Sheila Tan is a formidable force in law and business in the Philippines. As President and CEO of BPI Asset Management and Trust (BPI AMTC), the country’s largest trust corporation, Sheila leads a strong and experienced team and manages upwards of PHP580 billion in assets. Anchored on Bank of the Philippine Islands’ 165 years in banking and finance, BPI AMTC leverages its long track record of managing assets to achieve its goal of delivering above par risk-adjusted returns for its clients’ well-defined investment horizons.
“I’m a lawyer by profession and I like the idea of being a thought leader, a change agent and a promoter of new structures and advocacies. After drafting and reviewing contracts and agreements, as well as structuring and negotiating acquisitions for more than 20 years, I was given the chance to join the investment banking group BPI Capital in 2013 and complement its advisory team, and then became part of BPI AMTC in 2017,” Sheila explains.
BPI AMTC is committed to serving both institutional and individual investors through innovative investment products and complete solutions. This is enabled by state-of-the-art technology infrastructure for advanced portfolio management, risk management and investment accounting systems, as well as investment planning and funds distribution.
No stranger to the industry, Sheila has witnessed a constant rise in the importance of client-centric business strategies and workplace culture. “The ability of different financial institutions to collaborate with each other and promote open architecture has given clients the opportunity to diversify their investments and avail of a range of products and services while retaining their banking relationships and rationalising account maintenance requirements,” she notes. “We hope that new regulations will only enable this further so we can continue to promote convenient investing and trust servicing.”
In such a crowded and competitive market, Sheila believes that aptitude, reliability and execution are the three pillars that set BPI AMTC apart. “In the past year, we’ve seen continuous growth in trust assets as wealth in the country increases. Demand for investment options and the rising cost of compliance are challenges that put pressure on asset managers and trustees,” she explains. “Given the competitive and highly regulated environment, the acid test is an asset manager’s ability to offer a broader investor base with a variety of product and service propositions to satisfy different investment appetites – all within easy access and with consistently good performance, of course.”
Looking ahead, Sheila hopes to retain the business’ pre-eminence as a leader in the asset management space. “Our end-goal is simple: to be the go-to manager and solutions provider of our clients – whether in terms of handling their funds or operating their trust accounts,” she notes. “Humility, foresight and a steadfast sense of responsibility are the qualities of a good leader. I live by the principle of impartiality. It’s a fundamental requirement in human relations and it should apply across all relationships, whether it be with clients or among colleagues. My only barometer of success is that I enjoy what I am doing, and my enjoyment comes from keeping happy relationships.”