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In Memoriam

Washington Z. SyCip, 1921 - 2017

Washington Z. SyCip, a founding trustee of the Asia Business Council, died on October 7, 2017.

Wash was a key person in setting up the Council and its predecessor organization, the Asia Business Initiative. He was a founding trustee of the Council in 2002 and remained an active member.

Washington Z. SyCip was born in Manila on June 30, 1921. His father, who was in Washington, D.C. arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court at the time, named his third son after the U.S. capital.  

Wash was a quintessential global citizen. He spent much of his childhood with relatives in Shanghai and was at Columbia University in New York City working on his Ph.D. when World War II broke out. He enlisted in the U.S. military and served as a cryptographer in Calcutta during the war.

Wash took full advantage of the opportunities that the post-1945 world offered. Building on his formidable range of contacts, Wash built his SGV accounting firm into the region’s largest. In 1983, SGV had 4,000 Asian professionals in 33 offices in 10 Asian countries.

Much of Wash’s work was devoted to building closer ties between different people throughout Asia. He was a founding shareholder of Asia Magazine in 1971, believing that the region needed to have its own media voice.

Education was one of Wash’s passions and he was a founder of the Asian Institute of Management, an institution of higher education designed to nurture an Asian perspective.

Wash was committed to building a more inclusive Asia – an Asia that crossed national borders and more fully realized the potential of its billions of people. He embodied the spirit of the Asia Business Council in his tireless attempt to bring together business leaders from around the region, and indeed, from around the globe, to build a more prosperous Philippines, a more prosperous Asia, and a more prosperous world.