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The ‘Global’ Chairman Ruben Y. Lugtu II

By Aian Guanzon

For many, the formula to business success is knowledge, plus expertise, plus capital. However, one person will tell you that “Business is all about networking.”

Against many odds, friends and partners founded Global Dominion Financing, Inc. (GDFI) in 2003, aiming to empower Filipinos to achieve their goals and dreams through its loan products and services. One of its founders is its current chairman, Ruben Y. Lugtu II, or as many call him, Chairman Rubby or RYL.

Chairman Rubby is said to have a lot of secrets about his success — the secret ingredients many would like to discover. It all started years before the founding of one of the country’s leading non-bank financial institutions (NBFI) in 2003.

He is a “global” chairman per his leadership traits and qualities, although he’s literally gone global too. “When I was young, many people had so much more than I had, so I learned to grab every opportunity that comes to me, big or small,” he said.

“I remember saving up to be able to buy a plane ticket, so I could experience it for the first time,” he added with a grin on his face.

One of the 30+ businesses and organizations under his watch, GDFI was co-founded with his friend, Robert B. Jordan Jr., Global Dominion’s CEO. When asked to give the best description of RYL, Mr. Jordan said, “He is a good judge of character.” And that takes us back to networking. Chairman Rubby is friends with Mr. Jordan for over 25 years now, starting from simply venturing into businesses together at a very young age.

“The key in growing a business is getting the right people.”

When asked how he feels about the success he’s achieved so far, Mr. Lugtu said, “I don’t consider myself successful yet. I have just started; I have a long way to go — WE have a long way to go.” The Chairman seems to be enjoying his journey with his team and his family.

Sharing is in RYL’s blood too. Patricia Poco-Palacios, Global Dominion’s President and COO, described him as “fun to be with” and “generous.” For the chairman, hosting events for friends and family is a small price to pay for memories and experiences of making his loved ones happy. “Ang sarap magbigay eh!” he exclaimed.

Mr. Lugtu went as far as supporting new financing companies, despite them potentially becoming future competitors, saying “Who am I not to share my knowledge if it is for the better of more people?”

“Chairman Rubby is a friend that everyone would want to have. He is generous, loving, caring, and always very thoughtful. We, his friends, are blessed to have him as our brother,” Ogie Alcasid, the singer-songwriter and one of the chairman’s friends, shared. “He is a firm believer in ‘walang iwanan’ and will not falter to pick up someone who is in need of help,” Mr. Alcasid added.

But his story alone already serves as a gift of inspiration to many. Young Rubby was never spoiled. He shared that he had to earn money on his own when he was starting and ensured to extensively study business opportunities before he even takes a leap. His father’s ‘unconventional’ display of his love has driven him to work hard and become stronger amidst challenges — a story a lot of us can certainly relate to.

“Heartaches, sleepless nights, challenges — a lot of those molded me.”

In both starting up a business and raising kids, the chairman said that the early part is the most challenging and the most exciting at the same time. RYL uttered that he’s always ready to do everything he can for his children, and ensure that their lives perpetuate with the happiness they seek. “I don’t think I could ever raise my kids the way my father raised me and my siblings,” he added after a long pause while reflecting on his past.

Although he thought of becoming an engineer like his father, Chairman Rubby took up and finished a marketing bachelor’s degree at De La Salle University.

“He empowers his people the way he did with me to make their own decisions and pave their own paths. He guides and encourages one to do what they think is best yet is always there to help when needed,” Chairman Rubby’s daughter, Nicole Lugtu-Ugarte shared.

RYL’s development-centric approach spreads beyond his family and throughout the organization, subsequently empowering its employees to become the best versions of themselves not just for the company, but for their families and our society as well.

“I definitely believe that Global Dominion has everything it needs to become the leading financing company here and abroad.”

Global Dominion is a financing company with 79 branches across the Philippines islands and is celebrating its 20 years in business this March. Its main products are car/truck refinancing (also known as Sangla ORCR or Prenda ORCR), car and truck financing, and doctors loan.

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