Pep Talk by Dante Corteza
A Mindanawon - the top brass of PNB PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 00:00

In town now is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine National Bank (PNB) - Eugene Sering-Acevedo. He will be giving an inspirational talk to top graduating students at the Bank’s Junior Training Program in Ateneo de Zamboanga University.  And later, he will be having a lunch meeting with the different business sectors in Lantaka Hotel.

Leading PNB to glory. Zamboanga City is honor and privileged that a top banker, who is touted to be man of the hour in the banking industry, is visiting Asia’s Latin City to assess and help develop in its economic progress.  It is said that Acevedo is one of the most closely watched chief executive officers by his peers and rivals in the banking arena as soon as he joined Philippine National Bank. Only 46 years old and a Mindanawon (he hails from Surigao), his vision is to restore PNB to its former glory as a premier bank in a few years time. This seems to be a tall order but not impossible for someone who has had a track record of outperforming his own goals.

Lustrous career. Prior joining PNB last May of this year, Acevedo was the Citibank - Managing Director and Head of Global Markets – Hong Kong and Taiwan Cluster; the Country Treasurer - Hong Kong and Macau; Treasurer – Citicorp International Limited; and  the Chairman - Markets Asia Recruitment Committee.

For the last 23 years, he rose from the ranks of Citibank to run its dealing room in the Philippines and eventually took over regional treasury operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau with great achievements.He led the Citibank Hong Kong sales and trading business to three years of significant growth and record revenues.  He was able, to managed activities related to foreign exchange, money market, derivatives, fixed income and HKD debt capital markets. And he supervised the Taiwan sales and trading business starting 2009 and focused on strengthening risk controls enabling the team to pass the audit with minimal findings. He was even chosen by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority officials to represent the Territory in regional and international industry organizations.

It was during his stint as the Chairman of Markets Asia Recruitment Committee, he led the campus recruitment and talent development of young high-potential Analysts and Associates from top schools in the US, UK and in Asia.  He also helped design, and was a highly sought-after speaker, in internal training programs.

Opportunity to serve Filipinos. But Acevedo gave up his thriving international career from one of the world’s biggest financial
institutions to steer PNB to its old glory, and more.  Running a local commercial bank is something that he had wanted to do for a long time and when the opportunity presented itself – and especially because it’s PNB, he points out – it was something that he couldn’t refuse. “PNB was the first bank to be established to serve Filipinos specifically… It was the de facto central bank for a long time. To me, it was an overwhelmingly inspiring choice,” he says.

Physicist turned banker. A NSTA/DOST scholar, Acevedo graduated from the University of San in Cebu with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Physics as Magna Cum Laude.  He received the Outstanding Graduate Award, the National Science and Technology Award for Academic Excellence and a Leadership Award being effective as a Student Council Chairman (Sciences), Math-Physics Society President and the DOST Scholars Society President. Later, he took up Masters in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) as a scholar where he ranked first in his graduating class and in the Faculty Citation List.

After getting his Physics degree, he went to UP Diliman to pursue a masters degree. That was when he landed his first job: teaching Physics in UP Diliman, a stint that lasted for one semester and one summer. “Ironically, it was doing my time in Diliman when I was convinced that I was better off taking my MBA,” he shared.

Thus, he was off to AIM. He remembers it was one of those “hungry” afternoons that he chanced upon a Citibank recruitment talk led by banker-economist Victor Valdepenas (now CEO of Union Bank of the Philippines). It was that critical period of 1986 and very few banks were offering jobs so Citibank had a vast pool of cerebral youngsters to choose from. But it was the start of his lustrous journey in the banking sector.

Personal glimpse. Born in Cebu City and raised in Surigao del Sur by his parents, who are both civil servants - his dad is a lawyer working for the provincial government and his mom a school teacher. Acevedo is happily married to Cenia, a UP-PGH-trained obstetrician-gynecologist. They have been blessed with two sons.

His passion. Acevedo is an avid reader whose favorite topics include history, science, management and finance. He is keenly involved in financial education and has been invited as speaker on finance and risk management topics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University, Singapore Management University, Central Bank of the Philippines Institute, Asian Institute of Management, Hong Kong Monetary Authority and at the Banker’s Association of the Philippines Institute of Banking.

If you want to achive great things, you must begin with a dedicated heart and a faith in your calling. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5-6).

By Dante Corteza

Last Updated on Friday, 29 October 2010 16:03
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