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Propelling PSE to new heights

Monzon
 

MANILA, Philippines -  Founding a beauty pageant and turning it into a global brand is one big feat. Running the country’s   stock market and bringing it to new heights should be another.

But for 67-year-old Ramon Monzon, the new president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), there is not much difference in organizing a global beauty pageant like Miss Earth and running the country’s stock market.

“The challenge for organizing an activity like Miss Earth is to attract participants from all over the world. It’s really market development or business development because you got to get different countries and sign them on as franchise owners. It’s the same here at the PSE. You have to do a lot of business development, create new products, and list more companies,” Monzon said.

The now globally renowned Miss Earth beauty pageant was founded by Monzon and his wife through Carousel Productions, which has the national franchise and television rights for the pageant.

“Prior to that we were handling a franchised pageant which was the Mutya ng Pilipinas and Miss Asia Pacific,” he said.

According to Monzon, organizing beauty pageants was not a difficult task, especially in a country like the Philippines.

“There’s a lot of beauty pageant fans in the Philippines,” he said, adding that “organizing a pageant is not difficult because we are very fortunate that our Miss Earth winners go around the world, attend a lot of environmental conferences. They are very visible in the environmental industry. It attracts a lot of young people to join.”

From dealing with over 100 beauty pageant franchise holders across the globe, Monzon will now be overseeing the more than 200 listed firms in the PSE.

But for PSE chair Jose Pardo, becoming the PSE chief would not require that much of an adjustment for the Miss Earth founder.

“We both have figures,” Pardo jokingly said, trying to point out similarities between the PSE and beauty pageants.

“Now the challenge for him is to make PSE a bigger organization,” Pardo said, noting that this may not be a hard task since Monzon is well-experienced and equipped, having been a protégé of SGV founder Washington Sycip.

Monzon, who served as PSE’s independent director prior to his appointment as president and CEO, has in fact big plans for the local bourse.

“Hopefully we can find another good acquisition like PDS (Philippine Dealing System) in the next few years. Being a technology company, we want to market our technology capabilities to other users,” he said.

“We are planning to launch new products this year. We’re targeting to launch when our new system is installed sometime in September or October, he added.

The new PSE chief is also banking on external factors that would provide a big boost to the local stock market. Among these factors is the passage of the first package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.

“If the tax reform package is passed, more or less with as much substance as with what is being proposed, I think that will be a big boost to the stock market,”  he said.

Monzon, who cited smoking a good cigar and having a nice drink of single malt as among his favorite hobbies, also currently serves as chairman and president of PH GSA Inc., Expert Air Services Inc., and Karilagan International Travel and Tours Corp.

With Monzon at the helm, things are indeed looking pretty for the PSE in the years ahead.

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