At 16 years, Vicente Paterno traded to help support his family during World War II. A mechanical engineer, he acquired an MBA at the Harvard Business School an returned home to work in Philippine business. As VP-Treasurer of Manila Electric Co., he revalued company assets to replacement costs, making it the first billion-peso corporation in the country.
He chaired the Board of Investments in 1969, crafting Philippine investment policy for that crucial decade. In 1975 the Department of Industry was created, and he was its first minister. Paterno took a lead role in shaping regional cooperation, negotiating the first Trade Treaty with the People’s Republic of China, and during the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation Council.
He left government service in 1980, but returned as Senator in the Aquino Government in 1987. In 1992, he founded the Philippine Seven Corporation as a retirement project, and he still serves as Chairman of that leading retail company.