I last met Fernando Zobel de Ayala when he chaired the virtual meeting of BPI’s personnel and remuneration committee. Shortly after, he and his brother Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (JAZA) even went in person to deliver their respective eulogies at the wake of former President Fidel Valdez Ramos. I was therefore very surprised and saddened when I learned last Monday that Fernando had suddenly resigned the day before from his position as President and CEO of Ayala Corporation. Without giving details, Fernando said he was taking sick leave. The resignation came during an emergency Sunday meeting of Ayala’s board. At the same meeting, Ayala’s board of directors elected Cezar “Bong” Consing, as interim president and CEO for the duration of Fernando’s sick leave.
Consing is a director at Ayala, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom Inc. and ACEN Corp. He was Senior Managing Director of Ayala and President and CEO of BPI from 2013 to 2021.
In the following days, Fernando also resigned from his management positions in various Ayala subsidiaries. At BPI, his resignation as vice-chairman of the board was reluctantly accepted at the BPI board meeting last Wednesday. Around this time, Fernando has just landed safely in a foreign land
the airport to begin his medical rehabilitation. JAZA described Fernando as being “in good spirits”.
An outpouring of prayers and well wishes for Fernando’s speedy recovery followed, along with expressions of support for Bong Consing, the outgoing former president of BPI, as he pursues his new lead roles.
in Ayala Corporation.
Almost two years ago, we were also saddened at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) when the Chairman of JAZA announced the sudden resignation of Xavier P. Loinaz from the Boards of Directors. administration of BPI and Ayala. Citing health reasons, Loinaz earlier expressed his gratitude for his 40 years in management and the board, very kindly calling his time at BPI “the best years of his life”.
The good news is that Loinaz has now fully recovered. In a group chat post, Loinaz’s wife Mert even reported that Loinaz is now able to move to Makati.
At BPI’s board meeting last Wednesday, the board accepted the resignation of director Eli B.
Remolona, independent director of BPI since April 2019.
Remolona joins BSP Governor Philip Medalla, former BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, who now leads President Marcos’ economic team as Finance Secretary, former Commerce Secretary Peter Favila, former Vice President and chairman of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. Antonio Abacan, Jr., Bruce Tolentino, former undersecretary of agriculture and deputy director general of the International Rice Research Institute, and Anita Linda Aquino, former director of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.
Remolona has spent most of his career in central banking, including 14 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and 19 years at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel and Hong Kong. The next day, Remolona took part in its first BSP policy meeting where the monetary board, as expected, raised the policy rate by another 50 basis points.
After the monetary council meeting, Governor Philip Medalla visited the Grand Hyatt later in
the evening to join former members of the monetary council at a dinner hosted by a member of the monetary council
Pierre Favila. Former MBMs included former BSP Governor Amando “Say” Tetangco, Jr., Freddie
Antonio, Jun de Zuñiga and this writer. It was a deferred testimonial dinner for Medalla on his as-
sumption as BSP governor.
Coincidentally, all participants except Peter Favila revealed that they
time or another tested positive for Covid-19. All were asymptomatic but had to self-isolate.
Everyone had a good time recalling memorable moments when the Monetary Council had to pull the trigger against rogue banks and the various lawsuits (one of the vagaries of the trade) brought against MB members by closed institutions. Returning from an engagement outside the city, MBMs Favila, Antonio, Bunye and Raul Boncan did not stay longer than necessary in Milaor, whose rural bank was closed by the MB a week before.
The new ₱1,000 polymer banknote can fit in a normal-sized wallet and can survive ordinary folding. Governor Tetangco pulled out a polymer bill from his own wallet to demonstrate his point. There’s no
need to use a longer wallet as Governor Medalla once joked.
When asked if he would agree to join a bank, as he has long served his period of cure,
“Never” was Governor Tetangco’s quick response, as he does not like the idea of being audited and
asked to explain by BSP reviewers who were formerly his subordinates.
Governor Philip Medalla, is serving the unexpired term of former Governor Ben Diokno, and is
eligible to be reappointed later for his own six-year term. “But right now, I just want
wishes to focus on implementing BSP’s core price stability mandate,” Medalla said.
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