Nestor Tan: Move fast
As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May Asia focus.
“I’ll share with you something one of my mentors said,” says Nestor Tan, chief executive of BDO Unibank. “When you’re approaching a merger, make sure you move fast. Because if you move fast enough, nobody will have time to think.”
He should know. BDO Unibank, perhaps more than any other large bank in the region, has transformed over the last 25 years.
Tan joined what was then Banco de Oro in 1997, and thinks of its evolution in stages.
“The first 10 years was just trying to establish ourselves as a good medium-sized bank. The capability, the foundations and scale,” he says.
At the time the central bank was trying to encourage bank consolidation and so was not allowing banks to open new branches, so BDO grew by acquisition at first.