Daniel Lopez Layug invests in unity, education The Lopez Values Vanguards section this time presents Daniel Lopez Layug, 30, in the seventh series of new Lopez Values vanguards. Dan is the son of Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. president Rina Lopez-Bautista. He is a grandson of Lopez Group Foundation Inc. chairman Oscar M. Lopez and the seventh great grandchild of Eugenio Lopez Sr.Kindly give a background on how you were raised, where you studied and are studying.
I’ve lived in Metro Manila my entire life except for my undergrad at Georgetown University in Washington DC, my internship and study-abroad in Shanghai and Beijing, and the MBA I am completing at INSEAD in France.
The person who is most responsible for making me the man I am today is my mother, Rina Lopez-Bautista. She is a strong woman who showed me the importance of improving people’s lives—which she does through the Knowledge Channel. She taught me that my achievement in life would be determined by how much better off I left the world. She also taught me that I wouldn’t be able to do this without financial resources.
This is the main reason I took undergraduate degrees in finance and Chinese studies. However, I enjoyed finance so much that I even began investing in the stock market in university. After my undergrad, I worked in the equity capital markets team of a Malaysian bank doing IPOs [initial public offerings] and rights offers. I got my CFA [Chartered Financial Analyst] charter. Then I moved to the M&A [mergers and acquisitions] team of ING Bank, managing acquisitions by corporations of infrastructure, financial services and media companies in Southeast Asia.
Why did you choose the course that you are taking up now?
INSEAD has given me a more global perspective of doing business. I work with people from around the world on group cases every day. French nationals make up less than 10% of the students. One of the more interesting experiences I had was a trilingual conversation with a classmate who had lived all over the world. We decided to have some fun and switched from French to Mandarin to English to the amusement of our classmates walking past us.
The MBA program has allowed me to concentrate on marketing strategy and operations strategy which round out my finance-heavy background. The program has also given me the opportunity to practice what I have learned in a lowrisk environment.
I represented INSEAD in two team competitions. In Milan, the Bocconi International Finance Case Competition was a strategy consulting competition against top European schools. Our team was tasked to advise an electric car ride-sharing company on enhancing its revenue sources through geographic expansion outside Italy, vertical integration in its supply chain and diversifying its product mix. These were real decisions being contemplated by a real company—a client of the competition sponsor, management consulting firm Bain & Co. The intensity of this half-day tournament was highlighted by the quality of analysis done by our competitors.
In Chicago, my team won the $100,000 prize at the Kellogg Real Estate Investment Competition. The competition was structured as a real estate idea tournament. We competed against 14 teams from MBA programs around the world. We pitched our business idea on a stage in front of about 200 real estate experts and students, and defended it against tough questions thrown at us by the judges who were heads of private equity firms—Blackstone, Green Courte and Blue Vista, etc.
These competitions have shown me the strength of teamwork and diversity. Working with competent individuals with skill sets, experiences, and viewpoints different from my own has been the most rewarding aspect of my education thus far.
What values were taught by your elders as you grew up? Can you give us anecdotes on how you practiced these values?
To represent the school at Kellogg, we first had to form a team and top an internal competition within INSEAD. I met my two teammates through the INSEAD Family Business Club, which I am now the president of. Coming from family business backgrounds, we share a common belief that our companies thrive because of the diligence and loyalty of the men and women who work so hard to make the companies great. We see it as our obligation to give back to our employees. Thus, we built a forprofit business model aimed at solving the lack of affordable and dignified housing for workers in Southeast Asia. We won the Kellogg competition because of the robustness, creativity and social impact of our model.
Growing up with my mom and grandparents, I experienced how they wanted the best for their employees both within the Lopez Group and within the Lopez household. My cousins and I grew up hosting bingo tournaments and sports fests for the household staff at my grandparents’ house.
Through word and deed, I saw my elders live out LoloEñing’s words: “Just as labor works for the company, the company must support and help labor… The company that is prosperous and rich while labor lives in misery has neither the right to exist nor the right to claim public support.”
What advice would you give your younger cousins on upholding the Lopez Values of nationalism, integrity, business excellence, etc.?
Firstly, follow your dreams. If you keep your determination and ask God for help, you can achieve more than even you believe you’re capable of.
Secondly, always remember “This too shall pass.” No matter how good life becomes, it can go downhill at any point. And no matter how awful life may seem, it'll get better soon enough. The world is round so try to keep everything even and steady. The only way to stop it from turning over when times are good is to keep learning new things, adapt to situations and continually reinvent yourself to maintain competitiveness.
Lastly, we have the responsibility to leave the world better than we found it. (Story/Photos by: Dulce Festin-Baybay)