Financial Times: New Central Bank Governor Hafize Gaye Erkan will work to overcome the challenges of the Turkish economy

Hafize Gaye Erkan

The agenda of Hafize Gaye Erkan, Turkey’s first female Central Bank governor, will focus on stabilizing the Turkish economy, ensuring price stability, and restoring investor confidence.

Financial Times has published an analysis on how President Erkan will handle the challenges posed by the issues on the agenda.

In an article by Adam Samson from the Ankara office of the Financial Times, Hafize Gaye Erkan was described as an expert in building complex models to analyze risk in the balance sheets of major financial institutions.

Referring to Erkan’s roots in classical mathematical theories, the Financial Times stated, “As Turkey’s first female central bank governor, she will have a new opportunity to leverage her risk management expertise in implementing one of the biggest changes the bank has seen.”

The article emphasized that Erkan’s job is both easy and difficult.

To support this assumption, the UK-based newspaper sought the views of Hakan Kara, a former chief economist of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. The article quoted Kara saying, “I think Erkan’s job is both difficult and easy. It is difficult because she inherited high inflation and an inefficient set of regulations to tackle. It is easy because even by staying true to the fundamentals of central banking, she can rapidly improve market sensitivity given the unusually low credibility of her predecessor.”

In his article for the Financial Times, Adam Samson wrote, “The role of central bank governor will certainly test Erkan’s diplomatic skills. With fluency in Turkish, English, and German, Erkan will need to tread a fine line between putting Turkey on a more sustainable policy path and attracting back foreign investors.”

Who is Hafize Gaye Erkan?

Dr. Hafize Gaye Erkan was born in Istanbul in 1979. After graduating from Istanbul Erkek Lisesi, she completed her undergraduate studies in Industrial Engineering at Boğaziçi University in 2001. She obtained her doctoral degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University. Dr. Erkan also completed executive education programs in management sciences at Harvard Business School and leadership at Stanford University.

Her career began in 2005 at Goldman Sachs, where she provided consultancy services in balance sheet management, stress testing and capital planning, risk management, and mergers and acquisitions to major banks and insurance companies’ boards of directors and senior management teams in the United States.

Joining First Republic Bank in 2014, Dr. Erkan held various positions including Co-CEO, President, board member, Investment Director, Deposit Director, and Deputy Risk Director during her approximately 8-year tenure.

She served as a board member at the jewelry company Tiffany & Co. for 2 years and joined the board of directors of Marsh McLennan, a global financial consulting firm listed on the Fortune 500, in 2022. Dr. Erkan specializes in banking, investment, risk management, technology, and digital innovation. She also served on the Advisory Council of the Operations Research and Financial Engineering Department at Princeton University.

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