The Philippine Star
DR. ROBERTO F. DE OCAMPO, OBE
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.