Future of Financial Markets 2018

  • The Sabancı University Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) held a conference titled "The Future of Financial Markets" featuring Turkish and international subject matter experts.

    The Sabancı University Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) established with the founding sponsorship of Akbank held the second event in its international conference series on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.  The conference, titled "The Future of Financial Markets", brought together Turkish and international experts to discuss fintech ventures, the banking industry, and the blockchain technology. The conference also featured an address by renowned investor Mark Mobius.  Introductory remarks were made by Sabancı University Finance Chair Özgür Demirtaş, Sabancı University President Zehra Sayers, and Akbank Board of Directors Chair and Managing Director Suzan Sabancı Dinçer. Fintech ventures and the blockchain technology, two top agenda items in economics around the world, and the latest developments in the banking sector were the subjects of the conference.

    In his introductory remarks, Özgür Demirtaş noted the success of CEF, saying: “We have made remarkable achievements in a remarkably short time. By our second year, we have trained hundreds of students and professionals, and invited leading speakers from around the world to Turkey. CEF will continue to be a symbol of quality, a hub for finance education, and a leader in promoting Turkey globally."

    Sabancı University President Zehra Sayers said, “We at Sabancı University have been first in many things. We involve students in research from their first year onwards; we have an interdisciplinary structure that is free of departments. And we are number one in the national innovation and entrepreneurship index. Our 2023 plan calls for us to improve and advance the pioneering and change-inducing role of Sabancı University. The mission and vision of the center for finance include generating value for Turkey by maintaining quality standards, and promoting us across the region.”

    Saying that the Center of Excellence in Finance has enjoyed great success under the guidance of Professor Özgür Demirtaş, Suzan Sabancı Dinçer continued, “This conference marks the beginning of our second term. We have three future-oriented panels today that will be of great interest. We will discuss the plans and investments of the manufacturing industry, the direction of the global economy, and the future technology Blockchain. Our keynote speaker today is legendary investor and developing market guru Mark Mobius. He will share with us his vision of the future.”

    Dr. Mark Mobius, renowned investor and founder of Mobius Capital Partners, made the following remarks in his keynote address: “Developing markets have been gaining in importance. We love Turkey because it's a developing market that grows at an incredible rate. In terms of demographic opportunities, the median age in developing countries is 26. While developed countries have greater GDP, developing countries have an average price-to-income ratio of 12.5%.  Asia, Africa and Latin America are the markets that we consider to have the possibility to develop. People think Africa is difficult but actually there are great opportunities there. Cheap currency is not always a problem; anything that occurs in a developing market may be an opportunity for us. China has the greatest proportion of internet users worldwide with 21%. 1.4 billion smartphones were sold in 2017 and they will change the future because they have great political and economic implications."

    Entrepreneurs and professionals discussed "Private Sector in Turkey and the Path to the Future"

    The moderator of the "Private Sector in Turkey and the Path to the Future" panel was Akbank General Manager Hakan Binbaşgil. Speakers were McKinsey & Company Senior Partner and Country Director Can Kendi, P&G Turkey and Caucasus CEO Tankut Turnaoğlu, General Electric Turkey President and CEO Canan Özsoy, and  Yemeksepeti.com CEO and Founding Partner Nevzat Aydın.
    "Academic Perspectives for Global Economies in Recovery"

    The second panel in the conference, titled "Academic Perspectives for Global Economies in Recovery", was moderated by Sabancı University Associate Professors Yiğit Atılgan and Evrim Akdoğu. The panelists of this section were New York-based international consultants Oliver Wyman Vice President Dr. Uğur Köylüoğlu, Boston College Chair Prof. Philip Strahan, and Georgia State University Chair Prof. Vikas Agarwal.

    The last panel in the conference focused on Blockchain

    The final panel in the CEF Conference discussed the operation, potential uses and opportunities regarding the future technology “Blockchain”. Also discussed in the panel moderated by Sabancı University Finance Chair and CEF Founding President Professor Özgür Demirtaş were the short- and long-term expectations for the implications of the Blockchain technology on finance and business in general.
    Discussion points included technical and legislative hazards, such as the perceived threat as cyrptocurrencies made possible by the Blockchain technology compete with national currencies, the concentration of a significant portion of assets in few investors, and scale or transaction speed constraints.  Panelists were crypto-asset trust service Trustology Founder and CEO Alex Batlin, Blockchain consultants 11:FS Founding Partner Simon Taylor, and insurance-related Blockchain operator iXledger Founding Partner and COO Cristina Dolan.

  • SPEAKERS
    Prof. Dr. Vikas Agarwal

    Prof. Dr. Vikas Agarwal

    Chair Professor of Finance,
    Georgia State University

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    Doç. Dr. Yiğit Atılgan

    Doç. Dr. Yiğit Atılgan

    Faculty Member, Sabancı University

    Associate Professor Atılgan received his BA in Management from Boğaziçi University in 2003, his MS in Finance from University of Rochester in 2005 and his PhD in Finance from City University of New York in 2010. In the same year, he joined Sabanci University School of Management as an Assistant Professor. In 2015, he earned the tittle of Associate professor.

    Professor Atılgan's research interests include determinants of equity returns, derivative markets, fixed-income instruments and asset pricing in emerging markets. His research has been published in prestigious academic journals such as Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking and Journal of Business & Economic Statistics among others. He has also co-authored a book on risks and returns of investing in hedge funds published by Academic Press (Elsevier).

    Professor Atılgan teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on investments, portfolio theory, fixed-income analytics, financial management and corporate valuation. He is also a CFA charterholder.

    Doç. Dr. Evrim Akdoğu

    Doç. Dr. Evrim Akdoğu

    Faculty Member,
    Sabancı University

    Dr. Akdoğu is an Associate Professor of Finance at the School of Management at Sabancı University. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Linfield College in Oregon in 1997, with a double major in mathematics and international business, followed by a Ph.D. degree in finance from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003. After finishing her doctoral studies, she started her career as an Assistant Professor of Finance in Southern Methodist University in the U.S. In 2008, she decided to continue her academic career in Turkey and joined Koç University. Since 2012, she has been a member of School of Management in Sabancı University. She is currently teaching Principles of Finance and Corporate Finance at both undergraduate and post-graduate programs.

    Dr. Akdoğu has a number of theoretical and empirical scholarly publications on corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and corporate investments. These studies have been published in internationally recognized high quality journals including Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Banking and Finance and Journal of Corporate Finance.

     Alex Batlin

    Alex Batlin

    Founder & CEO,
    Trustology

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     Hakan Binbaşgil

    Hakan Binbaşgil

    CEO,
    Akbank

    Hakan Binbaşgil joined Akbank as the Executive Vice President in charge of Change Management in October 2002. He initiated the Bank's "Restructuring Programme" which has transformed Akbank into one of Turkey's most customer-focused, modern and innovative financial institutions. Hakan Binbaşgil was appointed Executive Vice President in charge of Retail Banking in November 2003, Deputy CEO in May 2008, and since January 2012 as Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank.
    Prior to joining Akbank, Binbaşgil worked as a Management Consultant in the London and Istanbul offices of Accenture, and as Executive Vice President in a different private sector bank. Binbaşgil also served on the boards of directors of numerous companies domestically and abroad.

    After graduating from Robert College, Hakan Binbaşgil graduated from Bosphorus University, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Binbaşgil also holds MBA and MS degrees in Finance from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge, USA.

    Prof. Dr. Özgür Demirtaş

    Prof. Dr. Özgür Demirtaş

    Chair Professor of Finance,
    Sabancı University

    Ozgur Demirtas was born in Ankara, Turkey. He got his BS degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bogazici University in 1998. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Finance from Boston College in 2003. In the same year, he was appointed as a tenure track Assistant Professor at Baruch College, City University of New York. In 2004, he was elected as the best instructor within the Finance Department of the college. In 2005, he was elected as the best instructor within all the departments of the business school. In 2007, he was awarded with one of the prestigious medals of the University: The Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. He earned a tenured Associate Professor position in the same year. In 2010, he was ranked within the top 20 list among more than one million professors evaluated by 10 million students in USA, Canada, England, and Scotland. He also taught classes at the New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business and he earned the highest evaluations in the finance department.

    His academic work has been published in various academic journals. He published more than 35 academic articles in leading journals such as Management Science, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Review of Finance, and Journal of Business & Economic Statistics. He also published a book about hedge funds by Academic Press. His research has been rewarded by the City University of New York for six consecutive years. In 2012, he joined Sabanci University as a Chair Professor of Finance and achieved to be Marie-Curie Research fellow.

    Prof. Ozgur Demirtas is a Founding Chairman of the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) at Sabanci University. He is a Board Member of Akbank, one of the leading banks of Turkey. He was also a Founding Board member of Turkey’s first Financial Literacy and Savings Association (FODER). He has been a consultant for several business organizations. He frequently acts as a chief advisor to large corporations and conglomerates. He develops risk management software for the insurance industry. He is one of the leading keynote speakers to leading corporations and he joins think tank organizations with leading policymakers to emphasize the importance of economic and financial development. He is also an angel investor particularly interested in biotech sector.

     Suzan Sabancı Dinçer

    Suzan Sabancı Dinçer

    Chairman,
    Akbank

    Suzan Sabancı Dinçer is the Chairman and Executive Board Member of Akbank. Mrs. Sabancı Dinçer is also a board member of Sabancı Holding.

    Suzan Sabancı Dinçer began her career in banking in 1986 and joined Akbank in 1989.

    Mrs. Sabancı Dinçer is a member of the Institute of International Finance Board of Directors and Emerging Markets Advisory Board, Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council, Harvard Business School’s Global Leaders Circle, and the Harvard Business School’s Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia Advisory Board (MCAB).

    Mrs. Sabancı Dinçer founded Akbank’s International Advisory Board, a platform to discuss and evaluate global and local economic developments and their strategic implications for Turkey. She also sits on the Chatham House Panel of Senior Advisers. From 2010 to 2014, Ms. Sabancı Dinçer served as the chairman of the Turkish-British Business Council for two terms.
    Mrs. Sabancı Dinçer is on the Board of Directors of the Global Relations Forum and a TÜSİAD (Turkish Industry and Business Association) member. She is also the Luxembourg Honorary Consul in Istanbul.

    In 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Ms. Suzan Sabancı Dinçer the title of “Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)” in recognition of her proactive and influential contributions to the development of Turkey-UK relations. In 2014, Ms. Sabancı Dinçer was given the Order of Civil Merit (Orden del Mérito Civil) of the Kingdom of Spain by King Felipe VI of Spain for her contributions to the relations between the two countries and for her support to the cultural convergence.

    Suzan Sabancı Dinçer is strongly committed to social responsibility activities and assumes various positions in the fields of culture, education, the promotion of entrepreneurship and environmental protection: she is a member of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı University, as well as a founding member and board member of Endeavor Turkey and of the Advisory Board of Akbank Sanat. Mrs Sabancı Dinçer is a patron of Contemporary Istanbul.

    Under her stewardship, Akbank became the first deposit bank in Turkey to issue a GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) rated Sustainability Report. It also pioneered the Carbon Disclosure Project in Turkey.

    Suzan Sabancı Dinçer holds a BA in Finance from Richmond College in the UK and an MBA from Boston University in the USA. Ms. Sabancı Dinçer is married with two children.

     Cristina Dolan

    Cristina Dolan

    Co-Founder,
    IX Ledger

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     Can Kendi

    Can Kendi

    Senior Partner & Managing Partner of Turkey Office,
    McKinsey&Company

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    Dr. Uğur Köylüoğlu

    Dr. Uğur Köylüoğlu

    Vice Chairperson,
    Oliver Wyman

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    Dr. Mark Mobius

    Dr. Mark Mobius

    Founder,
    Mobius Capital Partners

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     Canan Özsoy

    Canan Özsoy

    President & CEO,
    General Electric Turkey

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    Prof. Dr. Zehra Sayers

    Prof. Dr. Zehra Sayers

    Acting President,
    Sabancı University

    Zehra Sayers is a founding academic member for the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences of our university. She serves as the Foundations Development Director since 2010.

    She received her Ph.D. degree in Biophysics from University of London (1978) and her B.Sc. degree in Physics from Boğaziçi University (1974). She has conducted her scientific work in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany between 1984 and 1988 and finished her post-doctoral work in the Open University in Oxford and Uppsala University in Sweden.

    In the international arena, she serves as the Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) project since 2001. Aside from this, she is a reviewer for Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Turkish Accelerator Center (TAC) project and a member of the EMBL Hamburg Project Evaluation Panel.

    Her scientific work throughout her academic career has been supported by institutions such as Swedish Natural Science Research Council, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), UNESCO and Forschungszentrum Jülich.

    Her research areas include molecular biophysics, X-ray structure analysis of biological macromolecules, synchrotron radiation applications, production of recombinant proteins and protein chemistry as well as the design and improvement of fundamental teaching programs and novel pedagogical approaches.

    She has written chapters in more than 6 books and published more than 45 academic articles including 27 SSCI articles. She has directed more than 17 graduate and doctoral dissertations.

    Prof. Dr. Philip Strahan

    Prof. Dr. Philip Strahan

    Chair Professor of Finance,
    Boston College

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     Simon Taylor

    Simon Taylor

    Co-Founder,
    11:FS

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     Tankut Turnaoğlu

    Tankut Turnaoğlu

    Chairman,
    P&G Turkey and Caucasus

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