Former Finance secretary Roberto “Bobby” de Ocampo, OBE has been elected as chairman by the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) board of directors.
De Ocampo said his term marks a fresh new beginning for PVB, with the aim of revitalizing the medium-sized commercial bank to be an active major player in the banking industry, not just locally but globally as well.
A respected name in the business community, de Ocampo brings with him an exceptional track record in the business and finance arenas here and abroad. Besides being the former secretary of Finance, he was also president of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and also the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). He is one of the most internationally recognized Filipinos having been chairman of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Asean Finance Ministers and a covernor of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank (ADB). He is also presently the chairman of the board of advisers of the RFO Center for Public Finance and Regional Economic Cooperation, an ADB Regional Knowledge Hub.
During his stint as Finance secretary, de Ocampo was credited for bringing the country’s fiscal position from large deficits to surplus, and brought about the longest period of consecutive years of fiscal surpluses in the Philippines. It was also during his term that the key features of country’s investment liberalization and privatization strategies were designed and implemented. As Finance secretary, he was awarded the Global Finance Minister of the Year in 1995 by Euromoney, and Asian Finance Minister of the Year in 1996 and 1997 by Euromoney and Asiamoney, respectively.
De Ocampo was also the youngest DBP chairman and CEO. It was during his leadership that DBP was adjudged to be the World’s Second Soundest and Third Best Performing Bank in 1991 by The Banker.
De Ocampo also has the distinction of being the only Filipino knighted by the United Kingdom and France. He was conferred “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire,” or OBE, by the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for his efforts in promoting Philippine-UK relations during his years as a public servant and as chairman of the British Alumni Association. He was also named chevalier in the French Legion of Honor by France for his promotion of links between France and the Philippines in the economic domain.
As a son of a Filipino World War II veteran, de Ocampo’s election as PVB chairman was hailed by the veterans sector, particularly the Veterans Federation of the Philippines.