Once referred to as the 'Golden boy of the Philippine capital markets', and considered the main plank in JPMorgan's dominance in the Republic, Simon Paterno is to leave investment banking and run a development bank.
"What can I say" quips Paterno. "I'm finally doing national service."
Paterno has covered the Philippines for 12 years for JPMorgan and says his career has been about making big companies bigger and wealthy people wealthier. Now he is entering a role that touches more "on the common man", will take him to dark corners of the Philippines and allow him to give a "little back".
The Development Bank of the Philippines - of which he will be President - is 100% government-owned, makes loans to industry and has a loan book of around $2 billion. It is the eighth largest bank in the Philippines and the government's largest policy bank.
Paterno says he was persuaded to take on the role by Finance Secretary, Camacho: "It's a Wall Street team in government now. Camacho is ex-Bankers Trust, the governor of the board investment is ex-Chase, the secretary of energy is ex-Lazard Freres. We're all friends and all worked on Wall Street at the same time in 80s, after MBA school. I am part of this trend where we have moved into public roles."
Besides, at 43, Paterno knows he is young enough to go back into investment banking if making loans to medium sized tyre factories in Luzon fails to get him excited.