The Asian Institute of Management Confers Honorary Degree of Doctorate in Management to Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) proudly bestowed the Honorary Degree of Doctorate in Management upon Dr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of Ayala Corporation, during the AIM 2024 Graduation Ceremony held on 07 July 2024 at The Fifth at Rockwell in Makati City.

A Harvard-educated luminary, Dr. Zobel graduated with honors in Economics from Harvard University in 1981 and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1987. His strategic leadership has transformed Ayala CorporaXon, the Philippines’ most established and expansive conglomerate, into a dynamic global enterprise with interests spanning diverse sectors, including real estate, banking, telecommunicaXons, energy, healthcare, logisXcs, industrial technologies, water, infrastructure, educaXon, and technology investments. With his guidance, Ayala CorporaXon has achieved remarkable success and profoundly shaped the Philippine economy.

Dr. Zobel delivering his commencement speech

As the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Pioneer from the Philippines, Dr. Zobel was among 10 global leaders honored for advancing sustainability and promoting the 17 SDGs in business. Under his leadership, Ayala Corporation has become a model for corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The company is committed to creating shared value for all its stakeholders and has been recognized for its environmental protection, community development, and education initiatives.

He is a distinguished leader in the Philippine business community, serving as Chairman of the Makati Business Club and as a board member of prominent international institutions such as Temasek Holdings, JP Morgan International Council, JP Morgan Asia Pacific Council, Mitsubishi Corporation International Advisory Council, and LeapFrog Investment’s Global Leadership Council. He is also a staunch advocate for education and founded the Ayala Education Foundation, which provides scholarships to underprivileged students.

“Dr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala’s unwavering dedication to innovation, corporate governance, and social responsibility serves as an inspiration to current and future business leaders,” said AIM President and Dean, Jikyeong Kang, PhD. “His achievements pave the path towards impactful leadership, the very essence of what AIM strives to instill in our graduates.”

In his commencement address, Dr. Zobel humbly thanked the AIM Board of Trustees for the honorary doctorate degree, acknowledging the significance of the recognition. He warmly congratulated the graduating class of 2024, sharing in their joy and excitement for the future. Reflecting on the deep- rooted ties between Ayala and AIM, he recalled the pivotal role Ayala played in the Institute’s founding with a generous land donation. “AIM was not part of Makati’s original plan,” Dr. Zobel recounted, “However, it was decided that Makati should house what would become Asia’s pioneering graduate school for business.” He lauded the legacy of AIM for producing exceptional graduates who have made significant contributions across various sectors, including business, civil society, public service, academia, and data analytics.

Dr. Zobel addressed the graduaXng class, centering his speech on the theme of choices and consequences. “We all make choices every day – some trivial, many meaningful. They shape who we are and the society we live in,” he remarked, urging graduates to embrace purposeful decision-making in their careers.

He then highlighted three crucial life lessons. Dr. Zobel first emphasized the importance of afenXon management in today’s distracted world. “Choose to prioriXze the most meaningful and most impacgul,” as our afenXon is a finite resource in a world of endless demands.

“Our teams, and those that we work with, are the criXcal components of success,” Dr. Zobel stated, emphasizing the second life lesson – the importance of choosing people well and invesXng in relaXonships. He encouraged the audience to surround themselves with individuals who offer diverse perspecXves, provide support, and inspire growth, drawing from his own experiences of building successful teams and fostering collaboraXve partnerships throughout his career.

In his parXng message, Dr. Zobel shared the third life lesson and encouraged graduates to define their purpose and values: “They are both your anchor and your lighthouse, keeping you planted on what is most valuable, while helping you see a path toward the future.”

The Honorary Degree of Doctorate in Management is a tribute to Dr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala’s excepXonal career and his enduring impact on the Asian business landscape. AIM recognizes not only his outstanding achievements in business but also his steadfast commitment to leading with purpose, inspiring acXon, and transforming the lives of individuals and communiXes on a global scale.