The Aboitiz Group affirmed its commitment to good corporate governance, demonstrating business continuity amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis with the staging of its listed companies Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) and Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower) annual stockholders’ meetings (ASMs), online for the first time.
This year’s ASMs were held last April 27 and every year, these events are identified as stakeholder engagement channels and form an integral part of the Aboitiz corporate governance policy. They were carried out on-schedule despite the extension given by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the submission of listed firms’ annual reports.
The Aboitiz Group also launched its first-ever fully-digital Consolidated Annual & Sustainability Report, which means there would be no more printed copies.
“Our ASMs are the result of meticulous planning and careful execution anchored on our core corporate values (integrity, teamwork, innovation, and responsibility) and our groupwide digital transformation that is already firmly in place,” said Sabin M. Aboitiz, AEV President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), adding that the group did not have to spend on new infrastructure or human resources.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, it has been “business as usual” at Aboitiz. Board meetings have proceeded as scheduled, along with internal and external meetings, via videoconferencing and remote work tools.
“The Aboitiz Group continuously finds better ways of doing business, experimenting and reinventing where possible. In the true spirit of innovation, we commit to address the rapidly changing business environment, and to position the Group in this disruptive landscape,” Aboitiz added.
Online analysts’ briefings
As early as 2018, the Aboitiz Group already announced the beginning of the company’s digital transformation journey. With it, a goal of working toward a united digital experience to transform businesses through digital technology in order to enhance customer experiences.
“We have recognized that all of us need to be connected, have easy access to information, work collaboratively with limited resources, and achieve efficiency in less time,” Aboitiz noted.
That same year, the Aboitiz analysts’ briefings (uploaded to the Aboitiz website after live streaming) were recognized in 2018 by investor relations publication IR Magazine as one of the best uses of multimedia for investor relations in South East Asia (Best use of multimedia for IR: How Aboitiz won in South East Asia).
The Aboitiz Group started live streaming and recording ASMs and analysts’ briefings internally as early as 2017.
Other digital initiatives
In recent years, the Aboitiz Group has embarked on its digital transformation journey via a number of innovative initiatives: Aboitiz Innovation Laboratory (a.Lab), Aboitiz Group Online Resource Application (AGORA) Intranet, the Aboitiz Corporate Center’s agile workplaces, UnionBank’s fully-digital The ARK branches, rooftop solar panels for AboitizLand’s The Outlets, and a partnership with DDLS, Australia’s largest provider of corporate information technology and process training, to name a few.
“This crisis is really accelerating the coming of a true digital age, and this something we foresaw and have prepared for,” remarked UnionBank President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista.
Thanks to these initiatives, Aboitiz team members have become more digitally responsible and adaptable to changes. This, together with an innovation mindset, has equipped them for a work-from-home set-up which is currently in place for the Aboitiz
Internally, the Aboitiz Group maximizes its digital platform via several internal webcasts on AGORA. These are streamed live and accessed by Aboitiz team members all over the country and the region.
Aboitiz also hosts regular town halls called “SuperDuperCons” (Super Duper Conversations) where he discusses various topics relevant to Aboitiz team members. This engagement continues today even during the modified enhanced community quarantine.
These internal webcasts, including the SuperDuperCons, are held at the a.Lab digital studio in Bonifacio Global City. a.Lab represents the Aboitiz Group’s foray into an agile workspace. Designed to be a center for innovation that helps promote collaboration and interaction in an agile work environment, a.Lab features (aside from a fully-functional digital studio) a lounge area, experience corner, social media areas, among other unique facilities.
Previous Aboitiz SuperDuperCons and internal webcasts, featuring President & CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz (right)