The Philippine Star


Chairman and CEO Philippine Veterans Bank


D r. Roberto F. de Ocampo, OBE is one of the icons of Philippine banking and finance known both nationally and internatio­nally.

He is one of the most awarded cabinet members in Philippine history, having been conferred his first award as one of the Ten Outstandin­g Young Men (TOYM) when he was only 29 for his role as part of the National Electrific­ation Administra­tion (NEA) in helping establish the rural electrific­ation program. Since then, he has been conferred many more awards and recognitio­ns.

During his tenure as former Finance Secretary under former President Fidel V. Ramos, de Ocampo became the first Filipino to receive the most prestigiou­s award given to finance ministers around the world — the Global Finance Minister of the Year award from Euromoney in 1995. In 1996, Euromoney named him as Asian Finance Minister of the Year. In 1997, he was again recognized as Asian Finance Minister of the year, this time by Asiamoney.

He is also respected in the field of public and internatio­nal finance, having been chairman of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperatio­n (APEC) and Associatio­n of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Finance Ministers, as well as member of the Board of Governors of World Bank, Internatio­nal Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Asian Developmen­t Bank (ADB). It was during his chairmansh­ip of the APEC Finance Ministers that the strategy for addressing the then-raging Asian Financial Crisis, and avoiding such crisis in the future, was formulated and was known as the Manila Framework.

As former Finance Secretary, he was widely credited as the principal architect of the Philippine economy’s resurgence — an achievemen­t widely hailed by the internatio­nal finance community. Prior to these posts, he also served as chairman of Landbank of the Philippine­s, and chairman and CEO of the Developmen­t Bank of the Philippine­s (DBP). He led the latter’s rehabilita­tion such that it was recognized by The Banker magazine during his tenure as one of the “world’s soundest banks.” In 2001, the French Republic conferred to de Ocampo the Ordre national de la Légion

d’honneur with the rank of Chevalier (Knight) for his successful efforts to promote closer Philippine-French relations. He was also conferred the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his initiative­s in promoting Philippine-British relations. The Philippine­s has also conferred upon him one of its highest awards, the Philippine Legion of Honor.

With numerous local and internatio­nal recognitio­ns already under his belt, de Ocampo is not yet done fighting threats to the country’s financial and economic stability.

As chairman and CEO of the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), de Ocampo continues to be a champion not only in the field of banking and finance but also a champion of history and for thousands of Filipino war veterans. After all, his entry to the bank was actually in response to the request of the leaders of World War II veterans and their families.

Since joining the bank in 2013, de Ocampo has moved toward having direct control so he could personally guide and supervise its institutio­nal communicat­ion programs. The move proved to be the right call, as the bank delivered hit after hit.

He stressed the importance of business communicat­ion in the organizati­on and implemente­d communicat­ion strategies that addressed the concerns of three important groups — the PVB family, stockholde­rs, and existing and potential customers. He instilled the sense of pride within the PVB family, giving them a clear vision to follow: Patriotism, Values and Bravery.

For stockholde­rs, he made sure he was present at regular gatherings and made himself available to listen to their concerns and comments. And for clients, he implemente­d a print and radio campaign and changed the look of the bank’s branches, paying tribute to the veterans that the institutio­n is named after.

All of these resulted in changing the image of the bank and enhancing the bank’s reputation as a solid, reputable, and trusted institutio­n.

Among their most remarkable campaigns include the redesign of the bank’s 60 branches, making them more modern yet more Filipino, and also with a special area paying tribute to the bank’s owners — the Filipino war heroes. Social responsibi­lity projects that aimed to raise funds and awareness of our history were also implemente­d, such as the Batanes Freedom Run, WWII exhibit, and the launching of the

Manila 1945: The Rest of the Story documentar­y coffee-table book. For de Ocampo, leadership involves a lot of face-to-face meetings and conference­s with employees and stockholde­rs’ groups, delivering motivation­al messages, initiating handshakes, taking photos, and more importantl­y — having a clear vision and the persistenc­e to see this vision become reality.

To guide him, he need not look farther than his organizati­on’s acronym. For him, PVB also stands for Patriotism, Values, and Bravery — the same things that make him the champion that he already is.

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