EastWest Bank’s executive director Isabelle Gotianun-Yap shared her story as a third-generation steward of family-owned Filinvest Conglomerate in a workshop organized by the Ateneo Family Business Development Center.
Gotianun-Yap spoke on the significant of governance and family engagement in running a business, where she shared her deep understanding of the delicate balance required in managing family businesses.
She mentioned that one of the cornerstones of the Gotianun family’s success is their commitment to ensuring that every family member understands not just the specifics of their family business but also broader business principles.
Gotianun-Yap emphasized the importance of periodic family conferences that serve as forums for discussing essential business matters, sharing family history, and revisiting the family constitution.
Hands-on experience forms an integral part of the Gotianun family’s approach to business education. The Gotianun brood are expected to engage in various aspects of the business from a young age, oftentimes as food court busboys and at cinema booths during summer vacations.
The Filinvest group has recently witnessed the succession of non-family members to C-suite positions across the conglomerate.
Gotianun-Yap’s advice to aspiring leaders within family businesses is to actively chart their career path. By doing so, they avoid getting “stuck in the weeds”, even while receiving guidance from mentors and parents who may have limited time for comprehensive career planning.