baysa

Leading the conglomerate’s next phase of growth is veteran investment banker Rhoda “Chiqui” Huang, the newly appointed President and CEO of FDC. Huang’s appointment marks a historic moment, as she becomes the first non-family member to lead the conglomerate in its nearly 70-year history.

Huang succeeds Josephine Gotianun Yap, a second-generation member of the Gotianun family, who now serves as Vice Chairperson of FDC. Her leadership alongside Chairman Jonathan Gotianun is considered instrumental in pursuing strategic objectives and advancing FDC’s position in the market today.

Setting the tone for expansion. Chiqui Huang and Ysmael Baysa with Filinvest leaders at a recent leadership meeting focused on customer centricity.

Another integral part of the leadership transformation is Ysmael V. Baysa, FDC’s new Chief Operating Officer. With a background in finance and extensive experience in the consumer sector, Baysa will play a pivotal role in ensuring operational excellence across FDC’s diverse holdings.

Josephine Gotianun Yap said, “Over the past two years, we have taken deliberate steps to recruit new talents as well as appoint tenured executives to key leadership roles within our organization as part of future-proofing the business. Now that we have assembled a dynamic leadership team who believes in our purpose of serving and fulfilling the dreams of a large population of Filipino families, it is time to look ahead to a brighter future in Filinvest.”

Envisioning a brighter future. (From left) Francis Gotianun, FDC Director and First Senior Vice President at Filinvest Hospitality Corporation; Josephine Gotianun Yap, FDC Vice Chairperson; Jonathan T. Gotianun, FDC Chairman; and Isabelle Gotianun Yap, Executive Director and Vice President at EastWest

Huang, honored to be a part of FDC, looks forward to leveraging her 30 years of experience in financial institutions to create value for Filinvest stakeholders. She said, “Focusing on our priorities and boosting efficiency will make us more competitive and with an agile organization, we will be better prepared to grow the business.”

A Legacy Unfolding

This transition brings fresh perspectives and renewed energy to the Filinvest Group, which was founded in 1955 by the husband-and-wife team of Andrew and Mercedes Gotianun. Today, FDC stands as one of the most diversified and successful business groups in the Philippines.

FDC’s property arm, Filinvest Land Inc., is one of the largest and most established developers in the Philippines, offering a range of residential options to diverse market segments. Led by homegrown talent Tristaneil Las Marias, the company continues to shape the real estate landscape.

EastWest Bank CEO Jerry Ngo and FLI President and CEO Tristan Las Marias

Filinvest City, the flagship development of FDC in the southern region, continues to stand as a sustainable, master-planned urban center located in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Catherine Ilagan, President of Filinvest Alabang Inc., has been at the forefront of this multi-award-winning Central Business District (CBD). It is renowned for being the first CBD to achieve LEED v4 Gold for Neighborhood Development and a three-star Berde certification. Now, it is paving the way to becoming the Philippines’ inaugural Smart City.

East West Banking Corp., which marked FDC’s re-entry into the banking sector in the early ’90s, is one of the fastest-growing banks in the country, focusing on retail banking. Under the leadership of

CEO Jerry Ngo and President Jacqueline Fernandez, both of whom have extensive local and international banking exposure, EastWest Bank caters to consumers, middle-market corporates, and the mass affluent.  

FDC Utilities Inc., led by Juan Eugenio L. Roxas, plays a crucial role in providing reliable and affordable energy to 1.3 million customers in Mindanao through its 405-megawatt thermal power plant in Misamis Oriental. It also aims to achieve a balanced energy mix through solar and hydropower initiatives across Luzon and Mindanao. Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp. supports the sugar plantations in Southern and Central Mindanao.

  Francis Gotianun, through FDC’s hotel development arm, Filinvest Hospitality Corporation, in collaboration with James Montenegro, country manager at Chroma Hospitality Inc., has earned international recognition for its luxury brand, Crimson, and garnered a loyal following for its convention brand, Quest, as well as for the renowned 36-hole Mimosa Plus Golf Course in Clark.

FDC is also part of the LIPAD consortium involved in the development and operation of Clark International Airport, aligning with the company’s strategy to expand its portfolio of infrastructure assets.

Next Generation Gotianuns

As FDC enters a new era of leadership, the next generation of Gotianuns steps into the spotlight. Isabelle Gotianun Yap and Francis Gotianun actively forge their paths within the conglomerate, bringing fresh perspectives and upholding the family’s values.

Isabelle’s leadership is evident in her role at EastWest Bank, where she champions customer-focused digital products and services. Additionally, she spearheads the company’s digital transformation as the chairwoman of the conglomerate’s innovation arm, F(DEV). Like her mother Josephine and grandmother Mercedes, she is passionate about women’s development and has been recognized as one of only two Filipinos to join the ranks of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders of 2023.

Francis drives FDC’s hospitality business and contributes to the tourism sector as a director of the Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. He has played a key role in growing homegrown hotel brands such as Crimson and Quest chain of hotels and resorts and the upcoming exciting Grafik brand.

 Catalyst of Progress

As FDC’s journey continues, its strengthened organization promises to be a beacon of progress. Its commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability has not only reshaped skylines but also transformed countless lives.

With new leaders who are equally passionate and committed to enabling Filipino dreams, the Filinvest Group is well poised for continued growth and expansion for generations to come.


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