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The Next Anderson Cooper? JAZA Reveals His Second Career Choice and Favorite World Leader

His second career choice? An interviewer and journalist.
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Along with his brother Fernando, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala has become the face of Ayala Corp. It’s hard to imagine the esteemed businessman as anything else but the head of one of the country’s oldest and biggest corporations.

In an interview with Financial Times, JAZA revealed his second career choice if, in a parallel universe, his fate wasn’t tied to the legacy of his last name. Can you guess?

“An interviewer/journalist like David Rubenstein. I like his style; I like the people he picks. He’s so good at bringing out details. I’d love to do that,” revealed JAZA in the interview.

Rubenstein, a fellow billionaire businessman like JAZA, is also a writer and TV host aside from being a lawyer and financial analyst. The co-founder of the Carlyle Group has his own self-titled show on Bloomberg TV where he interviews American leaders in business.

Aside from the fact that they both have the silver fox look down pat, JAZA and Rubenstein share the same charisma and articulate way of speaking, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ayala gets his own show down the road. He might even give the indomitable Karen Davila a run for his money. 

As for Ayala’s hero in leadership, the businessman cited German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a leader worthy of praise and admiration.

“She came to my attention when she opened the door to refugees. I like her humanitarian instincts, science-based approach, and strong discipline with the German economy,” shared JAZA to FT.

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We often try to emanate our heroes, so it’s no coincidence Ayala and Merkel share the same humanitarian beliefs. Even President Rodrigo Duterte, who previously publicly cursed the Ayala brothers, praised them for their help fighting the pandemic in the Philippines.

According to Ayala, the family corporation had been there since day one to “fill the gap” in the COVID-19 relief efforts. Ayala Group set aside P2.4 billion for an employee relief fund, and also formed a coalition with the other big businesses in the country to launch a separate P1.5 billion relief effort for the urban poor.

What’s next for JAZA after the pandemic? We’re sure it will be all-hands-on-deck to restart the company’s momentum, but we’ll keep a hopeful lookout for the Late Show with JAZA.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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