“The diversification enabled Ayala to unlock opportunities, develop new ideas, incubate new businesses, and explore prospects for disruptive innovation”
Dapper, warm, good looking, elegant and awesome, the brothers Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, 63, and Fernando Zobel de Ayala, 62, have the gravitas of a distinguished heritage: business savvy, management skills, and adherence to global standards of ESG.
JAZA and Fernando are at the helm of Ayala Corp., the Philippines’ oldest business house. JAZA is chairman. Before that, he was AC CEO for 26 years. Since 2021, Fernando has been president and CEO.
Says JAZA of his sterling 26-year stint as CEO: “Since 1995, our market capitalization expanded more than sixfold; our net income similarly grew more than 6 times. Since 1995, we rewarded our shareholders with dependable returns that averaged at 15 percent per annum.
“Over that period, we cumulatively paid P118 billion in dividends to our common shareholders.”
JAZA has a BA degree from Harvard College (1981), and MBA from Harvard (1987). On Sept. 27, 2007, he was conferred Harvard Business School’s highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, for “his innovative, entrepreneurial style of management (that) has benefited both Ayala and an island nation that faces significant social and economic challenges.”] He is the first Filipino to receive this award.
Fernando has BA from Harvard College (1962) and a certificate in international management from INSEAD.
With P1.4 trillion in assets and net worth of P583 billion, Ayala Corp, is one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines.
Ayala’s main businesses are: real estate thru Ayala Land, banking thru Bank of PI, telco thru Globe Telecom, power thru AC Energy, water (Maynilad Water), industrial technologies (AC Industrial Technology, Inc.), infrastructure (Ayala Infrastructure Holdings), health care (Ayala Healthcare Holdings), and education (AC Education).
Additionally, Ayala has a social commitment arm, Ayala Foundation, which is focused on bettering the lives of Filipinos primarily by strengthening education, youth leadership, sustainable livelihood, and arts and culture in the country.
The Zobel Ayala family owns 47.88 percent of Ayala Corp., thru Mermac, Inc., a private family holding company. A long time partner, Mitsubishi Corp. owns 6.09 percent, the SM group 1.7 percent.
Half of Mermac is owned by the heirs (seven) of former Ambassador Jaime Zobel de Ayala led by JAZA and Fernando; the other half by the heirs (two) the late Enrique Zobel led by his son Iñigo Zobel. Iñigo has let his cousins JAZA and Fernando run the show.
JAZA and Fernando have reshaped and repurposed the Ayala Group which heretofore had been focused on property and banking into a hugely diversified conglomerate taking advantage of the potential one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the world’s 12th largest consumer market.
The diversification enabled Ayala to unlock opportunities, develop new ideas, incubate new businesses, and explore prospects for disruptive innovation.
The Ayala portfolio has enabled the group to defy if not profit from downsides and solidify the industry leadership of Ayala Land, BPI, and Globe Telecom, while building a presence in power through AC Energy.
ACEN is the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group. It has 3,000 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Australia. ACEN’s share of renewable capacity is 80 percent, among the highest in the region.
These four businesses are Ayala’s core value drivers. In addition, Ayala went into industrial technologies, infrastructure, healthcare, and education.
As of end-2021, Ayala had a market capitalization of ₱515 billion, P431 billion as of Aug. 8, 2022.
Also listed are Ayala companies ALI (P382.56 billion market cap), BPI (P432 billion market cap), Globe (P269 billion), ACEN (P351 billion), MWC (P42.69 billion), iPeople, Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI) , AREIT, Inc. (AREIT), AyalaL and Logistics Holdings (ALLHC or formerly known as Prime Orion Philippines Inc. (POPI) and ACE Enexor, Inc. (ACEX) are likewise publicly listed corporations.
Combining the visioning by its owners and the talent of outside professionals Ayala has demonstrated immense capacity for reinvention, and nimbleness at navigating challenges.
The owners’ long-term vision is consolidate strength in its traditional businesses while building scale and profits in growth areas like energy, industrial technologies, infra, and health care.