External Speakers
Jose Rene D. Almendras

JOSE RENE D. ALMENDRAS is currently the President & CEO of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra). He is a Managing Director and a member of the Ayala Corporation Management Committee. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the following companies within the Ayala Group: Light Rail Manila Holdings, Inc., MCX Tollway Inc. and AF Payments Inc. On a concurrent basis, Rene heads the Public Affairs Group.

He served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of the Philippines. For more than three years he served as the Cabinet Secretary under the Office of the President. As Cabinet Secretary he was tasked to effectively integrate and implement the programs of the Aquino Administration and ensure the effective coordination of policies and projects of the different departments and agencies of government.

Prior to his appointment as Cabinet Secretary, he served as the Secretary of the Department of Energy for almost three years. Under his leadership, the Department of Energy ranked as one of the Top 10 Performers, in a survey among 50 government agencies on government performance specifically in ensuring integrity in public service.

In 2011, he became the co-chair of the high-level discussion on the Long Term Strategy for the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) held in Abu Dhabi. In the same year, the Philippines became a rotating member of the Executive Board of the International Energy Forum (IEF) at the 4th Asian Energy Ministerial Roundtable on “Sustainable Growth and Energy Independence” in Kuwait.

Rene has vast experience in the private sector where he spent most of his career before he decided to serve the government, under President Benigno S. Aquino III. Throughout this time with the private sector, he assumed significant leadership roles with some of the top corporations in the country.

Landing his first CEO position as the President of City Savings Bank of the Aboitiz Group at the age of 37, he has come to be known for his success in driving the value of the companies he has led, and his craft in honing these companies to garner national and international recognitions and awards.

In June 2013, Rene was given the rare privilege of addressing the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the Palais des Nations, Geneva and then again in December 2013 for the United Nations’ Special Meeting of the ECOSOC in New York. As Cabinet Secretary, Rene’s role was crucial in the resolution of the issues brought about by the 2010 Quirino Grandstand Incident and the Balintang Channel incident. He was appointed by President Aquino to negotiate with the Governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which lasted for more than seven months and the Republic of China which lasted for four months.

As a staunch sustainability advocate and a leader in doing business at the base of the pyramid, he believes in servant leadership and aims to lead to serve others. Rene is passionate advocate of transformation through people development and personally champions the development programs of the people in his organisation.

Alfonso Prat-Gay

ALFONSO PRAT-GAY served as Minister of Treasury and Public Finance of Argentina from 2015 to 2016. He was also Member of the House of Representatives for the City of Buenos Aires and President of “Coalición Cívica ARI" parliamentary bloc from 2009 to 2013. He was President of the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives between 2009 and 2011 as well as President of the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (2002-2004).

He has extensive private sector experience as Founder of “Andares”, an NGO fostering Microfinance Development in 2005 and Founder of Tilton Capital, an asset management company based in Buenos Aires (2005-2015). He was formerly the Head of JPMorgan Currency Research in London (1999-2001) and Strategist for JPMorgan's Emerging Markets Prop Trading team from 1998 to 1999. Prior to that, he was Member of JPMorgan Economic Research Team in New York and Buenos Aires (1994-1998) and Director of Macroeconomic Studies in the economic consultancy firm Alpha S.A. in Buenos Aires (1989-1992).

Alfonso has been the recipient of several industry awards including Finance Minister of the year in 2016 (Euromoney Magazine), Most active Representative in the Chamber of the House (2013) and Central Bank Governor of the year, 2004 (Euromoney Magazine).

He was a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania where he obtained his Master of Arts in Economics in 1994. He also has a Degree in Economics from Universidad Católica Argentina (1988; Suma Cum Laude). Alfonso was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. He was also an Assistant Professor of Economics at Universidad Católica Argentina (1988-1992) and Finance at Torcuato Di Tella University (2005-2008).