Five visionary CEOs and tycoons

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez

At the anniversary of BizNewsAsia on November 25, we honored five individuals for visionary management—Ramon Ang, president of San Miguel Corp., Manuel Villar, chair of Vista Land and Lifescapes; Felipe Gozon, chair of GMA Network Inc.; Tessie Sy, chair of SM Investments Corp., and Andrew Tan, chair of Alliance Global Holdings Inc.

Ramon Ang
Ramon Ang is the Philippines’ No. 1 investor. Since 2002, he has poured cumulative capex of P218.55 billion into San Miguel and its various expansion and diversification ventures.

RSA single-handedly brought SMC to unprecedented growth, revenues, profitability, scale and diversified operations, making it the largest conglomerate in the Philippines and one of the biggest in Asia. He increased SMC sales fivefold to P.75 trillion in five years. Actually, he hit P1 trillion if you were to include the revenues of Meralco which he briefly controlled until he was outmaneuvered by Manny Pangilinan for control of Luzon’s electricity retailing monopoly. RSA later sold San Miguel’s holdings to John Gokongwei Jr. at a hefty gain, $2 billion.

Under Ang’s watch SMC took significant or dominant stakes in new areas such as infrastructure, energy, airlines, tourism and mining, resulting in greatly enhanced balance sheet, shareholder value, and contribution to job generation and economic expansion.

Still, RSA has lost focus on improving the lives of those who have less in life. He is today one of the country’s biggest philanthropists.

He recently gave away 5,000 homes to typhoon victims of Mindanao. He has indicated he would donate again, this time to thousands of houses to the victims of Yolanda in Tacloban.

Today, SMC has a market cap of P169.12 billion, valuing RSA’s 15.5 percent direct holdings at $600 million. The company is grossly undervalued reflecting investors’ apparent confusion with his often lightning and bold moves that make his competitors eating his dust.

RSA plans to build a brand new airport from the ground up at a sprawling commercial and industrial estate 35 minutes from Makati. The aerotropolis will have four runways and will make Manila an aviation and tourism hub in Southeast Asia, rivaling cramped Singapore and Hong Kong.

His strategic moves for Philippine Airlines will probably turn around the once money-losing flag carrier San Miguel co-owns with tobacco and banking tycoon Lucio Tan who by now probably regrets selling half of PAL, along with management control, to Ang. RSA can always sell back PAL to Tan, however, at three times his buying price of $500 million.

Manny Villar
Manny Villar, in the 1990s, was the original Filipino brown billionaire––a dollar billionaire of non-Chinese or non-Spanish ancestry.

He was big––until the 1997 Crisis. Even then, he managed to build 250,000 homes––the most by any Filipino. Today his listed family holding company has a market cap of P37.57 billion, valuing his net worth at about $600 million.

Villar wants to grow his Vista Land & Lifescapes by expanding his operations and going into related businesses––malls, 24/7-stores, hypermarkets, clinics and hospitals, drug stores, even schools. This is to complete the community experience.

MBV went into politics, becoming the only one since 1946 to become speaker and Senate president and being the best in both. He lost in the 2010 presidential election.

Henry Gozon
Henry Gozon’s GMA Network has for its best capital tremendous credibility, an objective early on he demanded in his management of the Philippines’ largest network.

Not surprisingly, GMA Network is No. 1 in audience share and ratings. Along with credibility, accounting for GMA’s leadership is superior content offering.

CEO Gozon has chalked up more profits for any major station than any other TV executive. In 12 years up to 2012, he delivered P19.5 billion in cumulative profits on revenues of P112 billion, a whopping return on sales of 17.4 percent in a business where thinning margins are becoming normal.

Tessie Sy
Tessie Sy is one of the most powerful businesswomen in Asia and the most powerful woman tycoon in the Philippines. She has injected her own style of management in two corporations she helps manage––the conglomerate SM Investments Corp. and the banking giant BDO Unibank Inc.

Not surprisingly, both SMIC and BDO are the biggest in their core businesses. BDO is the Philippines’ biggest bank in terms of resources, deposits, capital, loans and trust funds.

SMIC is one of the largest conglomerates with assets of P597 billion, equity of P294.24 billion, revenues (consolidated with subsidiaries and nine months to September 2013) of P183 billion, and net income (nine months) of P26.3 billion, and market cap of P590.8 billion.

Tessie is the heir apparent to the mall and banking fortune built by his legendary father, Tatang Henry Sy, with just ten centavos in his pocket when he landed in Manila from China in the 1940s.

Andrew Tan
Andrew Tan gets richer every day. His businesses keep delivering strong results. With his Alliance Global Holding having a market cap of P261.88 billion, his 57 percent is easily worth P149.3 billion, or $3.4 billion.

In the first nine months of 2013, AGI profits surged 42 percent to P19.2 billion, more than double the revenue growth of 19 percent to P93.4 billion.

“The group’s financial performance is unprecedented. Our strategy of remaining focused on each of our businesses continues to pay off and we remain confident that AGI will continue to reach higher levels of profitability in the long term,” exults Kingson U. Sian, AGI president and chief operating officer.


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