, July 7 , 2004
By Zinnia B. Dela PeŮa  -  The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) board elected yesterday lawyer and independent director Francis Lim as the bourseís new president to replace Cayetano Paderanga Jr. who resigned from the post in early June.

But Lim, a co-managing director and senior partner of the Angara Concepcion Cruz Regala and Abello (ACCRA) law office, said he had asked the board for a 30-day grace period for him to decide on taking the job.

He reasoned that he has yet to seek clearance from his long-time partners about the new job offer. Given a choice, he said he would either withdraw from ACCRA or take a leave without pay.

"The board has graciously accepted the 30-day grace period I have asked. This is just to principally check whatever incompatibilities I may have because as you see, Iím working for a law firm which has listed companies as clients. Prudence dictates that I should get clearance from my partners because they know how I work and how I arrive at decisions. It has been my passion to introduce reforms at the judiciary. I donít think my work with the PSE will stand in the way. I will make a full disclosure of whatever I do and continue to do after I take on the job," Lim said.

Lim added that should he decide to accept the job, he would assume office on or before Aug. 6, making him the seventh president under a unified exchange.

Banker and fellow PSE independent director Peter Favila, in the meantime, has been appointed as the bourseís officer-in-charge effective July 8 until the new president takes office.

"I told the board that when my name was first proposed I would have this position as my last priority in my career because Iím very happy with my teaching job in two universities. Iím also involved

into training of judges. It gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the exchange. That, I can say, is the principal reason why Iím giving up this very lucrative law practice," Lim stressed.

An independent director representing the interest of capital market participants for the past two years, Lim has been familiar with the workings of the organization and its constituents.

"Iíve been with the exchange for two years now. Iíve seen a lot of things happening. Reforms can be introduced for the good of the investing public and to protect the business of brokers and most importantly, to make the exchange a meaningful pillar to the

Philippine economy. I value the vision of the exchange where the PSE is supposed to be a world-class exchange come 2007. If I take on the job, I would always have that in mind as my marching order. I hope

that with the board behind me, with the investing communityís support, and the brokers supportive of these reforms, we would achieve our goal. I really am convinced that if things are done properly, the PSE and the Philippine economy will be the winners of these reforms," Lim said.

PSE chairman Alicia Arroyo has committed to rally behind Lim and support whatever proposals he would make to turn the PSE into a world-class exchange.

Prior to his election, Lim was chairman of the bourseís governance committee where he implemented steps to eradicate the perception of the PSE as an "old boys club."

He was also instrumental in lobbying for the retention of the

Philippines in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) investment list in April.

Lim has had several years of experience in commercial and corporation law and was heavily involved in technical work leading to crafting of the Securities Regulation Code and is considered one of the leading experts in the implementation of this law.

He is currently a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University College of Law and a lecturer at the Philippine Judicial Academy.

Lim also writes a column in the business section of the Philippine STAR.

He obtained his Master of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude with Bachelor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of SantoTomas.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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