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Biz Memos

PLDT’s Anabelle Lim Chua named 2021 ING-Finex CFO of the Year

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PLDTâs Anabelle Lim Chua named 2021 ING-Finex CFO of the Year
Chua, who serves as PLDT's SVP, chief finance officer and chief risk management officer, is the second consecutive female to win the prestigious CFO of the Year award, which speaks volumes about the excellence in leadership of women in power amid trying times.
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MANILA, Philippines — For the second straight year honoring “game-changing” CFOs, the country’s most outstanding finance steward is a woman.

PLDT’s Anabelle Lim Chua was awarded the 2021 ING-Finex CFO of the Year in the 15th edition of the longest-running and most prestigious award program for finance chief officers. The search looks at four major qualities of CFO’s—as a strategist, catalyst, steward and operator—which Chua passed with flying colors.

“I always believe that numbers need to tell the story,” Chua said. “We have to make our people understand what these numbers are saying. We have to look at the people, the work they put in, what they’re doing to achieve these numbers. And that has made me realize that being a CFO is much more than knowing my numbers—that being an outstanding CFO meant being a positive force in all aspects of the business, in all parts of the organization.”

Now in her 23rd year with PLDT, Chua serves as the company’s SVP, chief finance officer and chief risk management officer. Her job has evolved through the years—going well beyond managing cash flows and maintaining financial viability.

She is also a director of Meralco, another listed company in the MVP group, chairing its Board Finance Committee; and a director of the Philippine Stock Exchange, representing the Issuers sector.

Chua has been pivotal in sealing several landmark deals, such as a $600-million bond issuance in 2020. The feat marked PLDT’s return to the international capital market after an 18-year hiatus, and was recognized by the International Financing Review as the Philippines’ “Best Capital Market Deal of the Year.”

 A CPA Board topnotcher, Chua graduated magna cum laude after taking up BS Business Administration and Accountancy at the University of the Philippines (Diliman) in the ’80s. Despite never having gone to graduate school or taking up an MBA like many of her peers, she managed to prove her mettle in finance, even amid turbulent times.

MVP Group chairman Manny V. Pangilinan fondly recalls his first encounter with Chua, describing her as a “tough lady.”

“Anabelle can stand up to somebody like myself and always do the right thing through the ups and downs of this company,” Pangilinan said. “She has always had the courage to disclose what’s good and not so good, after all these years.”

Meanwhile, PLDT president and CEO Alfredo Panlilio lauds Chua’s critical thinking, keen business acumen and analytical mind.

“Anabelle is a very strong finance person and a very critical thinker,” Panlilio said. “That helps me in my job, as well as the management committee. When we discuss business matters, initiatives and products, she can challenge those very critical discussions on where we want to bring the company.”

Chua is the second consecutive female to win the prestigious CFO of the Year award, which speaks volumes about the excellence in leadership of women in power amid trying times.

“An outstanding CFO displays strong and balanced leadership across a wide array of activities and multiple organizations. We need to lead by setting a ‘tone at the top’ that cascades into a culture of excellence for everyone in the group," she said. 

The ING-FINEX CFO of the Year award was launched in 2006 through a permanent partnership between the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), the country’s premier organization for finance and business professionals, and ING Bank, N.V. The search was envisioned to inspire the next generation of Philippine financial leaders by recognizing the work of those making their mark in the present.

 

For more information about the ING-FINEX CFO of the Year Award, visit www.ingfinexcfooftheyear.com.

FINANCIAL EXECUTIVES INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES PLDT
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