Eric Valenzuela, Jr has been in the Philippine rural banking sector since 2006.
Edgardo "Eric" L. Valenzuela, Jr., vice president of Country Builders Bank, Inc., has lived in Bangkok, Thailand, Rome, Italy, Boston-area in the U.S., and in the Philippines. Graduated from Tufts University (Medford, MA) with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, he received his MBA from Ateneo Graduate School of Business (Makati, Philippines).
His first job was with Analog Devices, Inc. in Wilmington, MA. From there he returned to Manila and worked at Wireless Internet Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of iAyala. In 2004, he moved on to Accenture.
He joined the rural banking sector in 2006 by becoming vice president and eventually became the president of Builders Rural Bank, Inc. In 2010, Builders Bank consolidated with Country Rural Bank of Taguig, Inc. to become Country Builders Bank, Inc.
He is currently the president of the Federation of Metro Manila Rural Banks. He has founded several local tech startups and recently co-founded CredITRex Solutions, Inc., a local fintech startup focused on delivering financial solutions based on the latest digital trends.
Valenzuela will join the panel which will discuss digitalisation at the 2017 Asian Banking and Finance Retail Banking Forum Manila on February 15 at the Shangri-La Makati.
ABF: What are your previous experiences and positions held that contributed to who you are as a banker today?
Builders Bank was a family business, but before joining I underwent concentrated training at First Macro Bank, a sister rural bank. I went through all the branch positions there.
I had also previously interned at Country Bank when I was still in college and was visiting the Philippines; that bank also happened to be the one Builders eventually consolidated with. But I think my time and background in IT companies such as W-Net and Accenture actually have more impact on who I am as a banker today.
ABF: What are your key business philosophies?
Efficiency is key. Critical performance should be rewarded. If you're not growing you're being left behind. Technology is the equaliser.
ABF: Can you give us a glimpse of what you will talk about at the Asian Banking and Finance Retail Banking Forum?
I think I have insight into the mindset of rural bank owners. Since growth has not always been a priority for rural banks, especially in areas with little or no competition, they are being left behind by technological advances made in the industry and abroad due to the "if it's not broken don't fix it" mentality. This is more of an internal "hindrance" or road block to widespread use of more modern banking solutions.
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