KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co.: Navigating tomorrow’s risks and opportunities

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By Bjorn Biel M. Beltran

The economic integration of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations could be the next big opportunity for investors and business leaders in the Philippines.

That is, according to the KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co.’s (KPMG RGM&Co.) Business Advisory Services, one of the largest advisory groups in the Philippines offering a full range of services from Risk Consulting, Management Consulting and Deals Advisory.

“The ASEAN initiative towards a regional economic block is a priority for the Philippines,” Henry D. Antonio, KPMG RGM&Co. vice-chairman and head of Advisory, told BusinessWorld in an interview. “We must very quickly assert our competitive advantage to ensure that we can maximize our position within ASEAN.”

Yet, the arrival of new opportunities to Philippine companies is accompanied with the emergence of unprecedented risks and disruptions to how business is done. Mr. Antonio explained, “The growing threat of cybersecurity must be placed squarely in the CEO’s agenda given the disruptive nature of breaches and the potential financial, legal, operational and reputational risks involved. Growing cost of compliance to various regulations especially for banks and insurance and competition pressures will change the landscape in this sector.”

“Lastly, the need to adapt to the ever-growing technological innovations which are disruptive and potentially debilitating to certain players and sectors within the economy will continue to challenge and redefine the way we do business,” Mr. Antonio added.

As a member firm of KPMG International, KPMG RGM&Co. possesses a global understanding of the changes brought about by the rapid pace of technological progress to different sectors of industry. The company seeks to provide clients the knowledge they would need to navigate through modern business, regulatory, social and economic complexities.

“KPMG International provides a backbone and a mechanism for which our clients gain access to an array of services, customers, investors and markets, given the consistent standards, protocols and processes in KPMG, reaching and out gaining access to the above if optimized and simplified,” Mr. Antonio said.

“What is critical is that our local team can continue to work hand in hand with our colleagues, minimizing barriers to entry, breaking down cultural distinctions and improving the overall process. Given the speed at which the global marketplace move, this type of advantage can spell the difference between success and failure,” he added.

He further noted that the company’s network of professionals worldwide and their combined industry and professional experience provides “a unique and dependable base for understanding and navigating the flux in the global marketplace”.

With its abundant resources, tools, and pool of research, KPMG RGM&Co. has the capability to aid industries, corporations, or even the government in maneuvering through new data and trends that impact them. This puts the company at a critical vantage point to provide leadership and insight on the most pressing industry, economic, regulatory, and social concerns.

“Centers of Excellence exist to provide industry insights used to benchmark effectiveness across many organization. Our subject matter experts engage regulators, business leaders and other experts to improve regulations, advocate change, establish norms that aims to strengthen the overall competitiveness and stability of the markets,” Mr. Antonio said.

Core to the company’s advisory services are the partners and professionals specialized in various fields of expertise. Company partners, all of whom have spent several years working top positions as executives, officials, and specialists in different industries like energy, investment banking, and technology, hold the necessary insight and experience in corporate environments to provide perspectives valuable to clients.

“Our people are trained on specific fields of interest. Although everyone is prepared to be a general advisor through KPMG’s institutional training, our professionals are encouraged to develop specific interest in industries and technical know-how. This is supplemented by a host of focused programs and external trainings that allow them to strengthen their insights in their chosen fields,” Mr. Antonio said.

“Very early in their career they are encouraged to complete various certifications which provide them additional learnings and means to demonstrate their competencies. KPMG believes in strong mentorship to help young professionals navigate through their career. Young professionals are encourage to participate in high-level meetings and network with industry professionals to provide them with the understanding and the pulse for the business environment,” he added.

As the world approaches a transformative and disruptive era in the wake of new digital and technological breakthroughs, it becomes ever the more crucial for audit, tax and business advisory companies like KPMG RGM&Co. to inform corporate leaders and industry in their decision-making.

KPMG RGM&Co. can provide professional perspective tailored to a specific company’s unique operation. “We do not take a ‘one size fits all approach’ each client is different and therefore the range of advice and support we provide will vary,” Mr. Antonio said.

“The most important job of our advisor is to determine the risk landscape of our clients whether it’s specific to a transaction, to their operations, to their strategy or even with their organizational framework. In doing so, we can quickly zero-in on the task at hand and provide the ‘biggest bang for the buck’ in terms of how we spend our time finding actionable solutions to their concerns,” he said.