J. Carlitos Cruz (Chairman and Managing Partner at SGV & Co.)

J. Carlitos Cruz

Chairman and Managing Partner at SGV & Co.

J. Carlitos “Itos” G. Cruz joined SGV in 1981 and was admitted to the partnership in 1995. He was appointed Head of Assurance Services in 2007, Vice Chairman and Deputy Managing Partner in 2010, and Chairman and Managing Partner in 2017.

As an Assurance partner, Itos led the audit of multinational and Philippine companies engaged in various industries, including power generation, oil and gas, energy, chemicals, utilities, and manufacturing. He also worked with the Denver, Colorado office of an international accounting firm where he honed his competency in the audit of companies in the oil and gas industry.

During his term as Vice Chairman, he led the Firm’s initiatives in growing the local market, establishing the Asia-Pacific Talent Hub (ATH), as well as the first EY Global Delivery Services (GDS) offices in the Philippines. The ATH provides quality Assurance services to EY offices around the Asia-Pacific Area such as Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The GDS facilities deliver Advisory and Tax Services to support international EY client engagements through the Global Talent Hub, as well as provide administrative and Core Business Services through the Global Shared Services organization. These developments have empowered SGV professionals to gain global experience and exposure while still based in the Philippines.

In his current capacity as Chairman and Managing Partner, Itos oversees the Firm, ascertaining that its objectives, purpose, and policies are met and are in line with EY’s growth strategy. He works closely with EY’s Global Leaders for insights, updates, and strategy alignment.

Itos completed the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School in 2007 and the Advanced International Program in Oil and Gas Management at the University of Texas in 1994. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree, Major in Accounting. He was the first recipient of the UST-AMV College of Accountancy Professional Achievement Award in Public Accounting given in 2009. He was cited as one of the UST College of Commerce’s top 75 alumni during its 75th year celebration in 2008, and was also awarded as an Outstanding Alumni in Public Practice in 1999. In 2016, he received The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Award (TOTAL) in recognition of his achievements in the field of Accountancy.

Itos is a member of the Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce Industry, Inc., and Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He was the president of The Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP) in 2017 and in 2018, assumed the presidency of the ACPAPP Foundation. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Business for Social Progress and President of the SGV Foundation.

Ronald Holmes (Political Analyst & President at Pulse Asia Research ,Inc.)

Ronald Holmes

Political Analyst & President at Pulse Asia Research ,Inc.

Ronald D. Holmes is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at De La Salle University, Manila and President of Pulse Asia Research Inc.

Geraldine Apostol (Partner, Risk Assurance at Isla Lipana & Co./ PwC Philippines)

Geraldine Apostol

Partner, Risk Assurance at Isla Lipana & Co./ PwC Philippines

With over 25 years of broad based experience in financial and systems auditing in the Philippines and Singapore, Gett has been responsible for the continued growth of the Firm’s Risk Assurance Practice since 2007 which provides governance, risk and compliance services to clients. She has delivered a wide variety of audits, from end-to-end process reviews, compliance reviews including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) – and Japanese SOX – related work) and, IT general controls review and third party assurance audits.

As the lead business process and IT controls partner, Gett worked in a variety of small, family-owned to large multinational clients. This has given Gett the extensive knowledge of business, finance and IT risks and controls.

Also led and assisted numerous local internal audit co-sourcing/outsourcing engagements for a producer of consumer products, hospital industry, a major holding company (conglomerate), maritime manpower company, a finance leasing entity and a business process outsourcing company. She serves as the key contact of the Philippines for various global and regional internal audit arrangements.

She lectures on auditing, accounting and related business subject matters on seminars and in-house trainings organized by the firm as well as external organizations.

She is an active member of the Institute of Internal Audit – Philippines, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Management Association of the Philippines holding various positions.

Michael Gallego (Partner, Advisory at Punong bayan & Araullo)

Michael Gallego

Partner, Advisory at Punong bayan & Araullo

Mhycke Gallego is a Partner for Advisory and Knowledge Management Head of the Firm. He is also Grant Thornton's Asia Pacific leader for business risk services.

As a risk assurance professional, Mhycke provides assurance, advice, and insight to address clients' needs on operational improvements, risk and regulations, talent and development, growth strategy, ethics and integrity, sustainability, and stakeholder programs. Mhycke has been involved in internal audits, governance and risk, learning and development, human capital, and transaction work of companies within the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region. Mhycke is also involved in the people planning and talent development programs within the Firm.

Mhycke began his career as a financial and information system auditor with P&A Grant Thornton, and moved to a global building materials company holding key roles in internal audit, internal control, Sarbanes-Oxley, due diligence, and post-merger integration as an expatriate to their offices in the United Kingdom, Spain, and the Philippines. He returned to P&A Grant Thornton in 2011.

Past President, Institute of Internal Auditors - Philippines
Past President, Northern Metro Manila Chapter, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Member, ISACA Manila Chapter
2017 Most Outstanding CPA in Public Practice, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
2016 Special Achievement Awardee in Professional Development, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Certified sustainability practitioner
Certified public accountant
Certified internal auditor
Certified management consultant
Certification in control self-assessment
Certification in risk management assurance
Certification in risk and information systems control
Joint Executive Education in International Management, Stanford University Graduate School of Business (USA), INSEAD (France), and EGADE Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico)
Management Development Program, Asian Institute of Management
Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Accountancy), cum laude, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

Lloyd Luna (Motivational Speaker at LLOYDLUNA)

Lloyd Luna

Motivational Speaker at LLOYDLUNA

LLOYD ABRIA LUNA, popularly known in social media as #PambansangInspirasyon, is an international motivational speaker and comedian, author of ten self-help books, radio and television talk show host, newspaper and magazine columnist, composer, speechwriter, publisher, serial entrepreneur and a life mentor.

With all his talents and skills, he could have gone overseas and made more personal wealth. Instead, he stayed. He is an OFW who never left his country because he believes in the Philippines and its people.

His remarkable story of turning life’s misery into opportunities has been inspiring many Asian countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea since 2005. He is the President of LLOYD LUNA Communications.

LLOYD LUNA is Chief Enabling Officer of LLOYDLUNA Communications, a leading personal development company in the Philippines that aims to teach people to succeed through motivational seminars, life skills training, and personal development programs.

A proud Filipino personal development teacher whose life works have been featured in many Asian conventions and conferences, he has inspired more than half a million people from many walks of life who have heard and seen him speak on personal motivation, work inspiration, and business success—from the many islands in the Philippines to the wonderful cities of Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates.

Roberto Bassig (Partner, Consulting at Isla Lipana & Co. / PwC)

Roberto Bassig

Partner, Consulting at Isla Lipana & Co. / PwC

Roberto Bassig is the Technology and Risk Consulting Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting Services Philippines Co. Ltd., a member of PwC's South East Asia Consulting practice.

For the last 20 years, he has helped organizations navigate digital disruptions and transformation through the selection of technology assets and models to consider and implement, including redefining of enterprise processes in preparation for technology shifts and modernization. He has also advised many organizations in digital assets planning, governance, regulations and risk management, cybersecurity and privacy, and computer forensics, among others.

He started his career in PwC by performing IT audits ranging from process improvement reviews, information security and compliance readiness, IT governance and enterprise resource planning optimization.. He was also a former executive of one of the largest ICT organizations in the Philippines.

Robbie holds the following international qualifications: Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). He has attended various leadership and technical programs locally and abroad and has completed the Management Development Program of AIM. He’s also a Certified Public Accountant and maintains active memberships with the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Institute of Internal Auditors, PICPA and some industry associations.

Benedicta Du-Ballad (Founding Partner and CEO of Benedicta Du-Baladad - BDB Law)

Benedicta Du-Ballad

Founding Partner and CEO of Benedicta Du-Baladad - BDB Law

Benedicta “Dick” Du-Baladad is the Founding Partner and CEO of Du-Baladad and Associates (BDB Law), a law firm specializing in taxation and related corporate services. She is an accountant and a lawyer, with a foreign degree of Masters of Law and International Taxation at the Harvard University, USA.
Dick has over 30 years of practice in the field of taxation, 17 years of which was spent with the Bureau of Internal Revenue working on tax administration policy development and in operations. One of her significant contributions was the setting up of and designing the current structure and component of the Large Taxpayers Service which now accounts for more than 50% of the agency’s revenue collection. In 2001, she joined the private sector and is now on her 16th year of private practice.
Dick is a generalist but with significant experience and specialization in the taxation of the financial sector. She has authored three (3) books on the taxation of this sector, namely:
• Taxation of Financial Institutions in the Philippines (2006) which won an Anvil Award of Merit;
• Taxation of Banks and Non-Bank Financial Intermediaries (2010); and
• Taxation of Insurance Companies (2014).