Winners galore

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FINEX Folio — By J. Albert Gamboa-125


Kudos to the Filipino athletes who achieved podium finishes in the ongoing Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. At the rate they’re winning medals, it is almost certain that Team Philippines will become the overall champion of the 30th SEA Games just like when we last hosted the biennial event in 2005.

Credit should also go to members of the much-maligned Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chaired by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. Despite criticisms hurled against them regarding initial logistical snafus last week, it has been smooth sailing since the official opening at the Philippine Arena on Nov. 30 that turned out to be a grand showcase of Pinoy talents.

Former Gilas Pilipinas basketball team captain Chris Tiu, who now serves as deputy director of PHISGOC’s volunteer program involving around 9,000 SEA Games volunteers, summed up the sentiments of most Filipinos who watched the 90-minute extravaganza. “Beaming with national pride and trying to hold back some tears during the opening ceremonies. The production was world-class but the highlight for me was seeing an entire nation cheering for our athletes, our team, our country!” he posted on Instagram.

Not even the fury of Typhoon Tisoy (international name: Kammuri) could dampen the spirit of more than 5,000 participating athletes and officials from 11 Southeast Asian countries. PHISGOC competition managers were able to reschedule several outdoor events in affected areas along the typhoon’s wide path including Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Subic Freeport, and Metro Manila.

More importantly, the organizers have risen above the political noise to deliver a successful series of tournaments redounding to the country’s reputation for hospitality and organizational excellence. Long after the closing ceremonies at New Clark City on Dec. 11, the economic benefits of hosting the 30th SEA Games would still be felt and can even pave the way for the Philippines’ bid to host the 21st Asian Games in 2030.


Besides winning dozens of gold medals in the regional sports competition, Filipinos are also harvesting awards in the field of finance. On the local front, Augusto “Toti’ Bengzon has been named the ING-FINEX CFO of the Year 2019.

In his acceptance speech during the awarding rites last month at the New World Hotel in Makati City, the concurrent CFO, Chief Compliance Officer, and Treasurer of Ayala Land, Inc. said: “It is all about being prepared for both the upside and the downside. I think this is the main challenge that the CFOs of today face.”

Congratulations are also in order to the officers of information technology firm DFNN, Inc. This Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) listed company was bestowed the International Finance Technology Award as the Most Innovative IT Solutions Provider for 2019 by UK-based International Finance Publications Ltd. (IFP).

Every year, IFP awards the best companies in the financial world for their commitment and innovation at work -— and what better way to honor these outstanding firms than to have industry experts recognize and reward them. IFP’s premium business magazine, International Finance, covers stories on asset management, banking, currencies, fintech, hedge funds, investment opportunities, niche funding, pension funds, real estate, sovereign funds, and wealth management.

Technology has transformed the way business is being done across the globe, with the financial services industry as a prime example. In particular, fintech is a vibrant proof of how financial services have transcended barriers effortlessly while technology has made the entire experience of transacting, trading, and dealing seem easy.

IFP’s International Finance Technology Awards annually cite exemplary contributions to the fintech sphere that have incrementally enhanced the quality of financial services. This year’s awardees are from 18 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.

DFNN is the only PSE-listed company among the recipients of the 2019 International Finance Technology Awards. Last year, it was also chosen by the Financial Times (FT) of London as one of the fastest-growing firms in the region and acclaimed in the first-ever “FT 1000 High-Growth Companies of Asia-Pacific” listing.


J. Albert Gamboa is CFO of the Asian Center for Legal Excellence and Chairman of the FINEX Golden Jubilee Book Project.