NYU Alumni & Friends Connect

September 15, 2022

Volunteer Profile: Joseph Legasto

“NYU has opened my eyes to new friendships, cultures, academics, and most of all formed the foundation of who I am today,” says Joseph Legasto (STERN ’15) [he/him/his], a leader of the NYU Alumni Club in the Philippines. The club, which is one of dozens of NYU alumni clubs around the world, aims to connect alumni in the region through networking events, meetups, receptions, and more.

Beyond his work in the NYU alumni community, Joseph is an experienced investment banking professional whose work spans across industries, providing advice on top-management level issues including corporate strategy and restructuring; mergers and acquisitions; joint venture and alliances; valuation and value-based management, and strategy in equity capital market situations. Currently, Joseph is the incoming Chief Finance Officer at DMCI Holdings Inc., where he will bring his many years of experience and expertise in strategy and corporate finance to the table.

How did you first become involved as an NYU alumni volunteer? 

I was invited to an alumni event here in Manila and instantly found a strong bond with the other attendees of the event. It was inspiring to hear fellow alumni’s stories from their time studying at NYU I and decided to be active as an alumni volunteer.

Why do you stay involved with NYU? Why would you encourage other alumni—especially new grads—to get involved?
My primary objective in staying involved with NYU alumni in the Philippines is to champion increased participation and engagement with the alumni in the country. I wanted to grow the level of activity with the NYU Alumni Club in the Philippines, especially since there was not much participation previously and events were not regular. When I realized that NYU held alumni events far beyond New York City, I vowed to take an active role in promoting increased engagement and camaraderie among NYU alumni based in Manila.

Joseph Legasto with his Alumni Club

What’s your proudest (or most fun) moment as an alumni volunteer?
My proudest moment as an alumni volunteer was when fellow alumni recognized me for my efforts in organizing events for the group. I have never sought recognition for my actions, but it was so heartwarming that people appreciated all the work that I had done. It is a privilege to help out in any way I can to strengthen the sense of community in the Philippines.

How have the past few years impacted your role as a leader in the NYU alumni community and specifically in your efforts to build community among alumni?
The past few years have been extremely tough as they caused significant disruption to how we typically conduct our NYU alumni events. It became challenging to nurture relationships within the community during this unprecedented time and keep the momentum going using a virtual platform. But nonetheless, in order to maintain contact with the NYU alumni community, I helped organize joint online events such as seminars on venture capital and other informational webinars. I was delighted to find that the NYU alumni network continued to participate in the online events despite the lack of physical contact and interaction.

Did you have any NYU classes or instructors who inspired or impacted you?
One of the most influential professors that I had was Professor Aswath Damodaran. Almost all the finance principles he taught formed the basic building blocks of what I live by and practice in my professional career. Professor Damodaran was such an inspiration to me that I started teaching applied corporate finance at a university in the Philippines that espouses the same philosophies and theories. That experience was a key part of my life, where I devoted myself to lifelong learning through the promise of coaching and mentoring.

What is a surprising way you’ve used your NYU education since graduating?
I use what I have learned to make important, non-academic decisions in my life, family, career, personal connections, and even hobbies. Since my stint with NYU, I have become increasingly reliant on the fact-based processing of ideas and information when I have a choice to make. One example would be when I started participating in triathlon events. Instead of simply doing the requisite physical training, I incorporated data analytics into my fitness program. I studied different intensity factors and correlated them with my average speed over a given period and distance. This numbers-driven training allowed me to optimize how I work out and fine-tune my racing strategy.

Joseph Legasto Mentoring

Jospeh Legasto on his graduation day in cap and gown

What is your favorite NYU memory?
One of the most memorable events during my stay at NYU was when I worked with my group mates on a research project that required all sorts of skills, connections, and collaboration with different people. I remember staying at Bobst for many days just trying to focus on doing my part of the project and finalizing the paper. We had many late nights grabbing food on 14th Street while debating our research findings. To unwind, I would run over to Coles or Palladium to run around the track or swim. It was an intense and rewarding time in my academic life, and something I will never forget. Last but not least, I could never forget the friendships that I developed with my classmates as well as my professors. Throughout my discussions with them, my thinking and analytical processes were turned inside out. I was able to gain new perspectives and learnings from these discussions.

What is your favorite:

  • Food? Japanese cuisine: Hamachi Sashimi and Chirashi Bowl
  • Book? The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance by Bill Huyett, Richard Dobbs, and Tim Koller and What It Takes by Stephen Schwarzman
  • TV Show and/or Movie? Succession and Game of Thrones (both on HBO)
  • Song and/or Musical Artist? Steve Lacy
  • Place on NYU’s campus? Washington Mews
  • Way to spend a spring day? Drive up to the Country Club of Darien in Connecticut to play a round of golf with relatives and friends or go to Montauk for the day to visit the Montauk Point State Park and the Lighthouse.