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Board Members

Robert Yuksel YILDIRIM - Chairman

Robert Yuksel Yildirim is the President and CEO of Yildirim Group of Companies. He was born in Sivas, Türkiye in 1960. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1983. In 1989, he received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University. He began his career as a design and project engineer at Paceco Corporation, working for five years at the container crane manufacturing firm.

Robert Yuksel Yildirim joined the management board of the family-owned company in 1993. The same year, he conducted the first international achievement of the company, directly importing coal from Russia. Robert Yuksel Yildirim led the group in new initiatives in the 2000s, and in 2008, the Group made its first international acquisition in Sweden.

Today, Yildirim Group is a global player in metals and mining, port management, coal and coke, fertilizers and chemicals, energy, and maritime industry. Lloyd’s List ranks Robert Yuksel Yildirim among the top 100 most influential people in the shipping industry, and among top 10 most powerful people in container terminals industry. Consulting company Drewry lists him as one of the top 20 global leaders in port operations. Robert Yuksel Yildirim is also among the top three leaders of the global chromium industry.

In addition to his responsibilities at Yildirim Group, he is a Board Member of CMA CGM Group, and Yildirim Group owns 24% of its shares. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees at Garip & Zeycan Yildirim Foundation, and the Chairman of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Türkiye-Colombia Business Council.

Robert Yuksel Yildirim has two children.

Mehmet YILDIRIM - Vice Chairman / In the memory of (1963 - 2017)

Mehmet Yildirim was born in Sivas, Türkiye in 1963. He graduated from high school in Samsun, Türkiye. After his education, he started his business ventures in construction materials and coal trading.

Mehmet Yildirim is the Executive Vice President of YILDIRIM Group of Companies. In addition to his duties at management board, he is also acting as the COO of the Group. He is responsible from operational structuring, efficiency and optimization at YILDIRIM Group Companies.

Mehmet Yildirim is married and has two children.

Ali Rıza YILDIRIM - Vice Chairman

Ali Rıza Yıldırım was born in Hafik, Sivas in 1957, and moved to Samsun in 1957. He graduated from elementary and middle school in Samsun.

He started working for the family business in 1970. He has performed sales and marketing operations as sales director, the deputy director general and the director general respectively after he had performed his military service.

After the reconstructing of the company in 1994, he started serving as the Chairman of the Board at YILDIRIM Group of Companies. Currently, he holds the chairman position at YILDIRIM Holding Inc. and is responsible for the domestic market operations and financial affairs

Ali Rıza Yıldırım is married and has two children.

Mustafa Kemal ERKANAT - Board Member- In the memory of (1962 - 2020)

Mustafa Erkanat was born in Samsun in 1962. He was awarded a bachelor’s degree from Istanbul Technical University on Aerospace Engineering in 1983.

He moved to the United States in 1984, where he worked for Foodmaker Inc. at various managerial positions until 2005.

He joined YILDIRIM Group of Companies in 2005 as the general coordinator. He is currently the Chief Administrative Officer of YILDIRIM Group of Companies.

He is married and has two children.

Ozer OZ - Board Member

Ozer Oz was born in Istanbul, Türkiye in 1972. He received his bachelor’s degree in management engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1992. In 1995, he was awarded a master’s degree in finance from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.

Over the course of his professional career, Mr. Oz performed the role of general manager of ISBAS, the first privately owned free zone in Istanbul, Turkey; and was a shareholder and the general manager of KOSBAS in Kocaeli, Türkiye, the only free zone where shipyards were allowed to operate.

Mr. Oz joined YILDIRIM GROUP in 2003 as General Coordinator of Gemlik Gubre, YILDIRIM’s subsidiary for fertilizer production. During the following years, he was appointed as Vice President of YILDIRIM GROUP responsible for business development and has been acting as board member in various YILDIRIM companies. Mr. Oz currently occupies the position of the Chief Operating Officer in the YILDIRIM GROUP.

Ozer Oz is married and has two children.

Dr. Evren OZTURK - Board Member

He was born in 1981 in Istanbul, Türkiye. Dr. Evren Ozturk is an alumnus of Marmara University’s Ph.D. program in finance.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, he was awarded three master’s degrees from Marmara University, Yildiz Technical University and Gebze Institute of Technology in Financial Markets and Investment Management, Economics, and Strategy Science. He completed his doctoral studies in Finance and Accounting at Marmara University to receive his Ph.D.

Evren Ozturk joined Yildirim Group in 2005. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer and the Board Member of Yildirim Group, He undertook various responsibilities that ensured continuous growth and strong financial structuring for the Group, accumulating more than 25 acquisitions and mergers projects in a global scope. Here are some key points regarding his position in Yildirim;

•           Oversight of Yildirim Holding’s financial relationships and obligations – at the group and an entity level

  • Lead the Group’s capabilities across finance, capital raising, budgeting and expense management
  • Instrumental in establishing strong corporate governance frameworks and a disciplined investment approach

•           Strategic decision maker in the qualifying/quantifying and awarding of advisory mandates to the international banking community 

•           Managing Director of both Yildirim Asset Management & Yildirim Overseas Investments

  • Ownership & oversight of investment strategies (both Private Equity and M&A) and shareholder relations
  • Fundamental to the success and diversification of Yildirim Holding’s portfolio interests, both in Türkiye and specifically internationally

•           At the forefront of delivering exponential growth in EBITDA, revenues and investment realisation

•           Critical to the success in securing significant and/or full ownership of highly strategic assets;

  • Across multiple industries and positioning Yildirim as a market leader in a number of industry sectors

Dr. Ozturk is married with two children.

Prof. Dr. Ercument ERDEM

Ercüment Erdem is the Founder and Senior Partner of Erdem & Erdem Law Office. He has more than 30 year experience in international commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, corporate finance and arbitration.  He has extensive experience in cross-border projects concerning project finance, privatization, mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions in wide geography including Europe, Asia and CIS countries.

Prof. Dr. Erdem is a member of Istanbul Bar Association, the vice president of ICC Commercial Law and Practice Commission, and a member of the ICC Court of Arbitration, ICC Institute Council, ICC Incoterms Expert Group, and ICC Turkish National Committee Arbitration Council as well as a member of several ICC task forces. He is a member of the Association Suisse de l’Arbitrage (ASA), International Bar Association (IBA), Association Henri Capitant des amis de la culture juridique française, and the Research Institute of Banking and Commercial Law. He is also the president of the Mergers and Acquisitions Commission of the Competition Association Advisory Board.

He has a highly strong academic background. He is E. Professor lectured in leading universities such as Galatasaray University in Turkey and Fribourg University in Switzerland. He has 30 years of experience as a scholar and his research contains competition and antitrust, international commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law etc. He still gives lectures at Galatasaray University and Fribourg University.

He has authored books on international trade law, competition law, mergers and acquisitions, commercial enterprise law, CIF sales, bonds, contracts etc. In addition he has authored numerous articles in national or international publications related to commercial law, competition and antitrust, contracts, arbitration, complex business litigation issues, dispute resolution etc.