Zobel de Ayala family
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The Zóbel de Ayala clan is a Filipino business family of German-Spanish ancestry, founders Ayala Corporation, a holding company for a combination of businesses related to the heart of Philippines business, industry and finance.
The Ayala ancestors were from northern Spain’s mountainous region of Alava, Basque Country, where Juan Larrazabal Ayala (circa 1475) was an influential landowner. They are 4th cousins to the present Duchess of Alba de Bourbon in Madrid, the most titled woman of Spain and a prime mover of the Spanish Society. The immigrant ancestor Antonio de Ayala sailed from Andalusia to Manila in the 19th century. There he established an industrial partnership with Domingo Róxas, and later with Dr. Johannes Andreas Zóbel, a German pharmacist from Hamburg, who settled in Manila in 1832. Róxas was a descendant of Mexican immigrant Antonio Fernández de Roxas of Acapulco, who migrated to the Philippines in 1695 as an early colonist.
The Róxas clan have resided in the Philippines for more than 20 generations. Historically, the family has been well known for their socio-economic and cultural contributions to the country, such as the pioneering of Manila's first rail system in the 20th century, establishing the oldest existing financial institution in Southeast Asia, as well as the construction of the first steel bridges in the Philippines. They had the first private plane in the Philippines, which they named Prima Zobelina.
The Róxas family was united with the Ayala family when Antonio de Ayala married Margarita Róxas, the daughter of his business partner Domingo Róxas, the founder of Róxas y Cia, the progenitor of Ayala Corporation. Domingo Róxas was a descendant of Mexican immigrant Antonio Fernández de Róxas of Acapulco, who settled in the Philippines in 1695;
Dr. Johannes Andreas Zóbel was a Danish-German pharmacist who moved to Manila and established the first chemical laboratory of the Philippines in 1834. His son Jacobo Zóbel y Zangroniz, the first Filipino-born Zóbel, would marry Trinidad de Ayala, the daughter of Margarita Róxas de Ayala. The children of Jacobo and Trinidad - Enrique (1877-1943), Alfonso (1877-1882), Fernando (1876-1949) and Margarita (1881-1963) - would use the surname ""Zóbel de Ayala", changed from the surname "Zóbel y Ayala" (following the Spanish tradition of conjoining the paternal and maternal surnames). In this manner, preserving and perpetuating their maternal family's Spanish and Basque roots. Henceforth, the descendants would choose to follow their example.
The Zóbel de Ayalas are among several Filipino families listed in Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people. The family owns and controls Ayala Corporation, the country's largest and oldest conglomerate that includes the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Ayala Land Inc., the Manila Water Company, and Globe Telecom, one of the largest mobile phone networks in the Philippines. The Ayala Corporation was also responsible for developing large areas of Makati City into a central business district and residential subdivisions (gated communities) between the 1940s and 1960s. Ayala developed the center of Makati City into a mixed-use industrial development now known as the Ayala District, a district composed of Ayala Center and its surrounding throughfares (Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue, Paseo de Roxas & Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.), which now comprise the Philippines' financial capital, Makati City. Ayala Corporations' residential subdivisions include Forbes Park, Dasmariñas Village, Bel-Air Village, San Lorenzo Village, Urdaneta Village, San Antonio Village, Magallanes Village, Ayala Westgrove Heights and Anvaya Cove.
In 2001, Ayala acquired the 54-hectare Bonifacio Global City development in Metro Manila. Other industrial and real estate developments also exist in other parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao including several international partnerships in banking, construction and Information Technology.
Ayala's electronics manufacturing group, Integrated Microelectronics, Inc. (IMI), began in 1980 as a small company with a few hundred employees. Today, it is one of the top 50 electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers in the world. IMI has a total of ten manufacturing sites: five in China, three in the Philippines, one each in Singapore and the United States. Its sales offices are located in the Philippines, China, Singapore, Japan, the United States, and Germany.
- In 1929, Enrique Zóbel de Ayala established the Premio Zóbel Award to recognize the best written works in the Spanish language in the Philippines.
- The Ayala Foundation has assisted preservation and development of the country's cultural heritage and businesses.
Legacy and honors
- The De La Salle-Santiago Zóbel School was named after Jacobo Santiago "Santi" Zóbel (1954–1965), the eldest son of Enrique J. Zóbel and Rocio Urquijo.
- "Jaime Zóbel de Ayala and family" are among the three Filipino families included in the Forbes magazine's list of the "World's Richest Families".
- 2007 Harvard Alumni Achievement Award was awarded to Jaime Augusto Zóbel de Ayala, chairman of Ayala Corporation. It is the highest honor of the Harvard Business School. Zobel was the first Filipino and the youngest alumnus to be so honored, for his exemplary leadership in business.
- Jaime Zóbel de Ayala was awarded with the Philippine Legion of Honor, Rank of Grand Commander on December 24, 2009.
Prominent family members
- Enrique Zóbel de Ayala †
- Fernando Zóbel de Ayala y Montojo †
- Col. Jacobo Zóbel †
- Col. Joseph McMicking †
- Mercedes Zóbel McMicking †
- Consuelo Zóbel Alger †
- Enrique J. Zóbel †
- Jaime Zóbel de Ayala
- Jaime Augusto Zóbel de Ayala
- Fernando Zóbel de Ayala