Crypto Wrestles With Legal Issues, Scoring A Few Key Victories, In 2023

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For cryptocurrencies, 2023 was neither the best nor the worst of times. The overall market doubled, to $1.7 trillion though that was still a far cry from its $3 trillion zenith in 2021. Even as prices recovered, however, the industry found itself in the crosshairs of lawmakers and regulators, the latter led by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The year offered a smorgasbord of crises for crypto, including criminal cases involving the heads of some of its biggest companies, enforcement actions that called into question the legitimacy of much of the blockchain business and only limited progress in getting legislative clarity from the U.S. Congress.

In all, there was “hesitancy in building because of the regulatory uncertainty” throughout the year, says Marisa Coppel, head of legal at the Blockchain Association. Still, there were a few notable victories for the industry in court, and spot-market exchange-traded bitcoin funds may be just around the corner in the U.S., offering access to a large pool of investors and holding out the hope for wider acceptance of digital assets.

Battles in Court and on Capitol Hill

It was “the year of the exchange reckoning” in U.S. courts, says Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation industry group.

The SEC brought cases against five crypto exchanges in 2023, including Coinbase COIN , Binance and Kraken, alleging that they sold unregistered securities via their platforms. The similarity in the complaints illustrates the SEC strategy, says Coppel, which aims to classify practically all tokens as securities according to what is known as the Howey Test.

Based on a Supreme Court ruling in a 1946 case involving Florida citrus groves, the Howey Test is used to determine if something qualifies as a security, and would thus fall under the agency’s oversight. If an asset is based on a transaction that includes an investment of money in a common enterprise with the expectation of profit to be derived from the labor of others, then it qualifies as an investment contract under Howey. Sell that contract to an investor and it is a security and subject to the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

At the time of filing its cases against Coinbase and Binance, the agency alleged that over $37 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were securities.

But a July 14 federal court ruling on a separate SEC case against Ripple Labs, promoter of the xrp token ($33 billion market cap), found that the sale of that cryptocurrency was a security only when it was sold to investors, not retail traders.

“It marked a shift in how courts and the amount of difference they’re giving to agencies, especially the SEC,” says Coppel of the ruling, which for now is not binding outside of the federal district court for Southern New York and is also not necessarily applicable to other tokens .

The SEC’s suits against Ripple, Binance and Coinbase are still in their pre-trial phases. The earliest development could come from a different Coinbase action, under which the exchange is seeking to compel the SEC to provide rules tailored for the crypto industry that would allow it to do business. The agency refused to respond to the request at all, but Coinbase won a court ruling that led the SEC to deny the company’s petition, and oral arguments in the next round of the case are scheduled for January 17.

Congress could resolve the issue by enacting laws to cover crypto trading, but so far it has been unable to do so. A market-structure bill co-sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn Thompson (R-Pa. ), and House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry (R- N.C.) made it out of committee for consideration by the full chamber and has some industry backing, but it is still a long way from being passed by both houses.

Not all industry participants agree that new legislation is needed. Nathan McCauley, CEO of crypto custodian Anchorage Digital, says that existing financial regulations are already “pretty instructive. “The custody rule is clear, the segregation of responsibilities is clear,” he adds. “You can run and operate a business pretty well under the existing set of regulations.” That echoes the SEC’s position, though it is not clear how the industry can operate when cryptocurrency transactions are disallowed.

Elsewhere, several countries passed significant digital-asset legislation, including Europe’s market regulations in crypto assets (MiCa) and the United Kingdom’s Financial Markets and Services Act (FMSA). Those actions provide specific crypto rules that both adapt traditional finance regulations to entities interacting with digital assets, and they recognize new assets, like stablecoins, as their own financial classes.

Behind Bars

While bankruptcy filings were the focus the previous year, 2023 saw the action shifting to criminal court. The U.S. government charged over 25 crypto-related executives from securities fraud to market manipulation, headlined by successful prosecutions of the heads of two of the highest-profile exchanges in the world, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX and Changpeng Zhao of Binance.

“It’s been an unbelievable year of telenovela drama,” says CCI’s Warren.

Following the very public collapse of FTX in November 2022, its founder and former CEO was charged with seven counts of fraud, embezzlement and criminal conspiracy in February. After a six-week trial and a speedy four-hours of jury deliberation, Bankman-Fried was convicted on all counts. His sentencing hearing is set for March 28, and he faces up to 110 years in prison.

Regulators and enforcement agencies also came knocking at the door of Binance, the largest crypto-exchange in the world. Already facing civil charges by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the SEC, Binance was taken to task by the the Justice Depatment. On November 21, Zhao, who is widely known as CZ, agreed to step down as the exchange’s top executive as part of a $4.3 billion settlement. He and the company admitted Binance engaged in unlicensed money transmitting, violated sanctions and breached anti-money-laundering regulations.

Meanwhile, a criminal case involving crypto mixer Tornado Cash threatens precepts of decentralization, a key principle for many digital-asset proponent. One year after the Treasury Department sanctioned the mixer, which anonymizes public Ethereum ETH transactions, the Justice Department charged its founding developers with money laundering and sanctions violations. A group of Tornado Cash users are appealing in a federal case that upheld the Treasury Department’s charges, with support from industry heavyweights Coinbase and the Blockchain Association.

The SEC also cracked down on companies selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as securities, charging two collections, Impact Theory and Stoner Cats. Without admitting or denying the charges, both companies agreed to settle with the regulator, paying respective penalties of $6.1 million and $1 million.

Dates to Watch in 2024

The approval of a bitcoin spot ETF is top of mind for institutional and retail investors alike. Asset managers have reportedly been meeting with SEC officials to review and edit their applications, going so far as discussing ticker symbols for the hoped-for funds. A decision is likely by January 10, and it could cover about a dozen new funds. The SEC has steadfastly refused to list ETFs based on the spot price of bitcoin, which it has insisted is too subject to manipulation, even though it allows similar funds based on bitcoin futures, which reflect cash-market levels.

On the criminal front, 2024 is likely to bring developments in cases against leading crypto executives, particularly those at the center of the fall of the market in 2022.

Alex Mashinsky, former CEO of the bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, was charged in July with securities and commodities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to manipulate the value of the celsius token. He could face decades in prison if convicted. The trial has been set for September 17, with preliminary hearings starting as soon as March.

Do Kwon, founder of Terra LUNA Labs, narrowly avoided extradition to the U.S. or South Korea in December, successfully appealing to a Montenegro court. But the case isn’t over yet–the appeals court has sent the case back to retrial, and if Montenegro courts approve the extradition, Kwon could be facing jail time in either country. The May 2022 collapse of the terraUSD stablecoin, an algorithmic token associated with the luna cryptocurrency, set off the chain of bankruptcies that led to what is known as Crypto Winter.

“Big media moments are behind us now, so it’s about the nitty gritty” regulations and policies, says CCI’s Warren.

And then there’s the question of a new legal framework for crypto. Blockchain advocacy groups like the Blockchain Association and the Crypto Council for Innovation are hopeful legislation will advance in the new year. But against the backdrop of a presidential election that is generating court cases and discord of its own, blockchain issues may not make much headway.

“Regulation is likely to come from the states,” adds CCI’s Warren, pointing to bills wending through the New York and California state legislatures.

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Lynette V. Ortiz

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Ma. Lynette V. Ortiz assumed her post as the 11th President and CEO of the Land Bank of the Philippines on 24 May 2023 following her appointment by Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

With over 30 years of experience in banking and finance, Lynette held various senior roles in Risk Management, Treasury, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets in foreign and local institutions. Prior to her appointment, she was the first Filipino CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Philippines. She led strategies to grow the local franchise across the various client segments and deliver sustainable financial performance.

During her tenure in SCB, she spearheaded several landmark transactions in both domestic and international capital markets for Philippine and ASEAN issuers. These include the maiden offerings of both LANDBANK and the Development Bank of the Philippines of Sustainability Bonds. She helped the National Government raise funds through global and domestic bond issues, with SCB serving as book runner for foreign currency denominated offerings of the ROP.

She serves as First Vice President in the Board of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), and is also a member of the BAP Executive Committee.

A strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, Lynette was named United Nations 2021 Philippine Women’s Empowerment Principles Awards Champion for Leadership Commitment, for her role in setting strong corporate commitments and inclusive leadership.

Lynette took her MBA in Finance and Investments from the City University of New York, Baruch College, and her degree in BA in Economics, Cum Laude, from the University of the Philippines.

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Moving on from FTX: is 2023 the year of CBDCs?
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                  Angelo Madrid

                  President
                  Maya Bank

                  Angelo Madrid is the President of Maya Bank, the no. 1 digital bank in the Philippines.

                  Before joining Maya Bank, Angelo served as the Country Manager of Tala Philippines (Tala PH), a US-based fintech lending startup. He also held various executive leadership roles with Citibank, based in New York, including co-founding a fintech startup with Citi Ventures that uses alternative data to help consumers in the US gain access to credit. ​Early in his career, he practiced law at Baker & McKenzie (QT) and Sycip Law, doing banking, project finance, and M&A transactions.

                  Gelo received his bachelor’s degree in Management and Juris Doctor law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. He completed his MBA from Duke University – Fuqua School of Business.

                  Eugene S. Acevedo

                  President and Chief Executive Officer
                  Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

                  Eugene Acevedo is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation.

                  Under his leadership, RCBC accelerated its business and digital transformation, winning multiple awards in innovation including best digital bank and best retail bank. RCBC also took major strides in sustainable finance resulting in landmark green bond is sues, and its upgrade to Single A ESG rating by MSCI.

                  Eugene serves as Chairman of the Asian Bankers Association (ABA) for the 2021 – 23 term. In 1987, he graduated from the Asian Institute of Management. He completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

                  An avid learner, he has professional certifications in Clean Power, Customer Experience, User Experience and Digital Marketing from Imperial College London, CX Academy, British Computer Society and Wharton School, respectively.

                  Albert Tinio

                  Co – Chief Executive Officer
                  GoTyme Bank

                  Albert has several years of experience in the fields of fintech, banking, telecommunications, and logistics. He started his career in logistics working for American President Lines and Federal Express. He then moved into telecommunications with two major Philippine telco players, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications. Albert earned Globe’s Leadership Award for significant gains made in growing and expanding broadband services nationwide. He transitioned from telco to fintech after being chosen to lead GCash as President and CEO. During this time, Albert became the founding president of the Philippine E – Money Association.

                  Immediately before joining GoTyme Bank, he was SVP, Digital Payments and Agency Banking for Robinsons Bank. Albert has a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the Philippines and completed the Oxford FinTech Program from the University of Oxford Saïd Business School

                  At the launch of GoTyme Bank in October 2022, Albert explained its differentiator which is providing accessible and affordable products and services with a human touch. He mentioned that to keep the human connection always, GoTyme Bank has kiosks supported by bank ambassadors that are strategically located across the Robinsons ecosystem as well as personal bankers who address customer concerns or issues thru phone calls, emails or chats.

                  Greg Krasnov

                  Founder & CEO
                  Tonik Bank

                  As the Founder & CEO of Tonik (www.tonikbank.com), the first neobank in the Philippines, I’m committed to building a trustworthy and simple banking experience to drive financial inclusion in the Philippines, where the majority of the population remains without bank accounts and without access to formal credit. I am a serial entrepreneur, having previously launched and led/co – led FORUM, Credolab, FLOW, AsiaKredit, and Platinum Bank. Ever since starting my first business at 17, I’ve been passionate about entrepreneurship and problem – solving.

                  I appreciate that in life one needs to have balance. During a two – year sabbatical, I skippered my sailboat SV Blues across Asia. I’m also a musician (check me out on Spotify). And as a resident of eight countries across three continents, and a founder of YPO’s Kyiv Chapter I’ve gained a unique understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives.

                  Throughout my career, I’ve received many accolades that I’m proud of, but what truly matters to me at this stage is the impact I make on people’s lives through my managerial and creative problem – solving skills. I’m a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy who values honesty and open communication. I believe in fostering genuine connections and staying true to my principles, both personally and professionally.

                  If you’re not just going to sell me stuff, feel free to reach out to connect, and let’s explore opportunities to create meaningful change together in the world of fintech and beyond.

                  Lito Villanueva

                  Executive Vice President
                  Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer
                  Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

                  Lito Villanueva is the Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer of RCBC, and the Chief Digital Transformation Advisor for the Yuchengco Group of Companies. He is the founding chairman of Fintech Alliance.ph, the Philippines’ largest FinTech organization.

                  He is an award-winning thought leader on digital transformation and financial inclusion with 20 years of experience. He institutionalized the country’s first fintech industry code of conduct and code of ethics to protect consumers and published the first Philippine fintech taxonomy book. His efforts have earned him close to 100 global and regional awards including bagging a three-peat for Best Digital Bank from Asiamoney and back-to-back wins for Best Financial Inclusion App from the Asian Banker for RCBC. Some of these recognitions include being among the Top 100 FinTech Leaders in Asia, Mr FinTech of the Philippines by NewsBiz Asia, Chief Innovation Officer of the Year by the London-based The Banker, and among the Top 100 Filipinos in LinkedIn.

                  He has a regular business column Byte in the Philippine Star. He is the Chairman of the South Africa-based Alliance of Digital Finance Associations and a member of the Global Impact FinTech and AIBP Advisory Board. He is the founding president of the BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. Institute for Growth towards National Inclusion, Transformation, and Empowerment (IGNITE).

                  He finished the Cambridge Intellect Leadership Programme in 2019 on Digital Transformation by Design at the University of Cambridge. He completed a Master of Arts in public administration magna cum laude at the University of Santo Tomas and a Master in National Security Administration at the National Defense College of the Philippines.

                  Patrick M Meneses

                  Senior Vice President
                  Chief Data Officer
                  Security Bank

                  Patrick Meneses is the SVP Chief Data Officer of Security Bank, one of the Philippines’ leading universal banks which strives to be the most customer-centric in the industry. Patrick’s focus is building institutional analytic capabilities that have meaningful impact on SBC customers. He specializes in designing the operationalization of data & analytics at scale.

                  Patrick joined Security Bank from a 26-year data & analytics career spanning Big Tech in Silicon Valley to cutting edge solutions in Automotive through more recently consulting the biggest Global Banks throughout ASEAN.

                  Patrick is a featured speaker and thought leader in events throughout ASEAN. He is active in shaping academic curriculum in the Philippines and enjoys mentoring the next generation of Analytic Professionals.

                  Rico Bautista

                  President and CEO
                  Etiqa Life & General Assurance

                  Mr. Rico T. Bautista is currently the President and CEO of Etiqa Life and General Assurance Philippines, one of the few insurance companies in the country with a composite license. With its composite license, Etiqa Philippines is able to offer both life and non-life products in the Philippines market.

                  Mr. Bautista has been in charge of the transformation of Etiqa Philippines since 2019, after the re-branding exercise it did from its former corporate name, AsianLife. Since his joining, he has been in charge of delivering positive growth rates both in the topline and bottomline revenues of the company. He has led the company in fulfilling its promises to its clients, despite the challenging years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

                  He has more than two and a half decades of experience in the insurance (and pre-need) industry focused on strategic direction setting, sales and marketing, distribution management, business building, corporate governance and employee empowerment. His career is marked by his affiliations with PhilamPlans (now PhilPlans), Insular Life, Pru Like UK, Philam Life (now AIA Philippines) and BPI-Philam (now BPI-AIA Philippines).

                  In 2022, Mr. Bautista was elected the President of the Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA), the umbrella organization of all life insurance companies operating in the Philippines. He was re-elected as the PLIA President for a second term in 2023. He is also a member of the Philippine Insurance and Reinsurance Association (PIRA), the industry organization of the non-life companies in the Philippines and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), the premier management organization in the Philippines. He finished his AB Philosophy degree at the University of Santo Tomas.

                  John Januszczak

                  President & CEO
                  UBX Philippines Corp

                  Edison Tsai

                  President and CEO
                  Seedin Technology

                  As the Executive Director of Seedin Technology Inc., Edison is responsible for managing and developing the Philippines finance market and works closely with other overseas counterparts to ensure the successful expansion and implementation of SeedIn in the Philippines. Edison has over 20 years of experience in the development, management, operations, and consultation of Information Management Projects for major private companies and government agencies in the Philippines. He is also on the Board of Directors of ExpressPay Inc., one of the leaders in Payment Services franchising with over 800 franchised branches since 2016.

                  As an art enthusiast, Edison also founded Unit 256 Ventures Inc., a startup that operates the Artifract.io NFT Marketplace, a pioneer of Fine Arts NFT in Asia that focuses on helping art estates, museums, private collectors, and artists in the preservation of Fine Arts, ensuring copyright of every piece, and future-proofing collections. The platform brings Master-art to the public through NFTs and Fractional Ownership. In his work, he focuses on how through royalty programs, artists can directly profit from their work and have a sustainable perpetual income.

                  He is currently the Chair of Strategic Partnerships for FinTechAlliance.ph to foster and strengthen relationships with other Fintech Organizations in and outside of the Philippines, and the Chair of the Membership Committee and Board Member of Fintech Philippines Association (FPA) in its mission to promote the Philippines as a global leader in FinTech innovation and expanding its membership base.

                  Prior to SeedIn, he worked with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as its Chief IT Consultant for implementation of key IT projects involving business registrations. This includes collaborations with various government agencies such as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Local Government Units (LGUs) and other permit/license-issuing agencies.

                  He is also the founding CEO of Sigmasoft Technologies, that was acquired by Touch Solutions in 2011, before the company went public on the Philippine Stock Exchange. Edison holds a degree in Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) from De La Salle University.

                  Manish Bhai

                  Manish Bhai

                  Founder & CEO
                  UNO Digital Bank

                  UNO Digital Bank

                  Manish Bhai is the Founder, President & CEO at UNO Digital Bank (UNObank Inc.), one of the six licensed and operating Digital Banks in The Philippines and also the Founder at UNOAsia Pte Ltd., the Singapore based fintech that is the primary incorporator of UNO Digital Bank. UNOAsia is the first fintech company in the South & South East Asia region to receive a license outright to operate a digital bank.

                  Manish left Citigroup in mid 2019 to start his entrepreneurial pursuit around digitalisation Manish is a financial services and banking veteran with 30 years of industry expertise, and C-level engagement across the ecosystem. He has extensive experience of clients, products and regulatory landscape in Asia by being in regional and country head roles in multiple locations. He has built and managed diverse businesses including Asia Institutional Sales, Global Markets Indonesia and Singapore, Country Treasury Indonesia and Corporate Structuring & Sales, South Asia. An industry innovator with expertise across Investments, FX & Derivatives, Balance Sheet management, Credit, Sales & Execution, Manish is very passionate about digitalisation and building new solutions.

                  Manish is a HBS alumni, a Fellow Chartered Accountant, Associate Cost Accountant and a qualified Company Secretary with a number of university level and All-India Rank recognitions. He was recognised as the Top 10 Fintech Leaders in the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) Global Fintech Awards 2022, and more recently as the CEO of the Year, Asia 2023 by IDC.

                  Renren Reyes

                  Ren-ren Reyes

                  President & CEO
                  G-Xchange Inc.

                  Ren-ren Reyes is the President & CEO of G-Xchange, Inc., responsible for the mobile wallet operations of GCash. He oversees all business units that cover GCash’s Payment and Transfer products. Previous to the role, he was the Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for the country’s flag carrier, Philippines Airlines, and formerly a Director, SVP & Head of the Consumer Business for PLDT and SMART.

                  He has had extensive experience across a broad spectrum of business challenges – from driving new sources of growth from a dominant position in the foods industry with Nutri Asia, pivoting a legacy business into the digital landscape with PLDT, to successfully turning around the biggest and most well-loved business in the Philippines and the region – SMART, Philippine Airlines, L’Oreal’s Consumer Business, Dove Hair in Southeast Asia and Sunsilk in the Philippines. Ren-ren obtains his Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Engineering from Ateneo De Manila University and attended an executive course on Culture Building in CEDEP, INSEAD and General Management in France.

                  Mike Singh

                  Mike Singh

                  Chief Commercial and Revenue Officer
                  UnionDigital Bank Inc.

                  Mike Singh brings a wealth of experience to the table, with a background in both financial services and entrepreneurship.

                  He has successfully founded multiple businesses, and his atest venture, Pera247, a digital lending app, was acquired by Grab Finance in 2021, marking his third successful exit. Mike also spent almost a decade at HSBC Finance North America, where he played a key role in launching Best Buy’s Private Label credit card in China and Mexico, and oversaw General Motors’ co-branded credit card. which had a portfolio of over US$7 billion.

                  Mike holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the renowned Kellogg School of Management in Illinois, USA.

                  Jean-Marc Arbogast

                  Jean-Marc Arbogast

                  Country Manager – Philippines
                  International Finance Corporation

                  Jean-Marc Arbogast is the newly appointed Country Manager for the Philippine office of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

                  Jean-Marc, a French national, was formerly the Adviser to the Vice-President Corporate Strategy and Resources, where he helped formulate and articulate IFC’s strategic priorities while aligning resources to deliver on our ambitious agenda. Prior to that, Jean-Marc was a Senior Investment Officer in the Global Water team where he led origination and execution of transactions in the sector globally, in close coordination with regional infrastructure colleagues. Before joining IFC in 2012, Jean-Marc worked as an investment banker at BofA Merrill Lynch in New York City, advising industrial and agribusiness companies globally on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions.

                  In his new role, Jean-Marc is responsible for all IFC activities in the Philippines, including leading efforts to build its portfolio, developing new upstream opportunities and enhancing its impact.

                  He holds an MBA from Yale University and a Master’s in Aeronautical Engineering from ENSICA, a French engineering school.

                  TG Limcaoco

                  President & CEO
                  Bank of the Philippine Islands

                  Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco (TG Limcaoco) is the President and CEO of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) – the oldest bank in both the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and one of the most established financial institutions in the country. TG was appointed as BPI President and CEO on April 22, 2021. He has served as a Director of the Board and a Member of the Bank’s Executive Committee since February 2019.

                  He is Chairman of BPI Wealth – A Trust Corporation, Bank of the Philippine Islands (Europe) Plc., BPI Capital Corporation, BPI/MS Insurance Corporation, and BPI AIA Life Assurance Corporation. He is Vice Chairman of BPI Century Tokyo Lease & Finance Corporation and BPI Century Tokyo Rental Corporation. He is President and Vice Chairman of BPI Foundation, Inc.

                  Outside of BPI, he is President of the Bankers Association of the Philippines, Chairman of Philippine Payments Management Inc., a Trustee of the Asian Institute of Management, and a Director of AC Mobility Holdings, Inc. He is also a current member of the Management Association of the Philippines, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), and the Rotary Club of Makati West (where he is a Past President). Lastly, TG is a Director of Just for Kids, Inc., a homegrown business of his family.

                  In recognition of his outstanding leadership and exemplary communication skills, TG was bestowed the prestigious 2023 Communicator of the Year award under the Executive Leader Category by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Asia Pacific. This award underscores his ability to effectively convey complex ideas and foster meaningful connections within the business community. He also earned the Gold Award in the Best CEO category for the Philippines in Asia’s Best Managed Companies 2023 poll of FinanceAsia. This accolade serves as a testament to his exceptional stewardship and strategic vision, further solidifying his reputation as an exceptional leader in the financial industry.

                  Before coming to BPI, he was the Chief Finance Officer, Chief Risk Officer, and Chief Sustainability Officer of Ayala Corporation, a Philippine Stock Exchange-listed company. He was also the Chairman of AC Energy International, Inc. (formerly Presage Corporation) and the President and CEO of AC Ventures Holding Corp. He was also a Director of the Board of several Ayala companies, including publicly-listed Globe Telecom and Integrated Micro-electronics Inc, and the energy, infrastructure, industrials and healthcare companies of the Ayala group. He was also a director of the companies that operated G-Cash and Zalora Philippines.

                  Previously, he served as President of BPI Family Savings Bank from 2010-2015 and President of BPI Capital Corporation from 2007- 2010. He also served as Officer-in-Charge for Ayala Life Assurance, Inc. and as Director and Chairman of Ayala Plans, Inc.

                  Mr. Limcaoco joined Ayala Corporation as a Managing Director in 1998. Prior to his appointment as Chief Finance Officer in April 2015, he held various responsibilities including Trustee and Treasurer of Ayala Foundation, Inc., President of myAyala.com, and CFO of Azalea Technology Investments, Inc. He served as the President of the Chamber of Thrift Banks from 2013-2015. He was named as the ING-Finex CFO of the Year in 2018. He has held prior positions with JP Morgan & Co. in Singapore and New York and with BZW Asia.

                  He graduated from Stanford University with a BS Mathematical Sciences degree (Honors Program) in 1984 and from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA (Finance and Investment Management) in 1988.

                  Hamilton Angluben

                  Founder & CEO
                  Kwik.insure

                  Hamilton Angluben is the Founder and CEO of Kwik.insure, an insurtech which digitalizes insurance and healthcare distribution. He was previously General Manager of Cashalo, one of the Philippine’s first and largest digital lending apps. He was also a General Manager of Cebuana Lhuilllier, the largest pawnshop chain in the world, where he sold microinsurance and bundled them with bill payments and remittance products.

                  Hamilton is a founding member of the Fintech Alliance Philippines. His education comes from Oxford University, University of the Philippines, and Ateneo de Manila. He holds a Level 3 Certificate in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute.

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