Stakeholder capitalism and the future of work


“FFrom ROM Shareholders to Stakeholders: The Future of Capitalism” was the theme of the 6e Ayala-FINEX Financial Summit in Makati City organized by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), Ayala Corp. (AC) and PA Grant Thornton. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the resumption of the summit could be a signal that the business world is almost back to normal – with face-to-face events like this summit once again being held in hotels and convention centers nationwide instead of the webinars and virtual meetings we’re used to.

Guest speakers included Jon Canto, senior vice president of McKinsey & Co.; Eric Francia, CEO of AC Energy Corp.; Wim Bartels, CFO Network Manager, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Justin Rix, partner of Grant Thornton UK LLP; and Lorelie Quiambao-Osial, CEO of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. Panelists included Qualimed/Healthway Philippines, Inc. CEO Jaime Ysmael and BPI Asset Management and Trust Corp CEO. Maria Theresa Marcial.

Stakeholder theory is a concept of corporate governance that seeks to ensure that an organization is run not only for the benefit of its shareholders, but also for other stakeholders such as suppliers, employees, creditors and the community where it operates. Thus, he calls into question the theory of the American economist Milton Friedman according to which “the greatest responsibility of an entity lies in the satisfaction of the shareholders”.

In the 1970s, Mr. Friedman denounced corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a socialist doctrine. But following the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the global recession of 2007-2008, CSR became an integral part of business ethics in the same way as ESG or environmental, social and governance.

In fact, ESG has become more than just a responsibility and is now seen as an opportunity to build a more sustainable business by building trust among different stakeholders. The mainstream thinking is that ESG programs create valuable impact on organizations, communities and the planet as a whole.

However, Marilou Cristobal, president of the Multinational Investment Bancorporation, quoted an article from the FinancialTimes criticize ESG as a category error that should be unbundled because the acronym confuses three disparate and sometimes contradictory objectives. This led to a lively discussion during one of the summit sessions on sustainability and respect for value.

Another session looked at the future of work and how sustainability will become ubiquitous in the years to come. Industry-specific cases were presented, including current practices adopted by large corporations as well as MSMEs that are supported by continuous innovation based on regenerative thinking, human-centered technology and science. Some of these applications — digital twins, circular commerce, systems of systems — are already in the metaverse.

The summit succeeded in pointing the way to a sustainable, collaborative and truth-based future for humanity in a world where the rule of law will prevail.

Today is the start of the 1st Modern and Contemporary Art Festival (MoCAF) in the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City. MoCAF is the brainchild of Art+, a publishing house and multimedia platform that began as a resource for visual arts news in the Philippines.

As a showcase for revered masters and emerging artists, the three-day festival reflect the country’s burgeoning art scene. MoCAF offers impressive exhibitions curated by 18 galleries from the Philippines and Japan. He has also planned a series of insightful lectures, including two in collaboration with the arts and culture committee FINEX.

One of the talks is on “The Future of Art Publishing: Print and Digital” with Gus Vibal, Chairman of Vibal Publishing Group; Jose Maria Cariño, director general of the Foreign Service Institute; and Jewel Chuaunsu, Editor of Southeast Asian Heritage Publications.

Lawyer and art collector Tonico Manahan will talk about “Art as an investment and the luxury market”. He is a former investment banker who is currently an advisor to a prominent art gallery and auction house based in Makati.

MoCAF aims to provide new cultural and immersive experiences beyond the norm. Art lovers and collectors now have a new festival to look forward to.

J. Albert Gamboa is Chief Financial Officer of the Asian Center for Legal Excellence and Chairman of the Media Affairs Committee of FINEX. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and BusinessWorld. #FinexPhils


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