Elvis Presley once said, “Rhythm is something you either have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over.” Alfonso P. Garcia, or Chito for those know him, positively embodies this quote. Testimonials by those who have seen him dance certify the presence of rhythm. More importantly, his life, rife with achievements and accomplishments, is a testament he has rhythm all over.
Chito graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, a rarity among actuaries, cum laude, from the premier state university, University of the Philippines, in 1965. He then went on to earn a Master of Science in Physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969. He began his foray into actuarial science by earning a Master of Arts in Actuarial Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1971. In 1981, he finished the Senior Management Program of the Life Office Management Association. And in 1990, he completed the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.
Chito began his actuarial career as an actuarial trainee in Lincoln National Life Insurance Company from 1971 to 1972. From 1972 to 1974, he became Assistant Manager and Assistant Actuary in Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd. From 1975 to 1984, he became Assistant Vice President, Vice President and, eventually, Senior Vice President in charge of Technical Operations seconded by Ayala Corporation.
In between, from 1976 to 1977, he became Technical Consultant seconded by Ayala Corporation at China Underwriters’ Life Insurance Company. There, he developed all the actuarial requirements needed to start up a joint venture industrial life insurance company in Indonesia. He also established an actuarial, financial and management reporting system for CUL Head Office and branches in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
More importantly, in between, in 1976 specifically, he became a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of the Philippines. The following year in 1977, he also became an Associate for the Society of Actuaries.
Continuing his uphill climb in the corporate ladder, Chito served as a member of the Ayala Fund Investment Advisory Committee from 1984 to 1985. He became Senior Vice President and Comptroller seconded by Ayala Corporation from 1985 to 1986. From 1986 to 1989, he was Vice-President and Comptroller of the holding company of Ayala Corporation. In between, from 1987 to 1989, he oversaw Ayala’s assets and liabilities outside the Philippines as designated Comptroller of AYC (Overseas) Company, Ltd. From 1989 to 1992, he became Executive Vice President of the Ayala Life Assurance, Inc. In 1993, he became President of the Universal Reinsurance Corporation.
After electing optional early retirement from Ayala Corporation in 1996, Chito went back to the industry to set up and launch a start-up joint venture life and non-life insurance operation for Generali Pilipinas Life Assurance Company and Generali Pilipinas Insurance Company. From 1999 to 2004, he became Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors for Generali Pilipinas Holding Company. At the same time period, he was also President and Chief Executive Officer of Generali Pilipinas Life Assurance Company and Generali Pilipinas Insurance Company.
Currently, Chito is a member of the Board of Directors of Catapult Communications Applications Development, Inc since March 2007 and is a semi-retired and part-time Actuarial & Management Consultant since July 2004.
Through his years in the corporate world, Chito has also shown an impressive breadth of expertise which includes marketing and information technology.
On top of his various corporate obligations, Chito has also written and presented various papers to different national and international conferences on actuarial and insurance topics including “The Professional Actuary,” “Valuation of Inflation-Dependent Benefit Plans” and “Product Design in an Inflationary Era” among others.
Given his extensive proficiency, Chito has also been a board member for various entities and organizations such as the Philippine Life Insurance Association, LIMRA International, Ayala Foundation, UP Integrated School Foundation, Inc, Purefoods Corporation, Integrated Micro-Electronics, Alabang Country Club, Alabang Theatre Management Corporation and Philippine Psychological Corporation.
In his personal life, Chito has also maintained that steady successful rhythm. He’s been married to Dr. Remerlita F. Garcia and has 3 equally bright and accomplished children. His legacy in the industry is nothing short of illustrious, having guided future actuaries and pillars of the industry such as Monalisa Dela Cruz. His leadership, characterized by serious attention to detail, brings out the best in his team members eliciting feelings of achievement and pride after a project’s completion. His rhythm, characterized by his famously exuberant and high-spirited dancing, brings out warmth and mirth in any gathering fortunate enough to have his presence. As Mr. Presley would probably agree, Chito indeed has rhythm all over.