Turkish women lead major sectors in global economy
by Kerim Ülker
ISTANBULFeb 17, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Kerim Ülker
Feb 17, 2016 12:00 am
From Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to Unilever and Microsoft, female executives are in fierce competition with their male counterparts for the throne of these global firms.
While female executives have been playing a great part in conglomerates in various sectors including food and beverage, telecommunications and information technology (IT) for some time, recently the target for female Turkish executives is the finance sector.
One of the largest banks in the world, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has assigned Turkish executive Elif Bilgi Zapparoli as the head of their operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Zapparoli, who is also the co-chair of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's investment banking unit, will conduct the operations from Hong Kong. Zapparoli had previously acted as the CEO of Merrill Lynch Yatırım Bank A.Ş. in Turkey. Zapparoli is acting as the global executive of the State Asset Fund of Bank of America, which is worth more than $5 trillion, as well. Moreover, she was included among the "100 Future Global Leaders of the World" by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2004.
The finance giant, established in 1904 under the name Bank of America, changed its name to Bank of America Merrill Lynch after acquiring Merrill Lynch in 2008. It is the second-largest financial institution in the United States with a turnover of $85 billion and total assets of $2.1 trillion. The bank, which recorded a profit of $14 billion last year, currently has more than 200,000 employees.
Another notable female Turkish finance executive in the U.S. is 34-year-old Hafize Gaye Erkan, who is sought after by various internationally acclaimed finance institutions. Erkan recently became the top name at First Republic Bank, which has $33 billion in assets. She was assigned as the senior assistant director at the bank, which supplements her duties as the director of the Investment Department and as the co-chair of the Risk Management Department.
Another striking name in terms of female Turkish executives in finance is Aylin Suntay, who has been promoted to CEO and assistant director of the Asset Management Department of Russia's largest energy company, Gazprom. Suntay, who has worked in various well-known European funds, has also become the first foreigner to be assigned to this duty. Suntay has been employed in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and she established Gazprombank's first Western fund worth $5.3 billion.