Tycoon SyCip dies at 96

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Business tycoon Washington SyCip passed away Saturday night during a flight to New York City, accounting firm SGV & Co. said.

“With deep sadness, the partners, principals and staff of SGV & Co. announce the passing of SGV Founder Washingyon SyCip on the 7th of October 2017,” SGV said in a statement posted Sunday on Facebook.

SGV said SyCip “went quietly while on a flight to Vancouver from Manila.” He was 96 years old.

Former Finance secretary Cesar Purisima and Rufino Abad mourned the tycoon’s death.


“My mentor, the mentor of thousands, Wash SyCip passed away last night enroute to New York. Wash was 96 years old and lived a very full and meaningful life. We will miss you WS,” Purisima said.

Abad said SyCip’s remains will remain in a New York hospital while documents are being prepared.

Washington SyCip

“He was a true statesman and served our country well! Rest in Our Lord’s peace Mr. Sycip!” Abad said in a Facebook post.

They were joined by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). SyCip was the founding chairperson and chairperson emeritus of AIM.

“A staunch believer in education and its critical role in uplifting lives and eradicating poverty, Mr. SyCip was one of the key proponents behind AIM’s full-time MBA program that was attuned to a developing Asian region. His passion for excellence and commitment to mold business leaders, combined with his unfaltering generosity, led to the foundation of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business at AIM, which will celebrate its 50th year in 2018,” the AIM said in a statement.

“His passing is a great loss to the institution and the country’s business community, but his legacy will live on in the AIM alumni who strive to be ethical and responsible business leaders and live up to Mr. SyCip’s call to lead, inspire and transform,” it added.

SyCip, who founded the country’s largest multidisciplinary professional services firm, was born in Manila on June 30,1921 to Albino and Helen SyCip.

According to his biography posted online, SyCip was a product of the public school system. He obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and he passed the examination for Certified Public Accountants at the age of 18. He was, however, too young to receive a professional license to practice.

SyCip obtained his PhD at Columbia University in the United States. He returned to Manila after World War II to be reunited with his family and later on set up his own accounting firm, W SyCip & Co. now known as the SGV & Co.

The Filipino-Chinese businessman retired from SGV in 1996 but continued to be active in both business and civic endeavors. He served as Senior Adviser to the Board for Asian Terminals Inc., Senior Adviser of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company and President of the International Federation of Accountants from 1982 to 1985.

SyCip was also the Chairman and Independent Director of Cityland Development Corp. at Cityland Group of Companies and City & Land Developers, Incorporated since June 13, 2001.

He also served as the Chairman of Lufthansa Technik Philippines Inc-JV., Chairman of the Board at STEAG State Power, Inc. and has been Co-Chairman of MacroAsia Corporation since December 14, 2015.

He received several prestigious awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Columbia Business School in May 2010, Dr. Jose Rizal Award for Excellence (Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service), The Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (Verdienstkreuz I. Lasse) conferred by the Federal Republic of Germany in August 2, 2006, 1992 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, Philippine Legion of Honor, Degree of Commander conferred by the Philippine Government in June 30, 1991, Officer First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star awarded by His Majesty the King of Sweden in June 1987, Accountancy Hall of Fame conferred by Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1980, Star of the Order of Merit conferred by the Republic of Austria in 1976 and Management Man of the Year conferred by the Management Association of the Philippines in 1967.

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