The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration with a Golden Jubilee gala night last Jan. 15 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

It was an evening of music and memories for members of the country’s premier organization of finance professionals. Past presidents of FINEX were honored, some of them posthumously as they had gone to the great beyond.

FINEX’s surviving founder Jimmy Ladao delivered a testimonial message, along with former Prime Minister Cesar Virata and incumbent Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Tess Herbosa.

Good governance was the recurring theme of the two keynote speakers.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim praised FINEX’s governance advocacy, while Metro Pacific Group CEO Manny Pangilinan correlated corporate governance to best practices in basketball, recounting his successful bid for the co-hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

“Pillars of Good Governance,” a textbook written by former Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma, was launched by the 2017 FINEX Board headed by outgoing president Dick Baladad. Past president Mel Salazar has recommended the book’s dissemination to business professors and students nationwide to propagate a deeper appreciation of financial executives’ role in enterprise management.

Last Jan. 18, the 2018 FINEX Board led by President Marivic Espano had their induction rites at the Fairmont Makati Hotel with the theme, “Transform for a Sustainable Future. Today.”

Rising taipan Dennis Uy was the guest speaker during the luncheon event. He traced his journey as a Davao-based entrepreneur who started with Phoenix Petroleum and built a diversified conglomerate that now includes 2GO Group, Chelsea Logistics,  Enderun College, and Lapu-Lapu Leisure Resort Mactan, as well as the local franchises of Japan’s  Family Mart and South Korea’s Kia Motors.

Plans are afoot to establish the FINEX Academy as a CFO training center consolidating all professional development seminars and education-oriented activities under its ambit. This learning institute is one of the five signature projects proposed by the Vision 2018 Committee chaired by past president Cora dela Paz.

To ensure the sustainability of the flagship project, a capital fund campaign will be spearheaded by the Order of the Golden Phoenix, a group of benefactors formed during the 40th anniversary of FINEX in 2008.

If it comes to fruition, the FINEX Academy  would be a fitting legacy of this year’s board to the future generations of finance executives.

J. Albert Gamboa is Chief Financial Officer of the Asian Center for Legal Excellence and serves as Co-Chairman of the FINEX Media Affairs Committee.