Biz Buzz: DBP ins and outs
One of the biggest challenges Gil Buenaventura will face when he reemerges from a short-lived retirement on October 22 to become the new president of Development Bank of the Philippines is to fill up a shrinking plantilla.
About 200 officers and staff members have taken advantage of the bank’s early retirement program offered until 2012. Some may have been tagged in or disheartened by the political issues that have hounded the bank in the last two years, but for others, it may be as simple as availing of a golden parachute.
While a new president is “in,” several key officers are opting “out.”
Those who have so far resigned include Mitch Oira (deputy head of Risk Management who was included in the show cause letters issued by the current board, but was dropped from the complaint filed with the Ombudsman); Abel Dorotan (topnotcher in DBP’s Management Associates Program and leading marketing officer in corporate banking); Candy Madridejos (also a product of DBP’s Management Associates Program and a top marketing officer with corporate banking); Kristine Pama, Kristine Ella Reyes and at least five other graduates of the Management Associates Program, apart from key account officers and marketing officers.
Others who left were Susan Prado (sector head of corporate finance); Ananias Cornelio (head of Risk Management); lawyer Marj Ardivilla (Office of the Legal Counsel); lawyer Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio Jr. (sector head of Product Development and was also human resources head until last September).
Meanwhile, several senior officers have also retired from the bank since last year, including executive vice president Mandy Samia (sector head of corporate banking and president of Al Amanah Bank); SEVP Rolando Geronimo (sector head of operations); SVP Jose Gonzaga (head of the Zamboanga regional marketing center); and SVP Dolores Santiago (head of accounting).
A fresh batch has also taken the early retirement option, including SEVP Edgardo Garcia (chief operating officer, who accelerated early retirement effective Sept. 30, 2012) and SVP Myrna Bundoc (assistant head of the Branch Banking Sector, who accelerated her early retirement effective Sept. 30, 2012).
In December 2012, the following retired: EVP Desus Guevara II (sector head of the Branch Banking Sector); EVP Benilda Tejada (chief legal counsel until March 2012, now with the Office of the President); SEVP Ma. Teresa Quirino (sector head of Treasury and also bank treasurer); FVP Lon Fernandez (head of Corporate Affairs); FVP Toto Magsino (head of Process Management and bank subsidiary DCI); FVP Irma Lara (chief of staff, Office of the President); FVP Jesusa Balingao (head of Property Management); and SVP Ellie Icasiano (head of Corporate Banking I).
At several DBP branches and regional marketing centers, at least 10 out of 15 heads are retiring.
Because of the depletion of senior officers, those in the management and credit committees can no longer muster a quorum.
Such an exodus has never been seen in the bank’s 65-year history (partly because this is the last batch of the retirement program). But rather than interpreting it as a crisis, this may also be seen by some as an opportunity. After all, the new president will have a free hand in reorganization, creating room for internal promotions and/or recruitment from the outside.
And now that Buenaventura’s assumption in DBP has become a reality, proving speculations correct, the next thing to watch out for is whether he will soon team up with ex-SGV chief Dave Balangue, still rumored to be prospective chair of DBP.
Word on the street is that, as a precondition for Buenaventura to accept the top job at DBP, he asked for a clean slate at the board of directors. Expect more changes soon.—Doris C. Dumlao and Daxim L. Lucas
Flying with Rolls Royce
With Philippine Airlines going on an Airbus buying binge, it is not only the European aircraft manufacturer that’s smiling from ear to ear.
The airline—under the management of Ramon Ang—also made a quiet, but pivotal shift in its acquisition habits.
Together with its massive Airbus refleeting plan, PAL also decided to tap British aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce as its supplier of choice.
How important is this move? Think of it this way: The last time PAL had Rolls Royce-powered aircraft in its fleet was when it flew BAC 111 jets, which were retired in the mid-1980s.
Since then, it has been sourcing its aircraft engines from other manufacturers like General Electric, CFM and Pratt and Whitney.
In monetary terms, the deal is also massive. On the average, jet engines make up half of the cost of a modern airliner. So, of the $10 billion PAL will be spending for its new Airbus fleet, about half of this will be a windfall for Rolls Royce.
According to our source, PAL’s decision to shift to Rolls Royce was also due, in part, to the engine manufacturer’s recent opening of an engine repair facility in Singapore, which made maintenance costs a lot cheaper for a prospective client like PAL.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the PAL president is a car enthusiast and probably knows a lot about the quality of Rolls Royce engines.—Daxim L. Lucas
6,000 in PH
On its 200th anniversary as a global company, Citibank has hit the 6,000-employment mark in the Philippines as of end-August and still counting, according to country chief Sanjiv Vohra.
This number includes those employed by Citi’s business process outsourcing and call center operations serving other markets.
And the largest foreign bank in the country is still growing, Vohra said.
Meanwhile, Vohra believes the positive momentum in capital raising will continue, especially as banks brace for Basel 3 capital adequacy requirements.
He cited the $1-billion rights offer of Banco de Oro, where Citi served as joint lead manager and underwriter, and which had achieved successful pricing and higher discount than previous Philippine and Asian bank rights issues.—Doris C. Dumlao
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