Filinvest group co-founder passes away at 94

MERCEDES T. GOTIANUN, chairperson emerita of the Filinvest group of companies, passed away on Dec. 11, 2022, leaving behind a business enterprise in which she has been regarded as the perfect complement to its visionary leader, her late husband.

Chita, 94, is said to be the “tireless implementor” of Andrew Gotianun, Sr., the founder of Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC).

“Widely admired for her work ethic, she was known to be organized, determined, and energetic. She persevered to accomplish her goals extraordinarily,” the Filinvest group said in a statement on Monday.

It said Andrew and Chita’s “harmonious synergy created a fruitful conglomerate,” which is now known as FDC and has interests in land development, universal banking, sugar milling and refining, hotels, utilities, and infrastructure.

The Filinvest group said that even as a young student, Chita was a hardworking achiever — graduating valedictorian in elementary and high school, maintaining her status as a university scholar before graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. Pharmacy degree from the University of the Philippines.

It added that the admired business leader will be remembered as the first woman president of a Philippine universal bank, having co-founded and led in the ’70s and ’80s Family Bank and Trust Co., the precursor to BPI Family Savings Bank.

She was the eldest among eight siblings, “often described as a fierce protector of the family showing her maternal side even during the early years of her life,” it said.

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