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Stock Commentary

Wellex Industries and Forum Pacific mourn passing of Chairman Peter Salud

Merkado Barkada
Wellex Industries and Forum Pacific mourn passing of Chairman Peter Salud

Peter Salud was recruited by William Gatchalian a long time ago to assist in the administration of the growing Gatchalian group of companies.

He was first elected to the board of Forum Pacific [FPI 0.29], the petroleum product and exploration arm of the Gatchalian Family, back in 1996, and to the board of Wellex Industries [WIN 0.25], the Family’s mining and petroleum investment arm, back in 2018. Mr.

According to this Bilyo article, Mr. Salud and William Gatchalian, the “Plastics King” and head of the Gatchalian Family, were close for over 40 years. Mr. Gatchalian recruited Mr. Salud away from his senior manager role at Metrobank in the late 80s.

Both WIN and FPI submitted disclosures to announce Mr. Salud’s passing and removal from the respective boards. FPI indicated that its shareholders will select a replacement at the company’s October 27th shareholders’ meeting. WIN declined to provide any guidance on replacement timelines.

MB BOTTOM-LINE

Condolences to Mr. Salud’s family and friends. It’s not clear from the reporting on Mr. Salud’s passing whether his death was the result of a longtime illness, or if it was sudden and unexpected. Putting aside the human and emotional toll that death extracts from all of us, of which we’ve become (unfortunately) much more familiar in recent years due to COVID, the passing of an active Chairman is not a straightforward thing.

Procedurally, each company’s board will need to work to identify possible replacements, and their shareholders will need to meet to elect a new Chairman from the slate provided. Operationally, though, the loss of a Chairman can be much more complicated, especially where the leader has been with the company for a great number of years (as is the case with FPI). Even the best-planned transitions go through a brief period of instability when the new leader(s) begin to take the controls.

Will FPI and WIN identify and elect replacements that will carry-on in the same direction and style as Mr. Salud, or will they opt to go in a new direction?

Will the Family look to place its own blood at the top of the pyramid, or will it look to continue with the professionalization initiative that originally brought Mr. Salud into the group to begin with?

With FPI’s shareholders’ meeting on October 27, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.

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FORUM PACIFIC INC PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE WELLEX INDUSTRIES INC
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