Power Couple
Meet the dynamic duo behind Filinvest Development
Corporation -- Andrew and Mercedes Gotianun
The success of Filinvest Development Corporation can be traced
back to its founders -- the husband and wife tandem of Andrew
Gotianun, Sr. and Mercedes Tan Gotianun, who established the
company in 1989.
Two Heads are Better Than One
Andrew was raised in Cebu and met Mercedes in Manila. At that
time, Andrew had dropped out of col ege (due to his father's
untimely demise) and was busy supporting his family, salvaging
ships at the end of World War II. Meanwhile, Mercedes had a
degree in BS Pharmacy from the University of the Philippines,
where she had graduated with honors -- magna cum laude, to be
exact.
After getting married, the couple's first business endeavor was
in 1955, when they went into financing of second-hand cars.
They later expanded into consumer finance, in partnership with
respected foreign institutions such as Chase Manhattan Bank and
Westinghouse Corporation.
Perfect Combination
Andrew and Mercedes are known to be a formidable pair, not
just as a married couple, but also as business partners: It's been
said that while Andrew is the idea man, Mercedes is the tireless
implementor. Both are known and respected for their leadership
skil s and perfectionist tendencies.
Mercedes claims bragging rights as the first Filipina to become
president of a universal bank -- Family Savings Bank, later
renamed Family Bank and Trust Co. (FBTC), which was granted a
universal banking license in 1982.
For his part, Andrew is not one to rest on his laurels, either. Since
the age of 18, he has been working tirelessly, showing his shrewd
business acumen and resourcefulness -- a stark contrast to his laid-
back and unassuming appearance that belie his quiet confidence.
A Prosperous Pairing
Undoubtedly, the Gotianun couple's biggest and most successful
endeavor to date is Filinvest, where Andrew holds the prominent
position of Chairman Emeritus of Filinvest Development Corporation,
while wife Mercedes is Vice Chairman and Co-Director.
Filinvest was established in 1955, which later shifted its focus
to real estate in 1967. Though it suf ered setbacks fol owing the
Aquino assassination, these obstacles were only temporary, as
Andrew, Mercedes, and their family staged a comeback and turned
Filinvest into one of the Philippines' leading conglomerates.
Today, Filinvest Development Corporation acts as the holding
company of the Gotianun family, and is now a ful -range property
developer with a diverse project portfolio that includes socialized
to high-end residential subdivisions, satel ite city development
through Filinvest City, industrial and information technology
parks, condominiums, of ice buildings, country clubs and resort
developments, and commercial centers.
Filinvest's banking subsidiary, EastWest Bank, has also established
a niche in universal banking. On top of that, Filinvest owns two sugar
mil s and manages a sugarcane plantation in Mindanao.
Future Forward
Andrew sums up his business philosophy as a combination of hard
work, integrity and most importantly, focus. He believes one cannot
dabble in so many dif erent industries and stil remain successful.
He attributes the success of Filinvest to its focus and determination
on doing a few things, and doing them wel .