Gil Buenaventura is new RCBC president and CEO

Chrisee Dela Paz
Gil Buenaventura is new RCBC president and CEO
The 63-year-old Development Bank of the Philippines chief will replace Lorenzo Tan as RCBC president and CEO starting July 1

MANILA, Philippines – The embattled Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has appointed Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) chief Gil Buenaventura as its new president and CEO, replacing Lorenzo Tan who resigned to clear his name in the $81-million Bangladesh Bank fund heist.

RCBC said in a statement on Monday, May 16 that its board of directors has tapped Buenaventura as its chief starting July 1. (READ: TIMELINE: Tracing the $81-million stolen fund from Bangladesh Bank)

“Soft spoken and a quiet worker, Buenaventura brings with him a wealth of experience in universal banking and large operations that is critical to RCBC’s further growth,” the bank said.

RCBC said the 63-year-old seasoned banker was able to steer DBP to unprecedented growth in terms of income and total resources. DBP is among the top ten banks in the country.

Before DBP, Buenaventura worked as a former senior executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, as well as president and CEO of Prudential Bank.  (READ: SWIFT on $81M bank heist: Our system wasn’t breached)

He also served as executive vice-president of Citytrust Banking Corporation; and a Citibanker for 18 years where he started as chief of staff to the country head and rose to become vice president, group head and senior credit officer. 

Buenaventura obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of San Francisco and his MBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin.

At BPI, he was in charge of the bank’s major revenue-generating businesses and was either chairman or a member of the board of directors of BPI’s various subsidiaries.

Buenaventura also managed the bank’s special business units and several subsidiaries, and exercised direct oversight over non-revenue areas including information systems, human resources, and central operations.

Tan is the latest RCBC executive to quit following the investigation of the largest money-laundering case in the Philippines.

About $81-million stolen funds from Bangladesh Bank’s account was coursed through the Philippine banking system, found its way to several fake accounts in the RCBC branch in Jupiter in Makati City.

Tan tendered his resignation last May 6, after being cleared by the bank owned by taipan Alfonso Yuchengco of any wrong doing in the bank heist.

Tan went on indefinite leave last March 23.

RCBC chair Helen Yuchengco-Dee together with vice chair Cesar Virata and director Aramando Medina would continue to oversee the bank’s daily operations.

Raul Victor Tan, the bank’s treasurer and executive vice president, resigned in April, since Maia Santos-Deguito, one of the central figures in case, had worked under him.

Like Lorenzo Tan, RCBC’s internal investigation had cleared him of involvement in the money-laundering case 

Tan has filed civil and criminal cases against sacked branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito and lawyer Ferdiand Topacio for implicating him as the mastermind in the money-laundering activity.

The Senate probe into the Bangladesh Bank fund heist will resume on Thursday, May 19. –

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