Six female figures have made it on Forbes 50 Richest Filipinos for this year.
These women are all not new on the list.
They hail from different backgrounds and industries, and hold most of their fortune in companies they built or have inherited.
And though there are only six of them, they have an estimated $4.9 billion net worth combined, which is not bad considering they are few in numbers.
Let’s take a look at these women and their companies, and how they have skyrocketed over the years.
1. Mercedes Zobel
Net Worth: $1.6 B
Company: Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc.
Mercedes Zobel, together with her sibling Inigo Zobel, are the founders of Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc., which currently holds the largest share of San Miguel Corporation, owning 66.1% of its stake-holds.
Mercedes and Inigo are from the Zobel de Ayala clan, a Spanish-Filipino family who founded the Ayala Corporation.
They are also the cousins of Jaime Zobel de Ayala, the fifth richest Filipino in the list.
The family-owned company started with the partnership between Domingo Roxas and Antonio Ayala, which they called Casa Roxas.
The company was located at Quiapo, Manila and was the first liquor producer in the Philippines.
The company eventually founded the San Miguel Corporation with Ginebra San Miguel Inc. as its subordinate. It was a company primarily affianced with the production of alcoholic beverages, but later grew into manufacturing multi-products.
After their aunt died, the siblings then inherited their shares from Ayala Corp. and eventually founded the Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc.
They currently rank #13 in the list.
2. Mercedes Gotianun
Net Worth: $1.4 B
Company: Filinvest Development Corporation
Mercedes Tan Gotianun ranks #15 in the list.
She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of the Philippines.
Currently, she’s the chairman emeritus of Filinvest Development which owns most of Filinvest Land and East West Banking; and is also the chairman of Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp.
Mercedes took hold of the company after the death of her husband, Andrew Gotianun Sr., on March 2016.
Her late husband built on the family’s fortune during the end of the Second World War by salvaging ships, which later on evolved into a car dealership business.
Then together with Mercedes, he co-founded the Filinvest Development Corporation, which later became engaged in real estate properties.
In the 90s, after a short break from their business, they returned to the industry with the intention of improving the company; eventually making it into one of the most successful businesses in the country.
Their corporation is also associated with sugar production and biofuels.
3. Betty Ang
Net worth: $880 M
Company: Monde Nissin Corporation
Betty Ang currently holds the 20th position on the list, marking her 11th time on it.
According to Forbes, she is known to be one of Asia’s Most Mysterious Tycoons for little is known about her private life, despite being a big figure in the business world.
She is the president and founder of Monde Nissin, which is mostly known for their products such as Lucky Me and several leading biscuits and snacks under the same name, Nissin.
The company is also a distributor in brands such as Kellogg’s, Mama Sita’s and Dutch Mill.
Monde Nissin’s subsidiaries include Monde M.Y. San, which is known for products such as SkyFlakes and fita.
The company is known worldwide, with products in 30 countries.
In 2015, Monde Nissin signed a joint venture agreement with Thailand’s leading juice and canned fruit manufacturer, Malee Beverage Public Co (MMBC). It aimed to introduce MMBC in the fast growth of the beverage industry in the Philippines.
In February 2016, it also launched a joint venture with Nippon Indosari, Indonesia’s largest bread-products producer.
For 10 years, Monde Nission also extended financial support to their employees’ children through scholarship grants.
4. Beatrice Campos
Net worth: $650 M
Company: United Laboratories Inc.
Beatrice Campos ranks #23 in the list.
Image Credit: Unilab
She co-founded the pharmaceutical company United Laboratories, mostly known as Unilab.
The company started out in 1945 as a small drugstore called United Drug, founded by her husband, Jose Campos and friend, Mariano Tan.
It was a known drugstore due to its openness in accepting customers who are empty-handed and being able to provide beyond their supposed services.
Over the years, it eventually boomed into the biggest pharmaceutical company in the Philippines with over 300 prescription, consumer health brands.
Beatrice eventually ran the company after the death of her husband on May 2006. Simultaneously, the family also owns shares in the Singapore-listed corporation Del Monte Pacific.
5. Vivian Que Azcona
Net Worth: $230 M
Company: Mercury Drug Corporation
Vivian received her degree in B.S. Pharmacy at the University of Santo Tomas on 1977.
By 1983, she was appointed as Vice President and General Manager of Mercury Drug Corp, before becoming President on 1998.
Aside from running the company, she also served as the director and officer of the Philippine Pharmacists Association.
The Mercury Drug Corporation was established by her father Mariano Que. He started the business by selling affordable medicine for the Filipinos during the aftermath of WWII, then eventually opened his first drug store in Manila.
Now, the company has expanded to 1,000 sites across the country.
6. Juliette Romualdez
Net Worth: $140 M
Company: Banco De Oro
Juliette Romualdez is the wife of the late Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, a Filipino politician who served as the Governor of Leyte.
He was also the younger brother of Imelda Marcos, the wife of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
After the death of her husband in 2012, she was left with stakes in Banco de Oro (BDO) and in Benguet.
Her sons currently run the company – with Benjamin Romualdez as the CEO and President, and Daniel Romualdez as the Chairman.
Benguet Corporation is the oldest mining company in the country and is known as the pioneer of modern mining. Their family’s tight hold in their businesses made her one of the richest figures in the Philippines.
6 Empowering Women
These six empowering women have pushed their way to the top, and helped in changing the history of the Philippines’ business sector.
Their success can inspire other women in achieving their own aspirations and goals in life. Be it through their family background or through their spouses’ help, they have indeed made a difference in shaping the business world.
Hopefully, within the next years to come, more women will be able to make it on the list and show to the world the great things and changes they are capable of.
Featured Image Credit: Forbes