SM grows new ventures, professionalizes after Henry Sy's passing

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2019 01:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 11 2019 04:26 PM

SM grows new ventures, professionalizes after Henry Sy's passing 1
A 4-bed sharing unit of SM's co-living venture MyTown. Handout

MANILA -- The late Henry Sy's holding firm is looking to grow revenues from its co-living and logistics businesses as his heirs give way to the professionalism of its ranks by putting non-relatives in leadership positions, its CEO said Wednesday.

There will be synergies among the nascent ventures and SM's core retail, banking and property arms, while they are unlikely to overtake the main businesses in terms of revenue said SM Investments President and CEO Frederic DyBuncio.

The second generation of the Sy family has remained "very humble, very hardworking, very committed to customers" even after the passing of the family patriarch last January.

Before the billionaire's death, he installed his long-time CFO Jose Sio as chairman of SM Investments. DyBuncio helped steer SM to co-living through MyTown and logistics through 2Go.

The SM Group has been hiring more Filipinos from overseas, those working in multinational firms "to bring in new ideas, best practices," said DyBuncio.

"All of the siblings realize the need to professionalize," he said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss. "They have a very open mind and listen to ideas, active discussions about opportunities and issues."

"There hasn't been a big change since he passed away," DyBuncio said, referring to the late taipan. "The second generation is very, very active in running the business."


A post shared by Cathy Yang (@cathyyapyang) on

Teresita Sy-Coson and Henry Sy Jr. both serve as vice chair and non-executive director at SM Investments while Harley Sy is executive director.

The MyTown venture was spawned by demand from office workers who want a respite from the hours-long commute in the capital due to daily traffic jams.

"We are looking at other opportunities in co-living. We have partners at the moment. We want to grow that as it is," DyBuncio said.

Logistics firm 2Go is a "natural fit" in the "robust" SM ecosystem, he said.

"We are looking at opportunities at how we can grow and expand, particularly nationwide to support the other businesses not just SM group," he said.

-- with Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News