Hüsnü Özyeğin

Hüsnü Özyeğin

Hüsnü Özyeğin is a Turkish businessman, the owner of FIBA Holding which is a group of finance related companies. He is a self-made billionaire whose net worth is $3 billion. Özyeğin is the wealthiest man in Turkey.

Özyeğin was born in 1944 in Izmir, Turkey. He studied in one of the most elite academies in Istanbul ‘Robert College’ and graduated from there in 1963. According to Özyeğin, he had only thousand dollars when he went to the United States. There he enrolled at the Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon and graduated with a BS degree in civil engineering. After that, he pursued further studies and attended the Business School at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts obtaining an MBA degree. He remained in U.S for 3 more years after which he decided to take up an offer from the Pamukbank that was under the ownership of his old school friend Mehmet Emin Karamehmet. He was 32 when he started working there as a general manager. He turned around the bank that was going into a loss before Özyeğin became a part of it. He worked as managing director and general manager of Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi and he remained on this position till 1987. Özyeğin was a member of the Executive Board from 1974 to 1977.

After fulfilling his duties at the Pamukbank, Hüsnü Özyeğin realized that he wanted to have his own bank. He founded the Finansbank in October 1987. Özyeğin expanded Finansbank to 200 branches in 9 countries of Europe apart from Turkey. He initiated several other business mostly finance companies which he joined together under the name ‘Fiba Holding’ with 8,500 employees in more than 20 countries. Özyeğin made several investments in high demand industries including energy and retail, real estate and construction of shopping centers and condos in the central local business districts. He bought the retail business of supermarket chains called Endi, Gima, Greens and Spar in 1966. Özyeğin made a franchising contract with the famous retail chain of Britain ‘Marks & Spencer’. He also bought a bank called ‘Sakura bank’.

In 2005, he decided to sell off the supermarket chain GIMA to Sabanci Holding and then purchased the five-star hotel in Istanbul ‘Swissotel’. In 2006, he sold 46% shares of his bank Finansbank for $2.7 billion to the National Bank of Greece, an old commercial bank of Greece. The rest of the 9% shares were sold by Özyeğin two years later for $700 million. Özyeğin is still the chief shareholder and member of the board of the bank. He will remain the chairman of the Board of Directors for the next two years. In 2000, he was given the ‘Businessman of the Year’ award by the Turkish magazine ‘Ekonomist’. A university is named after him to recognize his achievements as a businessman. ‘Ozyegin University’ is situated in Istanbul. It was established by the Hüsnü M. Özyeğin Foundation. Özyeğin has announced to spend approximately 1 billion dollars on the advancement of the university over the next 15 years.

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