MANILA, Philippines, April 29, 2022 – Ayala Corporation welcomes former Philippines finance secretary Cesar V. Purisima and former Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong to its board of directors following their election at the company’s annual stockholders meeting on Friday.
Purisima and Chua take the seats of outgoing directors Keiichi Matsunaga and Antonio Jose U. Periquet, who had been part of the Ayala board since April 2017 and September 2010, respectively.
Purisima served as the country’s finance chief and chair of the economic development cluster of the President’s Cabinet from 2010 to 2016. Under his leadership, the Philippines received its first investment-grade ratings. Purisima also served as Chairman and Country Managing Partner of the Philippines’ largest professional services firm, SGV & Co.
Chua is currently senior advisor at Singtel, Asia’s leading communications technology group, where she also served as group CEO for 13 years until December 2020. She is currently the Deputy Chairman of Singapore’s Public Service Commission and a member of the Council of Presidential Advisers and the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council.
In his message to the stockholders, Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said, “We always strive to achieve sufficient diversity of thinking across our board representation and have worked to create a proper combination of knowledge, experience, and expertise to guide management. With an increasing demand for companies to adhere to new ESG standards, we understand the need to always focus on revisiting our board composition and allowing transitions to take place at appropriate moments.”
Zobel added, “We believe Mr. Purisima and Ms. Chua will provide immense value and complement the existing expertise and strengths of our current Directors.” He also thanked Matsunaga and Periquet for sharing their wisdom and experience, which helped Ayala withstand various headwinds over the years.
The Ayala board now has two female directors with Chua and Ex-Sun Life Financial (Philippines) CEO Rizalina Mantaring.
Strengthening ESG commitment
Last October 2021, Ayala Corporation committed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. To develop its net-zero roadmap, Ayala partnered with South Pole, a leading project developer and global climate solutions provider that works with private organizations and governments worldwide.
By December 2021, Ayala Corporation and core business units Ayala Land, BPI, ACEN, and Globe completed a climate action gap analysis study, marking the first phase in the engagement with South Pole. The study highlighted strengths, areas for improvement, and potential quick wins for Ayala and its core businesses.
Ayala Land, BPI, ACEN, and Globe are currently in the process of accounting for their respective GHG footprints and will be followed by an intervention assessment and target-setting. The group is on-track to develop bespoke net-zero greenhouse gas emissions roadmaps for each of the core business units towards the end of 2022.
On the social front, Ayala became a member of the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality, an initiative by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development that focuses on mobilizing the global business community to address the disparity and imbalance across income, wealth, and opportunities. It aims to accelerate business action around equity and put it at par with climate and nature action. Recently, Ayala Corporation President and CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala joined as a commissioner.
Investing for the Greater Good
Ayala Corporation’s net profits grew 62 percent to ₱27.8 billion (approximately US$556 mn) in 2021, primarily driven by realized income from the execution of strategic initiatives in the group, boosted by the improved performance of Ayala Land and BPI.
For 2022, Ayala group allocated up to ₱285 billion (approximately US$5.7 bn) in combined capital expenditure and investments to execute on the growth initiatives across its businesses. Ayala Corporation President & CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the group commits to support the continued expansion of its core value drivers Ayala Land, BPI, Globe, and ACEN.
The group will also scale up emerging businesses AC Health and AC Logistics to create new sources of growth and value. Further, by sharpening the group’s portfolio with an increased focus on value realization to fund future investments and strengthen its balance sheet, Ayala targets to raise US$1 billion in proceeds by 2023.
“Our diversified portfolio provides a natural mechanism to mitigate the adverse impact and capitalize on opportunities arising from the global health and economic crisis,” Ayala President & CEO Fernando Zobel said. “With the improving macroeconomic fundamentals, de-escalation of quarantine measures to the lowest status, and high rate of inoculation, we are hopeful that 2022 will be the start of our country’s recovery,” he added.
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