Fernando Zobel de Ayala lauds 26-year legacy of outgoing CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and sets strategic priorities as the incoming CEO and President of Ayala Corporation
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Manila, Philippines – On April 23, 2021, after the company’s Annual Stockholders Meeting and as announced last December 2020, Ayala Corporation (AC) transitioned the position of Chief Executive Officer from Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala to Fernando Zobel de Ayala, who has been designated President and CEO. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala will focus on his role as Chairman of the Ayala Board. Jaime and Fernando will continue to represent Ayala, retaining their current roles, as Chairman or Vice-Chairman, in the subsidiary boards of various Ayala group companies.                   

In his remarks, Fernando lauded Jaime for the latter’s outstanding leadership and track record of creating shareholder value in his 26 years of tenure as CEO. “Since 1995, our market capitalization expanded more than sixfold; our net income similarly grew more than six times. Since 1995, we rewarded our shareholders with dependable returns that averaged at 15 percent per annum. Over that period, we cumulatively paid P118 billion in dividends to our common shareholders.”               

Beyond the stellar financial returns, Fernando also cited and thanked Jaime for his strategic five-point legacy which Fernando said will serve as a firm foundation for Ayala Corporation’s future sustainable growth:      

(1) Stronger, expanded and balanced portfolio mix. In the last 26 years, Ayala made massive and transformative investments in real estate, banking, telecommunications, energy, water, health, education, and logistics where large societal gaps exposed opportunities to serve a broader, more inclusive set of customers, generate meaningful returns and improve our risk-resilience;

(2) A culture of relevant and relentless innovation where Ayala’s inspired teams sparked new or enhanced solutions to remain relevant to the dynamically changing needs of customers;

(3) Rigorous financial management discipline, thus enabling decisive  investments  to capitalize on opportunities and generate attractive returns, while strengthening risk-resilience especially in times of crises, including the current COVID-19 pandemic;

(4) Championing the alignment of Ayala’s corporate ambition and goals with world-class standards for sustainability; and environmental, social, and corporate governance; and

(5) Placing Ayala at the forefront of the evolving role of corporations to address society’s pain points—to create inclusive and sustainable prosperity for all stakeholders and to aid in nation- building.

“As incoming President and CEO, I aim to build on the firm foundation that Jaime established, guided by our core strategy of maintaining leadership and relevance in the markets we serve,” Fernando said. “To support this, we will place greater emphasis on our portfolio strategy with a sharper focus on optimizing returns from existing businesses, a highly disciplined approach on capital deployment; and explore opportunities for value realization initiatives to fund future investments.” Fernando said that Ayala will continue to support the expansion of its core value drivers – Ayala Land, BPI, Globe, and AC Energy, while scaling up its healthcare and logistics businesses through AC Health and Entrego. In total, Ayala Group is allocating a combined capex of P196 billion in 2021.