International Advisory Board

Suzan Sabancı Dinçer CBE – Chairman

Hamid Biglari – Member

Sir Winfried Bischoff – Member

Stephen K Green - Member

Michael Klein – Member

Lubna Olayan – Member

Dante Roscini - Member

Tom de Swaan – Member

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi –  Member

Hakan Binbaşgil – Member

Hayri Çulhacı – Member

Eyüp Engin – Member

Ahmet Fuat Ayla – Member

​​Suzan Sabancı Dinçer CBE – Chairman

Suzan Sabancı Dinçer CBE was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors on March 28, 2008. Mrs. Sabancı Dinçer is also a board member of Sabancı Holding. Suzan Sabancı Dinçer was appointed Senior Vice President of the Akbank Treasury Department in 1989, promoted to Executive Vice President in charge of Treasury in 1994, appointed to the Board of Directors as Executive Board Member in charge of Treasury and International Relations in 1997 and as Executive Board Member in charge of all matters of the Board of Directors in 2000. Mrs. Sabancı Dinçer is the Honorary Consul of Luxembourg as well as a member of Harvard University's Global Advisory Council, Institute of International Finance Board of Directors and Emerging Markets Advisory Board, Global Relations Forum Board of Directors, and Global Board of Advisors at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Mrs. 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, Mrs. 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.

​Hamid Biglari – Member

Hamid Biglari is formerly Vice-Chairman and Head of Emerging Markets at Citigroup. He was a member of Citigroup's Operating Committee and held various senior management roles throughout his tenure at the institution, including Chair of the Business Development Committee (the most senior client committee in the bank) and Chief Operating Officer of the Institutional Client Group (the investment and corporate banking arm of the bank).

Prior to joining Citigroup, Dr. Biglari was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he co-led the Firm's investment banking consulting practice. In that role, he advised CEOs at several bulge-bracket investment banks, commercial banks, insurance companies, investment management companies, and private equity firms. His experience base spans the entire spectrum of financial services.

Prior to that, Dr. Biglari was a theoretical nuclear physicist at Princeton University's Plasma Physics Laboratory, the nation's leading center for controlled thermonuclear fusion research.

He is a member of Council on Foreign Relations as well as a Trustee of Asia Society. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Bendheim Center for Finance at Princeton University.

In 2009, Dr. Biglari was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given for outstanding contributions to the United States by immigrants. Dr. Biglari holds a Ph.D. degree in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University.

​Sir Winfried Bischoff – Member

After serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citigroup from December 2007 until February 2009, Sir Winfried Bischoff currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lloyds Banking Group since September 2009. Following his tenure at the Schroders Group as an executive, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Schroders in May 1995 and with the acquisition of Schroders' Investment Banking division by Citigroup, Sir Bischoff became the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citigroup Europe in April 2000. Sir Winfried Bischoff served as a member of the Akbank Board of Directors from January 2007 until February 2008. Sir Winfried is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Eli Lilly and McGraw-Hill in the United States and Prudential in the United Kingdom as well as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UK Career Academy Foundation. Sir Winfried Bischoff continues to serve as the Chairman of the European Advisory Board of Citigroup Inc. Sir Winfried entered the Honor List and was knighted in 2000 for his contributions to the banking industry.

Stephen K Green - Member​​​

Stephen Green was educated at Lancing College, Sussex, and at Oxford University where he graduated in 1969 with a BA (First Class Honours) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He also obtained a Masters Degree in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975. He was created a Life Peer in 2010 and was appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment in January 2011. He retired from this position in December 2013. Lord Green began his career in 1970 with the British Government’s Ministry of Overseas Development. In 1977, he joined McKinsey & Co Inc, management consultants, with whom he undertook assignments in Europe, North America and the Middle East. He joined The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in 1982 with responsibility for corporate planning activities, and in 1985 was put in charge of the development of the bank’s global treasury operations. In 1992, he became Group Treasurer of HSBC Holdings plc with responsibility for the HSBC Group’s treasury and capital markets businesses globally. In 1998, he was appointed to the Board of HSBC Holdings plc as an Executive Director. He became Group Chief Executive in 2003 and Group Chairman 2006. He retired from HSBC in December 2010. Lord Green was Chairman of the British Bankers’ Association from 2006 to 2010. He also served as a Trustee of the British Museum. He served as a non-executive director of BASF.se until 2010. He is Chairman of the Natural History Museum, Chairman of the International Advisory Council of the British Chambers of Commerce and is a member of the House of Lords EU Select Committee. Stephen Green has written four books – Serving God? Serving Mammon? [1996]; Good Value, Choosing a Better Life in Business [2009]; Reluctant Meister - How Germany's Past is Shaping its European Future [2014]; and The European Identity – Historical and Cultural Realities We Cannot Deny [2015]. Stephen Green is married with two daughters. ​

​​Michael Klein – Member

Michael Klein is the Managing Partner of M. Klein and Company, LLC, which is a leading independent financial and strategic advisor to companies, investors, and governments. Mr. Klein was previously the Chairman of Citi's Institutional Clients Group and Vice Chairman of Citi, Inc. In that capacity, Mr. Klein was responsible for managing the Bank's relationships with leading companies, investment funds, and governments in more than 100 countries. Prior to that time, Mr. Klein held a number of positions at Citigroup and Salomon Smith Barney including Head of Investment Banking. Mr. Klein led the efforts to build Citigroup's European businesses including the acquisition of the Investment Bank Schroder's PLC. He was also the founder of the firm's efforts advising and raising funds for private equity and other alternative investment firms. Mr. Klein is a member of various boards including: the Board of The Dow Chemical Company Agrosciences, IHS Inc., the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the American Academy of Berlin, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Harvard Belfer Center. He is also an inaugural member of the United Nations' World Food Programme Investment Advisory Board. Mr. Klein has served as a guest lecturer at Columbia, Harvard, The London School of Business, The St. Petersburg University and at various educational programs arranged by the US Government, including the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission

​​Lubna Olayan – Member

Lubna S. Olayan is the Deputy Chairman of Olayan Financing Company (OFC), the holding company for The Olayan Group’s trading, real estate, investment, consumer and industrial related operations in the Gulf region. She also chairs the board of Olayan Saudi Holding Company (OSHCO), an OFC affiliate through which the consumer and industrial related operations are conducted. As well as chairing the Executive Committee of OFC. In 2004, Ms Olayan became the first woman to join the board of a Saudi publicly listed company when she was elected to the board of Alawwal Bank, where she most recently served as its Deputy Chairman. Following the successful merger of Alawwal with SABB, the Saudi affiliate of HSBC, Ms. Olayan elected Chair of the newly merged entity. She has also been a member of the board of Schlumberger since 2011, and in 2016 she joined the board of Ma’aden, a Saudi public company operating in the mining sector. Previously, she served on the board of WPP plc from 2005 – 2012 and Chelsfield plc from 1996 to 2004. Ms Olayan also sits on several international advisory boards, including those of Akbank, Allianz SE, McKinsey & Co and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She is currently a trustee of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Asia Business Council. In addition to serving as President of the Suliman S. Olayan Foundation, Ms Olayan chairs Alfanar, a UK based charity that is one of the first venture philanthropy organizations in the Arab world. Ms Olayan was selected by Time in 2005 as being amongst the 100 most influential people in the world and has been on Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women for many years running since 2003; she was also selected by Forbes as an influential business leader. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from Trinity College, Dublin and the insignia of Member First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star from His Majesty the King of Sweden, Carl Gustav XVI. Ms Olayan holds a BSc from Cornell University, and an MBA from Indiana University. She resides in Riyadh with her husband, John Xefos, and they are the proud parents of three daughters.

Dante Roscini - Member​

Dante Roscini teaches Managing International Trade and Investment in the Business, Government and the International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 2008 and has published a number of cases and notes related to sovereign debt, monetary policy, central banking and international investment. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard and a summa cum laude Laurea degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Rome, Italy. Before coming back to HBS Prof. Roscini spent twenty years in investment banking with senior positions at three of the top US bulge bracket firms in New York and London.

He was Head of European Capital Markets for Goldman Sachs, Head of Global Equity Capital Markets and Head of the European Capital Markets and Financing Group for Merrill Lynch where he was also a member of the Capital Commitments Committee and of the Managing Directors Promotions Committee. Finally, he was Country Head of Italy and Chairman of European Capital Markets for Morgan Stanley as well as a board member of Morgan Stanley International Bank. Prior to his career in investment banking Prof. Roscini worked as a researcher in nuclear archaeometry at the University of Rome, as a design engineer and project manager with Westinghouse Electric Corp. in the US and as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Paris.​

Tom de Swaan - Member

Tom de Swaan has served in the banking industry of the Netherlands for over 40 years. He joined De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. in 1972 and from 1986 until 1998 was a member of the governing board. In January 1999, he became a member of the managing board and chief financial officer of ABN AMRO Bank. He retired from ABN AMRO in May 2006, but continued as an adviser to the managing board until June 2007. Between 1987 and 1988, Mr. de Swaan was chairman of the Amsterdam Financial Center and from 1995 to 1997, chairman of the banking supervisory sub-committee of the European Monetary Institute. He was also a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision from 1991 to 1996, its chairman from 1997 to 1998, and a non-executive director on the board of the UK's Financial Services Authority from January 2001 until the end of 2006. From 2006 until May 2015 he was a non-executive member of the board of GlaxoSmithKline Plc. From 2008 until February 2016, Mr. de Swaan was a member of the supervisory board of Van Lanschot NV, the holding company of F. van Lanschot Bankiers, an independent Dutch bank. He also served as its chairman until December 2015. He has been a member of the boards of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd and of Zurich Insurance Company Ltd since April 2006. In March 2012 he was elected vice-chairman, acting as chairman from August 2013 on. He was elected chairman of the Board in September 2013. In addition Mr. de Swaan has been Chief Executive Officer a.i. from December 2015 to early March 2016.

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi - Member

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi has a degree in Economic Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and a Ph.D in Economic Sciences from the University of Chicago. He began his career in 1983 as an Economist at the Research Department of the Banca d'Italia. In 1994, he was appointed Head of the Policy Division of the European Monetary Institute. In October 1998, he became Director General of International Financial Relations in Italy's Economy and Finance Ministry. He was Chairman of SACE from 2001 to 2005. From June 2005 to December 2011, he was member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. From 2012 to 2016, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of SNAM (Italy). He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Italgas (Italy) and Societe Generale since 2015.

Hakan Binbaşgil – Member

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.

​Hayri Çulhacı – Member

Hayri Çulhacı was elected as Vice Chairman on July 18, 2010 and was appointed Chairman of the Audit Committee and Executive Risk Committee on January 17, 2011. Having joined Akbank as an Executive Vice President in 1990, Çulhacı was consecutively appointed as Executive Vice President in charge of Corporate Communications, Investor Relations and Strategy; as Advisor to the Chairman; and as Executive Board Member. Prior to joining Akbank, Hayri Çulhacı worked as Financial Analyst and Department Head in the Ministry of Finance. Çulhacı holds a BA degree in Economics from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences and an MBA degree from Northeastern University in the USA. Hayri Çulhacı is a member of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı University, a Board Member of Aksigorta A.Ş., and AvivaSA A.Ş.

Eyüp Engin –  Member 

Eyüp Engin joined Akbank in 1978 as an Assistant Internal Auditor. Following his auditing assignment, Eyüp Engin served as Department Head in Treasury, International Banking and Overseas Financial Institutions. He was appointed as the Executive Vice President in charge of Corporate Banking in 1996 and after 1998, Engin continued to serve as Executive Vice President in charge of International Banking and Overseas Financial Institutions Marketing.

Eyüp Engin was appointed to the position of Head of Internal Audit in 2007 and during 2007-2019 he served on Boards of Directors of Bank's subsidiaries as the President of Audit Committee. He is a graduate of Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. Eyüp Engin also serves as Vice Chairman of Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş..

Additionally, Eyüp Engin is a Board Member of TT Mobil A.Ş. and TT Net A.Ş. and also Chairman of Argela Yazılım ve Bilişim Teknolojileri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.

​Ahmet Fuat Ayla – Member

Ahmet Fuat Ayla was elected as Executive Board Member in charge of credits as of 12 July 2017. Ahmet Fuat Ayla joined Akbank as Corporate Branch Manager in 2002, became the Senior Vice President in charge of Corporate and Commercial Credits Approval Unit in 2005 and was appointed as Executive Vice President in charge of Corporate and Commercial Credits Approval in 2007. Before joining Akbank, Ahmet Fuat Ayla worked in marketing and sales department positions at Head Office and branches at different private sector banks. Ahmet Fuat Ayla is a graduate of Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Business Administration.

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