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Governance & team

 

Board members

 

Rapa Lopa, Chairman of the Board

Rapa is Bachelor of Arts in Inter-Disciplinary Studies and currently serves as the General Manager of Philippine Business for Social Progress, the largest corporate-led social development foundation in the Philippines and of Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (formerly known as Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation). The foundation is primarily focused in promoting the legacies of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and of former President Cory Aquino. The foundation, among others, also embarked on the creation of micro-finance institution called ASA Philippines foundation in partnership with the Assisi Development foundation.

Rapa is currently trustee of Pinoy ME Foundation which is a foundation organized by a consortium of stakeholders of Microfinance promotion in the Philippines and of ASA Philippines Foundation (APF) which is a microfinance institution that provides loans to micro-entrepreneurs in impoverished communities in the Philippines. APF currently ranks 5th among MFIs in the country as far as growth rate are concerned reaching over 150,000 clients all over the country to date.

More over Rapa is currently chairman of MicroVentures, Inc. (MVI), a Social Business enterprise that aspires to be the leading partner of micro- entrepreneurs in the Philippines and consultant of PLDT-SMART Foundation (PSF),

In the past Rapa has been executive assistant of the Office of Former President Corazon C. Aquino and Founder and Director of Pulse Asia, Inc, a research and polling firm which continues to be involved in political, social as well as market research.

 

Arnaud Ventura, Board Member

arnaud venturaArnaud is Board Member of mBank Holding, a company that develops branchless banks operating on a mobile and distributed model to increase financial inclusion by providing simple and effective financial services (including savings and loans).

Arnaud Ventura launched the idea of creating a new type of bank to target underserved customer in 2010. He then led the creation of a new holding company and raised funds with international partners such as Finnfund and FMO to create mBank Holding.

At the same time, Arnaud led negotiations with SMART, the largest Philipino Mobile Operator and one of the world leader in the development of mobile money to create one of the first branchless bank targeting underserved customers in the Philippines with SMART: mBank Philippines.

Before founding mBank Holding, Arnaud founded MicroCred & PlaNet Finance two leading players in the field of microfinance. Arnaud is the CEO of MicroCred and Vice President of PlaNet Finance Group. Before founding those groups Arnaud worked for BNP Paribas in France and Argentina and participated in the creation of two leading Internet providers in France and in Thailand (Club-Internet & Internet Thaïland).

Arnaud speaks English, Spanish and French fluently. He graduated from EFREI in Paris.

 

Arnaud de Lavalette, CEO – Director

Former deputy CEO of MicroCred Mexico, Arnaud has a strong background in finance and financial control in the banking sector. Arnaud has worked in a number of emerging countries over the last 5 years with a focus in microfinance and banking.

His main focus is the financial piloting of microfinance institutions and banking structures but also the set up and control of operations, with strong capacity building of the teams he was in charge of.

Previously, he used to work as a financial analyst and deputy CFO in France and started his professional career with Arthur Andersen where he performed and supervised audits for the social and consolidated accounts’ certification and realized a large number of due diligence in the framework of corporate finance missions (LBO, MBO, joint-ventures, IPO).

 

Dan Amstrong, Founder and Managing Partner of Takashi Mobile – Financial Services B.V.

Dan AmstrongDan is Founder and Managing Partner of Takashi Mobile | Financial Services B.V., a small consultancy and projects bureau that was created in 2000 and works currently in Europe, Africa and Asia on mobile telecommunications strategy projects, mobile financial services products and business models (mobile banking, mobile payments, security and authentication technologies) and surrounding business strategies.

Dan’s unique experience and assets in developing markets, innovative business models, competition and de-regulation, alliances, technology and marketing have created a unique projects and management portfolio that spans various (although inter-linked) industries including banking, telecommunications, retail distribution, consumer electronics and internet industries.

Dan has been working on European, African and South American projects in mobile banking, payment, NFC, and since 2009, has been involved in the new 3-bank/3-mobile operator joint-venture for contactless payments in The Netherlands. Since 2009, he has been working on launching successful transactions security, mobile banking and payments applications with Rabo Development (part of the large Rabobank Nederland banking group) as well as various projects for groups like the IFC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and World Bank.

Prior to RaboMobiel, Dan worked for 10 years for various GSM operators and mobile service providers in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Virgin Mobile, technology and broadcast companies like Irdeto and Sony NetServices GmbH and Veronica, as well as telecommunications and internet companies like British Telecom, MCI Telecommunications, Netscape, BitWrench and MCI Global Engineering.

 

Luigi Bernas (Independent Director)

Luigi sits on the Board of various commercial as well as non-profit organizations in the Philippines. He is currently Chairman of Team Micro Credit Corporation, and sits on the Board of Philippines First Plans Inc. (the largest Pre-Need institution in the Philippines) and Philhealthcare Inc. (one of the leading HMO providers in the country). He is also a Treasurer of Urban Program for Livelihood Finance and Training Inc (Uplift), a non-profit MFI operating among the informal settler communities in Metro Manila.

Luigi was born and raised in Manila, and received his early education from Xavier School, a Jesuit-run Chinese school in Manila. After graduating from the Honors Program in Economics at Ateneo de Manila University in 1982, he spent two years as an Account Officer at Union Bank of the Philippines covering trading companies and agricultural loans.

In 1984, the University of Virginia awarded him a scholarship grant to complete graduate studies in the United States He completed his studies in 1987, earning two degrees, an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business, and an MA in Asian Studies from the Corcoran School of History, where he concentrated on Japanese and Chinese Studies. From there, he moved on to New York City to commence nearly two decades of a global financial services career that afforded him the chance to live and work in all the major financial centers of the world.

 

Edward Go,  Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.

Edward, 72 years old, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ASA Philippines Foundation, Inc. and The Beneficial Trust Fund created pursuant to the Benefit Plan of PLDT, and a trustee of Ateneo de Manila University.
He is an independent director of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, ABC Development Corporation, Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., Mediascape, Inc., Filipino Fund, Inc., Union Galvasteel Corporation, Vicsal Investments Corporation, AB Capital Investments Corporation and Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club.

Edward has more than 40 years of experience in the banking business. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the United Coconut Planters Bank from February 2002 to August 2003 and as President and Chief Operating Officer of AsianBank from September 1994 to February 2000. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Philippine Bank of Communications from 1974 to 1985, China Banking Corporation from 1985 to 1989 and The Philippine Banking Corporation from 1991 to 1994.

Edward graduated magna cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and took post graduate studies in the same university

 

Emmanuel Ramon C. Lorenzana, Executive vice president/head -
Wireless consumer division – Smart communications INC.

Emmanuel was the President and Chief Operating Officer of NutriAsia Group, makers of leading food brands, since November 2008. Prior to that, he was the Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Malaysia and Singapore from 2007 until 2008. He held leadership positions in several Unilever companies including Unilever Philippines Home and Personal Care, as Managing Director from 2004 to 2007 and as Business Planning and Trade Marketing Director of Unilever Philippines from 2000 to 2001, Unilever Oral Care Category, Jakarta, Indonesia, as Vice President Asia and Africa from 2001 to 2004 and Unilever Shanghai Toothpaste Company, Shanghai, China, as Consumer and Trade Marketing Director from 1997 to 1999. Emmanuel obtained his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of the Philippines and attended various Executive Programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, Kellog School of Management in Chicago, and Ashridge Management School in London.

 

 

Management team

 

Arnaud de Lavalette, CEO

Former deputy CEO of MicroCred Mexico, Arnaud has a strong background in finance and financial control in the banking sector. Arnaud has worked in a number of emerging countries over the last 5 years with a focus in microfinance and banking.

His main focus is the financial piloting of microfinance institutions and banking structures but also the set up and control of operations, with strong capacity building of the teams he was in charge of.

Previously, he used to work as a financial analyst and deputy CFO in France and started his professional career with Arthur Andersen where he performed and supervised audits for the social and consolidated accounts’ certification and realized a large number of due diligence in the framework of corporate finance missions (LBO, MBO, joint-ventures, IPO).

 

Janet Sabido, Head of Operation

With over 20 years of selling experience of tangible and intangible consumer goods and lastly telco products & services; has gained expertise in conceptualization, implementation and execution of sales policies, programs, systems & processes, including sales training programs, sales audit, operational efficiency and merchandising.

With Smart for more than 12 years, Janet knows the distribution network, its players and its rules perfectly. Respectively a general manager for sales and operations, Head for Sales Services, Operations & Support, and regional sales manager of the biggest Smart’s region (Manila), she gained a key experience in the setting up of sales & operational policies including :

  • business processes;
  • sales metrics and control measures to ensure that efficiency and competency is met and complied with at all levels;
  • maximization of resources and achievement of revenue targets.

Janet is not familiar with the distribution of financial services, but could possibly become mBank’s future COO. In the interval, she will receive support from external consultants specialized in risk management, and will be tested as regards her capacity to adapt to this environment.

 

Ramil Bugayong, Corporate Secretary

Ramil BugayongRamil is a Partner in Puyat Jacinto & Santos (PJS) Law working on Banking, Finance and Capital Markets transactions, advising on Corporate and Commercial Law and Special Projects including PPPs.

He regularly advises a major Philippine investment bank on its commercial financing transactions. Among the notable transactions he handled was the maiden issuance by the Philippine Government of an aggregate US$500 Million Multicurrency Retail Treasury Bonds where he acted as counsel to the Joint
Issue Managers composed of First Metro Investment Corporation, BPI Capital, PNB Capital, and Land Bank of the Philippines. He has extensive experience in the microfinance industry working with clients that include Planet Finance, Grameen Foundation USA and CARD MRI. He has been leading the PJS Law team advising Planet Finance on setting up mBank in the Philippines. He advised CARD in its issuance of P500 Million corporate notes, the first by a Philippine microfinance institution, and on its follow on issuance f P750 Million corporate notes. Ramil assists on a pro bono basis the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc., the umbrella organization of microfinance institutions in the Philippines.

Prior to joining PJS Law, Ramil worked in the Department of Finance from 2002 up to 2006 and in SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan from 1999 up to 2002.