Maybank draws top millennial talent for battle of wits

Chris Schnabel
Maybank draws top millennial talent for battle of wits
(UPDATED) 3 from UP, two from De La Salle University, and one from Ateneo De Manila University will represent the country in the global finals of 2015 Maybank Go Ahead Challenge in Kuala Lumpur next month

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The country’s top promising young talent gathered at the F1 hotel in Bonifacio Global City on Tuesday, July 14, to compete in the Philippine leg of the  2015 Maybank GO Ahead Challenge.

A pool of 60 Philippine finalists, selected from over 2,300 applications from recent graduates, and junior year and senior college students in the Philippines, competed in a series of challenges testing their strategic thinking and ability to think on their feet.

Top 6 winners

GOING PLACES. (From left) The 6 winners of the Philippine leg of Maybank competition are: Jade Sy, BS Management Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University; Erica Lau, BS Business Administration and Accountancy, University of the Philippines (UP); Michelle George Tan, BS Business Administration and Accountancy, UP; Jacqueline Diaz, BS Business Administration and Accountancy, UP; Van Vincente, BS Applied Economics, De La Salle University (DLSU); and Maria Isabel Menchaca, BS Management of Financial Institution, DLSU. Photo from Maybank Philippines

During the course of the day-long competition, those 60 were further narrowed to 6 candidates who emerged as the cream of this year’s crop.

The winners for the Philippine leg of the competition are:

  • Jade Sy, BS Management Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University
  • Erica Lau, BS Business Administration and Accountancy, University of the Philippines (UP)
  • Michelle George Tan, BS Business Administration and Accountancy, UP
  • Jacqueline Diaz, BS Business Administration and Accountancy, UP
  • Van Vincente, BS Applied Economics, De La Salle University (DLSU)
  • Maria Isabel Menchaca, BS Management of Financial Institution, DLSU 

Each of them have earned a spot in the global finals to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August.

There they will face other talented millennials from 14 countries around the world, including all ASEAN member-nations, Hong Kong, and China. 

Global opportunity

“We decided to do this as a recognition that we need to tap into the brains of millennials,” Maybank Philippines President Herminio M. Famatigan Jr said in an interview following the kick-of.

At stake is a prize fund of $72,000 (P3.25 million), as well as the chance to join the prestigious Global Maybank Apprentice Programme (GMAP), a multi-national mentorship program across Maybank’s international branches designed to nurture Maybank’s future leaders

“It’s going to be an entirely different world for them. They will get a taste of all the facets of banking and they will fly to different parts of the globe to immerse themselves,” Famatigan added.

Bolstering ASEAN connections

“We are an ASEAN bank and going beyond to targeted markets in Asia, specifically Hong Kong and mainland China,” said Chen Fong Tuan, Maybank’s Executive Vice President and the man overseeing the global competition.

Maybank is the largest bank in Malaysia, the fourth largest in ASEAN in terms of assets, and between 3rd and 4th in terms of market capitalization.

“This year, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will be formalized so a lot of our challenges in this competition are very ASEAN-centric,” Tuan said.

One example is having each country’s national level competition feature games from other ASEAN nations. For example, in the Philippine national competition, participants played Cambodian Chess.

The final 60, out of 23,000 global applicants, competing in the global finals will also be mixed together in teams where none of them will come from the same country.

This gives them a flavor of where we operate, Tuan said.

The end goal, he said, is to create a pipeline of talent made up of some the brightest minds in the region.

CREATING AWARENESS. Maybank Philippines President Herminio M. Famatigan Jr hopes that the competition will create a buzz among the youth. Photo from Maybank Philippines

Philippines as a key market

Six of those finalists will be Filipinos, the joint second highest number of representatives in the competition alongside Singapore and Indonesia, and behind Malaysia, Maybank’s home market.

This isn’t coincidence, Famatigan said, as Maybank has designated these 3 countries as key markets which it wants focus on.

Maybank has been in the Philippines since 1997 and was reclassified in 2012 as a key market, in view of the country’s much-improved economy. It joins Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and China on that list.  

Maybank now has 79 branches across all major Philippine cities and currently sits in 19 of 35 local banks in terms of assets, Famatigan said.

The goal isn’t necessarily to be the biggest, he said, but to focus on topping specific spots in the market such as consumer banking and auto loans.

Part of the competition is to also build a buzz around the brand amongst millennials as the bank that understands them and gives them opportunities as both employees and consumers.

“We compete every year with the top banks here, but you can only do well if you have a good team in place. We have that, but you need to keep replenishing that talent every year,”  Famatigan said.

The country, he pointed out, already has a pedigree in the competition – a Filipino was the top overall winner last year, while another Filipino placed 2nd in 2013.

“With the landscape evolving so much, you always need fresh ideas,” he said. – Rappler.com

$1 = P 45.23

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