Jaime Zobel de Ayala

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Zóbel de Ayala and the second or maternal family name is Pfitz.
This article is about the chairman emeritus of Ayala Corporation. For the chairman and CEO of Ayala Corporation, see Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
Jaime Zóbel de Ayala
Chairman Emeritus Ayala Corporation
Assumed office
Personal details
Born 1934 (age 82–83)
Manila, Philippine Islands
Nationality Philippines Filipino
Spouse(s) Beatriz Miranda Barcon
Children 7 (including Jaime Augusto Zóbel de Ayala II and Fernando Zóbel de Ayala)
Alma mater Harvard University
Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration
Profession Businessman

Jaime Zóbel de Ayala y Pfitz, PLH (born 1934), also known as Jaime Zóbel, is a prominent Spanish Filipino businessman, philanthropist and art photographer. He is the chairman emeritus of Ayala Corporation. He has received numerous awards for business leadership, philanthropy and photography.

Early life and family[edit]

Zóbel was born in 1934 to Alfonso Zóbel de Ayala (1904-1967) and Carmen Pfitz y Herrero (1909-1999). His siblings are Maria Victoria ("Vicky") and Alfonso Jr. ("Alfonsito"). He is a grandson of Enrique Zóbel de Ayala and Consuelo de Ayala.

He is married to Beatriz Miranda. Together they have two sons (Jaime Augusto and Fernando) and five daughters (Beatriz Susana ("Bea Jr."), Patricia, Cristina, Monica and Sofia).


After early education in the Philippines, Zóbel attended Harvard University, where he graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts in architectural sciences. He attended the Advanced Management Program in the Far East, conducted by the Faculty from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in Baguio, Philippines in 1963.

Business career[edit]

Zóbel joined Ayala y Compañía in 1958 as executive assistant upon the invitation of his father. His father placed him under the wing of his cousin Enrique and uncle Col. Joseph McMicking. As an executive assistant in the company, he took down notes during management meetings and gradually learned the ropes of the family business. He was later transferred to the training section of the insurance companies of the Ayala group. In 1975, he became president of Filipinas Life Assurance Company (now, BPI-Philam Life Assurance Corporation). In 1984, he succeeded Enrique, as chairman and president of Ayala Corporation.[1] Zóbel successfully steered Ayala through the tense, final years of the Marcos administration. In 1988, the real estate division was spun off as Ayala Land, Inc. Ayala Corporation also ventured into new businesses, like automotive (Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation).[2]

Zóbel stepped down as president of Ayala in 1994 and was succeeded by his son, Jaime Augusto. He continued as chairman until his retirement in 2006 and became the chairman emeritus of Ayala since.


Zóbel joined the Camera Club of the Philippines in the mid-1970s and began taking photography more seriously.[3] He is the first Filipino amateur photographer to be confirmed “Licentiate” by the Royal Photographic Society of the United Kingdom, and has received similar commendations from the French and Spanish governments for his contributions to art and culture. He exhibits regularly in the Philippines and abroad, and has produced several critically acclaimed books. He continues to break new ground in art photography with explorations in various art media.


Between 1970 and 1975, Zóbel was the Philippine ambassador to the Court of St. James's in London and the Scandinavian countries.

Legacy and honors[edit]

  • 1968, Comendador al Mérito Civil, Spain;
  • 1980, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France;
  • 1985, Doctor of Business Management (honoris causa) De La Salle University, Manila
  • 1986, Senator Award, highest honor bestowed by the JCI Philippines
  • 1987, “Management Man of the Year”, Management Association of the Philippines;
  • 1991, Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), University of the Philippines;
  • 2004, FIRST Responsible Capitalism Award Winner;[4]
  • 2008, Hero of Philanthropy, Forbes magazine, special issue Asia magazine initiated this recognition, including four Filipinos: Jaime Zobel de Ayala, John Gokongwei, Ramon del Rosario Jr., and Oscar Lopez. The list recognizes four philanthropists from each of 13 selected countries and territories in Asia;[5]
  • 2009, Philippine Legion of Honor, Rank of Grand Commander, Armed Forces of the Philippines[6]


  • In 2007, Zóbel was ranked as tied with Henry Sy as the richest person in the Philippines, with a net worth of $2.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
  • In 2008, Zóbel and his family were ranked 3rd in Forbes magazine's 2008 list of 40 wealthiest Filipinos, due to a 46% drop in their conglomerate Ayala Corp. shares, which were worth $800 million.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]