Cebu Tax Senior tops the Bar Exams!

The results of the 2016 Philippine Bar Examinations were announced last 3 May and on top of the list was our very own Karen Mae Calam, Senior Associate from SGV Cebu. Placing 7th is her fellow University of San Carlos alumna and SGV Cebu Senior Associate Anne Margaret Momongan.

Congratulations to Karen, Anne and all SGV bar passers!

Congratulations to the SGV’s Got Talent Finalists!

Following the SGV’s Got Talent Year 6 auditions conducted in SGV Makati, Cebu, and Davao, here are the contestants who made it through to the finals.

Congratulations to our vocal finalists for hitting the high notes!

Congratulations to our dance and open category finalists for stepping up their game!

Witness their performances in the Grand Finals at the World Trade Center on 31 May 2017, 6:00 p.m.!

JGC and CAR join CEO Forum in Thailand

SGV Managing Partner Itos Cruz (JGC) and Tax Principal Carolina Racelis-Serapio (CAR) recently went on a visit to Thailand to participate in the CEO Roundtable between Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Thai businessmen. Mr. Eusebio Tanco, Chairman, JGC and CAR, as the Co-Chairman and Executive Director of the Philippines-Thailand Business Council (PTBC), respectively, attended the CEO Roundtable with their counterpart delegates and Thai businessmen members of the Thailand-Philippines Business Council (TPBC) chaired by Khun Visit Limprana. During the visit, they were also able to meet with President Duterte and his Cabinet Secretaries.

Congratulations to our Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist!

Senior Manager Veronica Arce recently passed the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) examination. The CAMS credential is the gold standard in Anti-Money Laundering certifications and is recognized internationally by financial institutions, governments and regulators as a serious commitment to protecting the financial system against money laundering.

Congratulations, Veronica!

AMP is Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Corporate Treasurer

SGV Davao Partner-in-Charge and Assurance Partner Alvin Pinpin (AMP) was inducted as Corporate Treasurer during the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) 49th Annual Installation of Officers and Board of Trustees, which was held at the Marco Polo Hotel Ballroom in Davao. This is AMP’s third term as the Corporate Treasurer in the Chamber.

Aside from being the inducting officer, President Rodrigo Duterte was also the event’s guest of honor and keynote speaker. The event also recognized the DCCCII 2016 Presidential Awardees, during which SGV accepted the Presidential Citation for Membership Distinction.

FSRM celebrates annual Pi Day

SGV’s Financial Services Risk Management (FSRM) group recently celebrated Pi Day, which is an annual commemoration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Held at the eCafé, the event included a talk with SGV Founder Wash SyCip and a prototype contest. Focusing on spatial analysis applications, Associates Carlo Antonio Espiritu, Alvin Francisco and Marianne Patricia Natividad were declared the winners.

In attendance were Senior Partner Winston Chan, Advisory Partner Kaye Macaisa, FSRM Partners Ian Lauron and Francis Lumbres with their respective clusters and PI managers.

SGV Davao holds Sector Briefing and Business Networking Lunch for BCCP

Highlighting the interest of British companies in investing in the Philippines, a Sector Briefing and Business Networking Lunch was recently held at the SGV Seminar Hall, Davao City. SGV was a co-sponsor of the event, which was attended by delegates from the British Chamber Commerce Philippines (BCCP), led by UK Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad.

BCCP Chairman Chris Nelson mentioned that 1,000 companies have already expressed their interest in doing business in the Philippines. Justifying the aforementioned interest, Ambassador Ahmad said that there is a lot of potential in the Philippines. He also emphasized the promise of the agricultural industry in Mindanao.

Congratulations to our CFA, FRM and SOA passers!

Twelve SGVeans recently passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exam, Financial Risk Manager (FRM) Level 1 and 2 exams, and Society of Actuaries (SOA) P/1 and P/2 exams.

Associates Patricia Louise Barretto, Krystel Shayne Castro, Elaine Isabelle Franco, Kenneth Limosnero, Odessa Shayne Rosario, Hector Genesis Salatan, Larisa Jane Salaysay, Mary Joyce Anne Sierra and Irsyad Kautzar Stamboel passed the CFA Level 1 exam, while Kenneth Limosnero and Senior Associates Vince Aguilar and Emilfredo Ong passed the FRM Level 1 and 2 exams, respectively. Associate Wayne James Fuentes passed the SOA P/1 exam, while Associate Vincent Paulo Ty passed the SOA P/2 exam.

The passers believe that aside from furthering their personal and career development, taking such exams will have a significant impact on their contributions to the Firm. For Mary Joyce and Patricia Louise, sharing the knowledge with others will benefit both the Firm and its people. “I would also be able to pass down knowledge and experience to others and together we could deliver excellent outputs and results,” says Patricia. For Elaine, the experience was inspiring. “This achievement made me more motivated to accept more challenging engagements because it gave me further appreciation and understanding for the work being done in the firm,” she shares.

The passers each had their own strategies in preparing for the exam while juggling work, and they were allowed to take time off a few weeks before the exam to focus on studying. “I started preparing months before the exam which allowed me to manage my study time,” Odessa recalls. Hector notes, “I study smart, instead of studying hard. I follow the Pareto principle of efficiency which helps me in identifying the more important topics to focus on. This saves me a lot of energy and time so I can do other things.” Finally, to be able to balance work with preparing for the exams, help is needed from those who have been in the same situation. Emilfredo mentioned that constant communication with his managers and counselor helped him maintain a balance between working and studying, while Vincent specifically sought the advice of his senior manager on what to do to prepare for the exam.

The passers credit their educational backgrounds, as well as their work in Financial Services Risk Management (FSRM), with giving them an advantage. “My work in FSRM helped me to understand the basic concepts and terms in my curriculum. Therefore, I had a lighter load to study,” Irsyad observed. A new hire during the preparation period, Wayne shared how his teammates’ understanding of what he was going through helped and supported him.

Given how long it usually takes to pass all the CFA, FRM and SOA levels, aspirants may be hesitant to even start. Vince advises, “Always be faithful and never be afraid. Faith is trusting in the good; fear is putting your trust in the bad.” Candidates are also advised to savor the journey. “Strive hard, study smart, and enjoy the learning throughout the journey,” Larisa adds. Lastly, remember that hard work is always rewarded. Kenneth avers, “Taking and passing the exam is not an indication of intelligence but a result of hard work.”

The continuing relevance of certifications and special studies will be discussed during the 10th FSRM Academy scheduled in July 2017 as part of the group’s immersion and deepening modules. FSRM Leader Ian Lauron (CGL) shared that FSRM’s strategic redirection is ongoing, starting with the integration of risk, finance and quantitative disciplines to the incorporation of computational and data sciences across sectors. “We will continue to ‘scan the market’ for applicable certifications, propose changes to university curricula, if needed, and make sure that what we are doing are useful for our clients and meaningful for our people,” CGL said.

Good job, everyone! We wish you all the best on the remainder of your CFA, FRM and SOA journey.

Congratulations to our Certified Management Accountants!

Tax Senior Associate Mark Andrew Chiu, Advisory Senior Associate James Mercado and Assurance Associate James Robert Aguila earned their Certified Management Accountant (CMA) qualifications after passing the two-part exam recently. Mark received a gold medal for earning the highest rating for the testing window, while Robert received a certificate of distinguished performance.

The CMA aims to build on financial accounting proficiency by adding management skills that aid in making business decisions based on financial data, with specialization in the advanced management accounting and financial management fields. Offered globally, the certification signifies that the person possesses knowledge in the areas of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. It is earned by passing the two-part exam and accumulating relevant experience as validated by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Congratulations, Mark, James and James!

KCCP and SGV hold an executive briefing and cocktails

Nearly 80 members of the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines (KCCP) and other guests attended the executive briefing and cocktails hosted by SGV on 23 March at the Washington SyCip Development Center. The briefing offered timely and relevant information on the country’s economic conditions and investor climate that are of benefit to Korean businesses in the Philippines.

SGV Chairman Vic Noel and KCCP President Hoik Lee gave their respective welcome messages, followed by Minister-Counsellor Jongho Kyun of the Korean Embassy to the Philippines who formally opened the briefings.

Transaction Advisory Services Senior Director Alex Dacanay talked about current and projected economic developments in the Philippines, while Tax Partner and MG 4 Leader Fame delos Santos discussed the Foreign Investment Act and doing business in the Philippines, as well as recent tax updates. The briefings concluded with closing remarks from Vice Chair for Client Service Wilson Tan.

At the start of the session, the KCCP presented a certificate of appreciation to SGV for its unwavering support for the business organization.