Maria Hope Reyes Perez: Eagle Eye On Both Profit & People

Maria Hope Reyes Perez: Eagle Eye On Both Profit & People

Maria Hope Reyes Perez , CFO

Maria Hope Reyes Perez


Today's CFOs are responsible for more than just managing a company's cash flow. They have evolved much further than that; more like value creators who work abreast with entrepreneurs in building successful companies. Meet such an enabler of L'Oreal Philippines, Maria Hope Reyes Perez.

Hope’s journey as a prominent finance professional began over two decades ago in audit and assurance services of SYCIP Gores Velayo & Co., an Ernst and Young Global member practice. During the early 2000s, she was immersed in diverse industries, including telecommunications, power generation, and food services. Amidst the boom of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance, her expertise further expanded into business risk services before embarking on an enriching stint as an audit supervisor at E&Y Atlanta in the United States.

Returning to the Philippines, Hope delved into various internal audit and management consulting roles, both in private companies and public government agencies. She then transitioned from public practice to the private practice, where she served as an internal auditor at Coca-Cola Far East. Her career journey continued with a vibrant array of experiences in finance operations across multiple industries. She played pivotal roles in leading finance operations for renowned organizations such as Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company – the country's top telecommunications company, Pfizer – a prominent pharmaceutical company, and Silangan Mindanao Mining – a fully-owned subsidiary of one of the nation's leading mining companies.

Finally, Hope entered the beauty industry with L'Oreal. She initially contributed her expertise in corporate finance, managing critical functions such as treasury, accounting, legal, data privacy, and tax. Progressing within the organization, she assumed the role of division controller for L'Oreal's largest business unit in the Philippines, handled the role of Ethics Correspondent of the entity, followed by a corporate controlling manager position in Australia. Eventually, her exceptional skills and remarkable achievements led her to her current role as the CFO of L'Oreal Philippines. CEO Insights Magazine is thrilled to interview her.

Always treat your team with respect, leverage their strengths, & unleash their potential to pave the way for success

How has been your path to success and what is your success mantra?

The path to my success has been a vibrant tapestry of experiences, filled with colorful tests and learnings. Along the way, the people I have met, leaders who have guided me, and the mentors who have shaped my journey have played pivotal roles in my development as a finance professional. Their wisdom and guidance have contributed immensely to my growth.

My success mantra is to always be the dependable soldier and to work hard to exceed expectations. From the early days of my career to my current role as a CFO, I have never hesitated to put in the hard work required to get the job done. I firmly believe that persistence is key, and I continue to push myself until every task is accomplished.

As the years have passed and I have acquired more experience, I have come to value the importance of consistency. It's essential to pace oneself, ensuring that there is enough energy to sustain a high level of performance throughout. I have witnessed the power of being consistently dedicated and focused, as it yields remarkable results over time.

Of course, like anyone else, I have faced moments where achieving my desired outcomes seemed elusive. However, by pouring my heart into my work and remaining dedicated, I have consistently seen everything fall into place. Hard work truly pays off, and I have experienced the rewards firsthand.

How do you determine the profitability of an investment?

It's important to remember that profitability is not solely determined by a formula but rather by how well the investment aligns with objectives and achieves desired results within a specified timeframe. In a corporate setting, investments are prepared based on cascading choices and ranked based on expected returns. Priority is given to investments with better profitability ratios. While some investments yield immediate results, others may take longer to materialize. Industries with a fast pace require a focus on short-term horizons, although long-term investments should not be overlooked. Alignment with company objectives and direction is paramount. Profitability goes beyond monetary gains. It involves assessing contributions to overall value streams. Some investments provide non-monetary benefits that serve as foundations for long-term plans.

What are the guidelines you follow to lead your team?

I practice situational leadership and believe in taking the time to truly know my team members understanding their experiences, motivations, interests, and aspirations. This knowledge becomes the foundation for planning their career growth and development. I carefully assess which functions suit each individual, identify the reinforcements they require, and determine the level of leadership and mentoring they need. Recognizing that each person possesses different prior experiences, technical capabilities, soft skills, and adapt my leadership style accordingly. Flexibility is key in tailoring my approach to the unique needs of team members.

By investing time in getting to know my team on a personal level, I ensure that I am there to understand and support them. This ongoing connection allows me to stay updated on any changes or challenges they may encounter along the way. This approach has enabled me to be a strong and effective leader throughout my career.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

I have discovered my passion for mentoring and coaching others, and it is a path I am wholeheartedly pursuing. My aim is to excel in this profession and become an invaluable guide, empowering individuals to build successful careers.

Witnessing the growth and success of other professionals under my guidance brings me immense fulfillment. The assurance that I have made a genuine impact on others' lives and helped them thrive is what defines success for me.

Maria Hope Reyes Perez, CFO, L'Oreal Philippines

A loving mother to her eight-year-old daughter, Hope possesses an innate curiosity and thirst for knowledge, making her a natural learner. For Hope, success is a harmonious blend of hard work and manifestation.

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