Ferit Faik Şahenk is one of Turkey’s richest businessmen. He is Chairman of the Dogus Holding conglomerate. His wealth is estimated to be $6 to $8 billion. In 2008, he ranked number 573 on Forbes list of Billionaires.
Şahenk studied at ‘The American School’ in Switzerland (TSIS). In 1989, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Human Resources from Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Upon his return to Istanbul, his father, Ayhan Sahenk, the owner of the conglomerate, sent him to Dogus Garanti Bank for his initial training. Ferit Şahenk stayed there for eight years after which he started work at the holding company in 1998. Shortly after he joined, Sahenk acquired two food retail chains. He also started operating the Turkish Nationwide Television news channel, the NTV. To fund this operation he sold some part of the Garanti bank.
Dogus Group’s has interests in the areas of media, tourism, finance and construction. Recently the conglomerate expanded to include a chain of luxury restaurants. Dogus Holding is growing fast under Şahenk’s superb management. The company bought a 74 percent stake in Door’s Group that constitutes brands such as Gina and Da Mario, Kitchenette and Go Mongo. Its revenue reached up to $5.7 billion. Şahenk realized the importance of talent so to make sure that only the cream of the talented people were hired, he made a recruitment division called the ‘Humanitas’. He introduced central back-office operation for the company’s multiple banks in 2000. He also initiated insurance; leasing and ‘cash back’ reward schemes to his banking business. These financial services were not common in Turkey at that time; Sahenk was the first person to take such initiatives. To further his education, he attended the ‘Owner/President Management Program’ at the Harvard University. When his father died in in April 2001 due to heart failure, Ferit Şahenk took over Dogus Holding. He was 37 at the time. Currently Dogus Holding consists of more than 18000 employees and generated revenue of $6 billion in 2005. The net worth of this business is about $2.5 billion. Under his management, Şahenk took some important steps for the company. In 2004, Sahenk handed over partial control of the Garanti bank by selling almost a quarter of the 3rd biggest bank of Turkey to General Electric for $1.6 billion. This was considered to be a huge step towards greater liberalization in the country’s banking sector which was undergoing a lot of problems after the economic crisis of 2001.
Şahenk also operates the Turkish media properties capturing over 10% of Turkey’s advertising market sector. In January 2006, Sahenk hosted a reception in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum meeting. In May of the same year he was selected the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Turkish-U.S Business Council which is a business group promoting business relationships and trade between countries. He is married to Diana who is an American woman. Together they have a daughter named Defne. He is the Chairman of Do€ufl Automotive and Dogus Otomotiv Servis ve Ticaret AS. Since 2004 he has also held the position of Director of Dogus Otomotiv Servis Ve Ticaret AS.