J. Albert Gamboa-125


“FROM Stockholders to Stakeholders: The Future of Capitalism” was the theme of the 6th Ayala-FINEX Finance Summit in Makati City organized by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), Ayala Corp. (AC), and PA Grant Thornton. Coming after a two-year hiatus owing to the pandemic, the summit’s revival could be a signal that the business community is almost back to normal -—with face-to-face events like this summit being held once again at hotel venues and convention centers nationwide instead of the webinars and virtual meetings that we have gotten used to.

Among the featured speakers were Jon Canto, Senior Vice-President of McKinsey & Co.; Eric Francia, CEO of AC Energy Corp.; Wim Bartels, CFO Network Lead of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Justin Rix, Partner of Grant Thornton UK LLP; and Lorelie Quiambao-Osial, CEO of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. The panelists included Qualimed/Healthway Philippines, Inc. CEO Jaime Ysmael and BPI Asset Management and Trust Corp. CEO Maria Theresa Marcial.

Stakeholder theory is a concept of corporate governance that seeks to ensure that an organization is not only directed for the benefit of its stockholders, but also for other stakeholders such as suppliers, employees, creditors, and the community where it operates. Thus, it challenges the theory of American economist Milton Friedman that “an entity’s greatest responsibility lies in the satisfaction of the shareholders.”

In the 1970s, Mr. Friedman denounced corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a socialist doctrine. But in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the global recession in 2007-2008, CSR has become an integral part of business ethics along with ESG or environmental, social, and governance.

ESG has, in fact, emerged as more than just a responsibility and is now viewed as an opportunity to build a more sustainable business by enhancing the trust of various stakeholders. The prevalent thinking is that ESG programs create valuable impact in organizations, communities, and the planet as a whole.

However, Multinational Investment Bancorporation Chair Marilou Cristobal cited an article in the Financial Times criticizing ESG as a category error that needs unbundling because the acronym jams together three disparate and sometimes contradictory objectives. This made for a lively discussion during one of the summit’s sessions on sustainability and compliance to value.

Another session delved into the future of work and how sustainability would become pervasive in the years to come. Industry-specific cases were presented, including current practices adopted by large enterprises as well as MSMEs that are underpinned by continuous innovation based on regenerative thinking, human-centric technology, and science. Some of these applications — digital twins, circular commerce, systems of systems — can already be found in the metaverse.

The summit succeeded in showing a path toward a sustainable, collaborative, and truth-based future for humanity in a world where the rule of law shall prevail.

Today is the start of the 1st Modern and Contemporary Art Festival (MoCAF) at the grand ballroom of Fairmont Hotel in Makati City. MoCAF is a brainchild of Art+, a publishing house and multimedia platform that started out as a resource for Philippine visual art news.

As a showcase for revered masters and emerging artists, the three-day festival reflects the fast-developing art scene in the country. MoCAF offers impressive exhibitions curated by 18 galleries from the Philippines and Japan. It has also lined up a series of insightful talks, two of which are in collaboration with the FINEX Arts and Culture Committee.

One of the lectures is on “The Future of Art Publishing: Printed and Digital Form” featuring Gus Vibal, president of the Vibal Publishing Group; Jose Maria Cariño, director-general of the Foreign Service Institute; and Jewel Chuaunsu, managing editor of Southeast Asian Heritage Publications.

Lawyer and art collector Tonico Manahan will speak on “Art as an Investment and the Luxury Market.” He is a former investment banker who currently serves as an advisor to a leading Makati-based art gallery and auction house.

MoCAF aims to provide new cultural and immersive experiences beyond the norm. Art enthusiasts and collectors now have a new festival to look forward to.


J. Albert Gamboa is the chief finance officer of Asian Center for Legal Excellence and chairman of the FINEX Media Affairs Committee. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and BusinessWorld. #FinexPhils www.finex.org.ph