Interest rates, heightened geopolitical risks, global growth and many other factors will have an effect on 2015 and yet, Riza Mantaring, the CEO of the country’s number 1 life insurance company (Sun Life) feels that Philippine outlook is still positive. Ms. Mantaring’s company has been in the forefront of getting Filipinos financially abled and she views that there is still a lot to be done.
The 2015 Outlook of Riza Mantaring
Giving an outlook for the year almost seems like a shot in the dark given how wrong most people were last year — equities market expected to be slow in anticipation of higher interest rates and a global slowdown, but the PSEi ended the year up 22.8% and close to its all-time high; US interest rates expected to be up with the end of quantitative easing, but ended the year much lower; Philippine treasuries expected to move past 5% but ended at 4.5%; oil prices hit an all-time high mid-year at $107/barrel but ended at $53, a price not seen in years.
Again, this year, interest rates are expected to move up, and heightened geopolitical risks and global growth dragged by Europe and China may cause some volatility, but for the Philippines, our outlook is quite positive. Abundant liquidity, lower oil prices, and a slightly weaker currency will all contribute to strong domestic consumption. Aside from this, anticipation of election spending and increased government spending on infrastructure and public works can all contribute to higher GDP.
Riza is a member of the Sun Life Asia Executive Team. She has also participated in various international special projects and teams such as the task force for worldwide restructuring of the company, the task force for business processes, and special teams for Mergers & Acquisitions.
In 2010, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the University of the Philippines College of Engineering, she was selected one of the 100 Most Outstanding Alumni of the past century. In 2011, she was named by Moneysense Magazine one of the 12 Most Influential in Personal Finance. She is also a recipient of the 2011 CEO EXCEL award given by the International Association of Business Communicators. Riza was recognized for bold and innovative programs anchored on a five year strategy, “Route 5”, and harnessing the power of communication to implement these programs, including the multi-awarded and pioneering “It’s Time!” financial literacy advocacy. The strategies and programs put in place have resulted in unprecedented growth for Sun Life in sales, assets under management, and provincial presence.
In February 2011, the company announced the acquisition of 49% of Grepalife Financial Inc, creating Sun Life Grepa Financial and opening up the bancassurance channel for Sun Life.
Riza graduated with a B.S. Electrical Engineering degree (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines, and an M.S. Computer Science from the State University of New York at Albany. She has also attended numerous executive development programs conducted by Harvard University, The Wharton School, Duke University, Oxford University, Asian Institute of Management, and The Niagara Institute. She is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (with distinction).
She was a board director of the Philippine Life Insurance Association from 2011-2013, serving as Secretary in 2012 then Treasurer in 2013. She served as a board director of the Philippine Federation of Pre-need Companies from 2006-2008.
Riza also serves as an independent director of Ayala Land Inc., the country’s largest real estate firm, and Microventures Foundation Inc., which runs the Hapinoy social entrepreneurship program.