In August 2006, six brave bankers decided to resign from then International Exchange Bank to join Asia United Bank (AUB). My decision to accept the offer to head AUB’s Team Gensan was hastened by the sale of iBank to another bank. I felt it was time for new challenges in my banking career. It helped that AUB’s offer was also very tempting. When I invited Dave Arreglado, Rey Sumalde, Leah Cunanan, Daisy Reyes and Dwight Destajo – they immediately said yes. We were the original Team Gensan. Sharon Agreda (One Network Bank), Gwyn Clarisa (PB Com) and Manny Aspera Jr. (Manila Bank) joined us within a year. Newbies Steven Yang, Chiqui Uy and Jun Jimenez were hired in the span of three years.
AUB Gensan was officially inaugurated on October 10, 2006 to much hoopla. The previous night, AUB hosted dinner for select businessmen and friends. It was aptly called Businessmen’s Night. On hand were Senior Officers from Manila led by President Abraham Co, Executive Vice President Manuel Gomez, Senior Vice President Rojo Fernandez. They took turns in introducing the bank and its varied products and services highlighting our flagship product BIZKIT. The night ended with a grand fireworks display.
Inauguration day was auspicious. On hand to cut the inaugural ribbon were City Mayor Jun Acharon and First Lady Rose Acharon. A street dancing contingent of 50 elementary-grade students signaled the opening of the branch. Ceremonial account openings were initiated by Handline Fishing Stalwart Roger Lim Sr. and his entrepreneur-son Roger Jr., then PhilBev Distributor Rey Billena, Deep Sea Fishing Operator Rey Gaceta and First Lady Rose Acharon. Our goal that day was to break the opening day CASA record of 30MM pesos. By the time, the branch close that day — thanks to the photo-finish deposit of Gensan entrepreneur-couple Joel and Patricia Santos — AUB Gensan broke the record and opened with 31.9MM pesos in CASA. Our invitation was simple and straight-forward: Let AUB work for you.
We look back today, with pride and self-fulfillment. In a year’s time, we were able to earn income for the branch. AUB Gensan has been a consistent Goal-Buster awardee. We have passed all internal audit reviews. We have earned our keep. Three years seems like three decades for us. Despite the many challenges in the industry, we have persevered and made our mark in Gensan. We hope to end the year by exceeding our CASA budget.
Some of the original members of Team Gensan have moved on. Dwight now works as a Product Specialist for Petron Philippines. Leah, who got married to a Manileno, is now a Field Sales Officer of AUB Ayala Alabang Branch. Recently, Dave was tasked to head Davao JP Laurel as Branch Manager. And we now have a new FSO Abigail Santos. As we celebrate our 3rd Anniversary today, we thank our clients for their continued loyalty and support. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Senior Management who believed in us and supported us all the way. As we usher in the year 2010, we look forward to the challenges of more deposit hunting. Godspeed to all of us!