Veteran Investment Banker Chiqui Huang Now Leads This Local Conglomerate

The appointment is a historic first for the company, as she becomes the first non-family member to lead the conglomerate in its almost 70 years of operation. 

Investopedia defines a conglomerate as a corporation of several different businesses that may or may not be related to one another. In this setup, there is one company that owns a controlling stake in several smaller companies, while allowing each business to function independently. There are several advantages that come with operating conglomerates—which include diversification, collaborative learning, and capital allocation, among several others. 

Many local conglomerates exist in the country—each known for its diversified portfolios across various industries. Among the most recognizable ones is Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC), which is led by the Gotianun family. This conglomerate has known interests in real estate, banking, power and utilities, and hospitality.

The company is bound to enter a new phase—given the recent appointment of new organizational leaders. Here’s what we know about it so far. 

Embracing New Leadership

Just recently, veteran investment banker Rhoda “Chiqui” Huang was named as the newly appointed President and CEO of FDC. The position she holds becomes historic for the company, as she becomes the first non-family member to lead the conglomerate in its almost 70 years of operation. 

She succeeded Josephine Gotianun Yap, who is a second-generation member of the Gotianun family. By stepping down, Yap now moves on to be the new Vice Chairperson of FDC. Her tenure was memorable for the company—for how her leadership complemented that of Chairman Jonathan Gotianun’s efforts in pushing FDC’s position in the market. 

“Over the past two years, we have taken deliberate steps to recruit new talents as well as appoint tenured executives to key leadership roles within our organization as part of future-proofing the business,” Yap said. “Now that we have assembled a dynamic leadership team who believes in our purpose of serving and fulfilling the dreams of a large population of Filipino families, it is time to look ahead to a brighter future in Filinvest.”

Huang—who has 30 years of experience in financial institutions—looks forward to her new position and exerting efforts to create value for their stakeholders. “Focusing on our priorities and boosting efficiency will make us more competitive, and with an agile organization, we will be better prepared to grow the business,” she said.

Aside from Huang, another notable appointee in the new management is Ysmael V. Baysa—the company’s new Chief Operating Officer. He brings in years of experience in the finance and consumer sector. 

Companies Owned by Filinvest Development Corporation

Aside from FDC’s property arm—Filinvest Land Inc.—the company is also a part of the LIPAD Consortium that’s involved with the development and operations of Clark International Airport. They also have their own hotel development arm called Filinvest Hospitality Corporation. 

Some of the FDC’s companies will also have new leaders who hail from the next generation of the Gotianuns. Among these are Isabelle Gotianun Yap who will spearhead EastWest Bank’s digital transformation and Francis Gotianun who will play a key role in their hotel brands. He will also continue to be the director of the Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. 

By having newly appointed leaders in companies or conglomerates, it becomes easier for businesses to have fresh perspectives that will impact their operations. It also works as a way to pave new opportunities that can bring growth and improvement, even for brands that have already been established for several years.