Andrés Soriano

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Andrés Soriano, Sr. (February 8, 1898 – December 30, 1964[1]), also known as Col. Andres Soriano, was a Spanish Filipino businessman. He was a leader of the Philippine Falange during the late 1930s until he applied for Filipino citizenship.[2]

He was best known for expanding the original San Miguel Brewery that became San Miguel Corporation. He also established philanthropies and encouraged good employee relations by sharing profits with his more than 16,000 employees by establishing a pension plan that paid retired employees 25% of their salary, with guaranteed sick leaves and medical benefits. He was also known as the founder of Philippine Airlines, Asia's first air carrier. In 1935, during commonwealth era, Soriano established Commonwealth Insurance Company, a non life insurance company.

Soriano served as secretary of finance, agriculture and commerce during the wartime cabinet of the Quezon administration.[3] Soriano also served with USAFFE and later as a colonel on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff in the Southwest Pacific Theater.[4]

Family[edit]

Andrés Soriano y Róxas was born on February 8, 1898, in Manila, Philippines. His father, Don Eduardo Soriano y Sanz, was a Spanish engineer who migrated to Philippines in the late 19th century.[5] His mother, Doña Margarita Róxas de Ayala y Róxas, was the daughter of Pedro Pablo Róxas, and the granddaughter of Antonio de Ayala and Doña Margarita Róxas de Ayala, progenitors of the prominent Róxas-Ayala-Zóbel clan.

Soriano was a second cousin of siblings, Col. Jacobo Zóbel (father of Enrique J. Zobel), Alfonso Zóbel de Ayala (father of Jaime Zobel de Ayala), Mercedes Zóbel McMicking and the artist Fernando Zóbel.[6]

Soriano had three siblings, including sisters, Carmen and Margarita.

Soriano was married to Carmen Montemar (Maria) in 1924. The couple had two sons, Jose Maria Soriano (born on February 6, 1925), and Andres Soriano Jr. (born on May 3, 1936).[7]

Career[edit]

San Miguel Corporation[edit]

In 1920, the 22 year old Soriano joined the original San Miguel Brewery (which was then substantially controlled by the religious orders) as an accountant. In six months, he became acting manager. By 1924, he was its general manager, and in 1931, at the age of 33 he was elected as its president.

During his incumbency, the San Miguel expanded beyond brewery and began to bottle Royal Tru-Orange and Coca Cola, manufacture Magnolia ice cream and dairy products, carbonic acid, dry ice and Fleischmann's Yeast.[8]

A. Soriano Corporation (ANSCOR)[edit]

In the 1930s, Soriano established A. Soriano Corporation (ANSCOR) as a holding company for his investments outside of San Miguel.[9] Initially, ANSCOR concentrated on natural resources and basic industries investing in Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation, Phelps Dodge Philippines and Atlas Fertilizer Corporation. ANSCOR also went into insurance;[10] gold mining (Antamok Mining, which together with the companies of John Hausserman and Jan Hendrik Marsman, made the Philippines second only to California as the top gold producer of the world); oil exploration (Philippine Oil Development Company, Inc.); airline (Philippine Airlines); copper mining (Atlas Consolidated); copper wire manufacture (Phelps Dodge Philippines); fertilizer from pyrite (Atlas Fertilizer); logging and lumber (Bislig Bay Lumber); paper manufacture (Paper Industries Corporation (PICOP)); fluorescent lamps and incandescent light bulbs (Philippine Electrical Manufacturing Company (PEMCO)); jute bags (Industrial Textiles Manufacturing Company of the Philippines, Inc. (ITEMCOP)); steel drums (Rheem Philippines); newspapers (The Philippines Herald) and broadcasting (DZTV Channel 13). Atlas Consolidated grew to be the largest copper mine of its time in the Far East and one of the ten largest copper mines in the world.

Death & Legacy[edit]

Soriano died on December 30, 1964 in Manila Philippines at a time when his firms were moving into ramie textiles, glass manufacturing and cattle ranching.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Don Andres Soriano". The Philippine Folio. 30 December 1990. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Theodore Friend. Between two empires: the ordeal of the Philippines, 1929-1946. Yale University Press, 1965. Pp. 172.
  3. ^ Nick Cullather. Illusions of influence: the political economy of United States-Philippines. Pp. 25.
  4. ^ Abstract, Harry Walter Colmery. USA: Overview of the Collection Repository Kansas State Historical Society. 1979. p. 3. 
  5. ^ Batalla, Eric Vincent C. (2000). "Governance and Development of the Philippine Family Conglomerate: The Case of the Soriano Business Family, 1918-1998". DLSU-University Research Coordination Office. 
  6. ^ M. Henares Jr, Hilarion (30 December 1990). "Don Andres Soriano". Philippines Folio. 
  7. ^ "Andres Soriano Jr., 58, Dies; Was Philippine Industrialist". The New York Times. 20 March 1984. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  8. ^ M. Henares Jr., Hilarion (30 December 1990). "Don Andres Soriano". Philippine Folio: 1. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "ANSCOR - About us". ANSCOR Official website. ANSCOR. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Soriano Y Cia, Service Economic Reports. World Trade Information. 1958. 

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