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New trust officers

(Article published in the Apr 16, 2008 issue of Manila Standard Today)  

Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.’s challenge for the Trust Officers Association of the Philippines (BSP) to “continue promoting the development of our financial system, sustaining market confidence through improved quality and variety of financial services, and bringing the trust industry to greater heights” falls squarely on the shoulders of the organization’s recently elected nine person board that is very well-equipped to meet it.  The combination of their education and experience and the blending of their attitudes and aptitudes leave no doubt that the trust industry will rise to the occasion.

On stage are four people bent on paving the way for TOAP’s acquisition of its second trillion pesos in assets managed.  From all indications, the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary of TOAP for 2008-2009 are more than adequately equipped for the task ahead of them. 

At front and center, as President, is Raul Diaz, Trust Officer and First Vice President of the Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom)  and the said bank’s voting representative in the association since he joined it seven years ago.  He has more than twenty (20) years of experience in trust work, eighteen (18) of which were as Trust Officer.  His forte, in addition to running his department like it was a tight ship, is portfolio management and trust service marketing.  He knows the industry very well, having served for several terms as a member of the board as well as chairman of TOAP’s various committees. 

His schooling focused on banking from the very start.  He was graduated by the University of Sto. Tomas with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, with banking and finance as his major and by the De La Salle University with the a Master’s in Business Administration. A true son of the local trust industry, Raul attended the one-year Trust Course offered by the Trust Institute Foundation of the Philippines (TIFP), the educational arm of the TOAP.










     


           Leading the TOAP in these turbulent times which were described by Espenilla as having “a new set of challenges-- the projected U.S. economic slowdown, global risks emanating from high and volatile international oil prices, a still intensifying global financial market turbulence that has the potential to increase risk aversion towards emerging markets like the Philippines and renewed inflationary pressures” is in itself a difficult task.  But the diversity of interest of TOAP’s members and the often conflicting objectives of their constituencies make it all the more daunting. 

But Raul, fortunately, is not without spurs in that regard. His people skills are well recognized by the civic and social clubs he is a member of.  He is past president of the Rotary Club of Mandaluyong North and was the former Treasurer and Director of the Philippine Columbian Association.

Vice President and the chairman of the Legal and Regulatory Committee is Marvin Fausto.  Marvin is true blue Ateneo: from Grade School, through High School and College where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce, majoring in engineering, and up to Graduate school for some MBA units.

Marvin is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Banco de Oro Universal Bank.  He brings to the table about 25 years of experience in investment and finance. He began as credit officer of Far East Bank and Trust Company, supervising a team of analysts reviewing credit and industry studies as well as  evaluating and giving recommendations on loan applications, primarily identifying risks and suggesting mitigation measures.

After four years, he moved to FEBTC’s Trust Department as its Trust Officer.  He formulated the unit’s investment strategies and put in place policies protective of the clients as well as of the bank.  In addition, he personally managed a select group of personal and corporate funds, each over a Php 100 million worth. 

After about a year, Marvin joined Citytrust Banking Corporation, where as Assistant Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for seven years he directly handled the management of retirement and other corporate funds of clients with a total value of Php2 billion.  He took on the stock market, growing the bank’s equity portfolio to Php800 million from its Php42 million level when he started, and outperforming the indices for four years.  He was not one to keep his lamp under the bed; he presented quarterly financial and economic updates to clients, and walked them through a review of the performance of their investments.

When he was Citytrust’s Vice President & Investments Division Head, his unit was consistently in the top three among major institutional fund managers in terms of 5-year returns.  He continued his mastery of the equity market and grew the equity portfolio to Php15 billion. 

Then Marvin moved to the trust department of the then Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB) which then became Equitable  PCI Bank which was merged into, eventually, Banco de Oro Universal Bank.  Through this all, he was in charge of trust investments big time.

He has a penchant for setting up teams and structures geared towards achieving corporate and societal objectives.  At PCIB, he established an Economic and Investment Research team that provided valuable and timely investment insights to his portfolio management officers and the bank’s clients.  He also organized a team of investment experts that became recognized as one of the country’s best.  It was also around this time that he spearheaded the formation of the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines and became its founding president. 

When Marvin became, inevitably it seems, Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of Equitable PCI trust department, he led the group to over Php100 billion in assets managed.

 Keeper of the treasury and also head of the Finance Committee is Ma. Elena S. Sarmiento, First Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of the Philippine National Bank.  Marilen is a jewel of the trust industry.  Before joining PNB, she already had had about 20 years in trust banking and investment management from, at various times, Bancom Development Corporation, Union Bank of the Philippines, and United Coconut Planters Bank.

She graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Spirit with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce, majoring in Accounting.  A Certified Public Accountant, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from De La Salle Graduate School of Business.

She took the trust course offered by the TIFP  and finished at the top of her class, Most Outstanding Graduate with an Award of Excellence.  That entitled her to be sent by the institute to the American Bankers Association’s Trust Course at the National Trust School of the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. 

Marilen was at one time president of TOAP and presently serves as Vice President of TIFP as well  board member of the Mutual Fund Management Company of the Phils., Inc.

Very senior (put whatever meaning you may want to that adjective) among TOAP’s officers this year is Eduardo B. Chavez who is the Corporate Secretary.  The position fits the width and breath of his trust career.  He was already in trust when Gov. Gregorio Lecaros applied DOSRI to trust lending, when Gov. Gabby Singson imposed reserves on some types of trust, when Gov. Paeng Buenaventura reformatted the CTF into the UITF, and until now that Gov. Say Tetangco has allowed them to open directly with the BSP Special Deposit Accounts.

He started in trusts with General Bank and Trust Co. which, for those younger than me, is now known as Allied Bank.  He was Vice President for Trust and Investments Division of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation.  Then, he became Senior Vice President for Trust and Investment Division of AB Capital and Investment Corporation.  After a short interregnum out of trust, he rejoined his colleagues as First Vice President of Asiatrust Development Bank and he is now the Trust Officer of the Land Bank of the Philippines. 

As secretary of TOAP, Ed will record the minutes of its meetings ; but his greatest value is the remembrance of lessons learned during decades past.

         The 2008-2009 set of officers is a formidable team.  But, by themselves, the four officers-directors cannot meet Espenilla’s challenge.  They need support from the rest of the board.  About them next week.

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