MART’s first general assembly of the year was held last April 03, 2014 at the Grand Ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel in Manila. MART members were eager to reconnect after a long hiatus from the last MART assembly. Mr. Claro I. Madayag of GFI Philippines presided over the event as Master of Ceremonies.

The event began with an invocation by membership committee chairperson, Ms. Rose Adela T. Quitoriano of Development Bank of the Philippines followed by an address of immediate MART past President Michael D. Calleja. His speech encouraged members to appreciate the considerable progress MART has helped cement in the financial market over the past year with financial literacy programs, a discussion space for a security based yield curve based on BSP circular 813, and an evolving level of sophistication in the country’s swaps and derivative markets.

Present MART President Reynaldo Montalbo also gave some insightful words for the event. Highlighted was MART’s planned participation in the upcoming World Economic Forum in East Asia to be held in Manila. Mr. Montalbo also stressed the importance of sound investor education in the market, and the responsibility of both MART as an organization and its individual members in this regard.

Mr. Paul Raymond Favila of Citibank introduced the speaker and guest of honor for the event, the Hon. Nestor Espenilla, Jr., Deputy Governor of the BSP. His speech for the night centered on the topic of market governance. He pointed to the inherent information asymmetries in the market, giving well-informed dealers an edge over the general public. This relationship however must not be abused. For the long run survival of the market, dealers must go beyond myopic approaches to short term profit, and work hand in hand with clients and regulators to develop the market towards one that is internationally competitive and efficient. With that, market mechanisms and regulations must be constantly updated with input from all participants to address the needs of the market. He called upon MART members to step up and be more proactive in this respect. He mentioned a more principle-based approach in building capital markets.

An open forum by skilled panelists such as Atty. Arlene Agustin of Maybank, Mr. Michael Delfino of Deutsche Bank, Mr. Carel Halog of Land Bank, and Mr. Jose Velasquez of PS Bank also deepened the discussions. Pertinent issues discussed were the PDEX-PSE merger, monetary indicators, and tangible steps towards a principle based market. After the proceedings, Mr. Montalbo awarded a plaque of appreciation to Deputy Governor Espenilla.

MART also gave special awards to the previous committee heads for distinguished service for 2013. Special citation was also given to Mr. Michael Calleja for his exceptional leadership of MART during his tenure. An oath-taking was also held for the incoming committee heads. Mr. Manuel Goseco, SVP and Treasurer of East West Bank and MART Vice President, closed the event.