Emerging Markets : Companies To Watch: Oyak Group/Turkey
Pension Performer


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Coskun Ulusoy

The Oyak (Ordu Yardimlasma Kurumu) Group, Turkey’s first and largest private pension fund, has built itself up to become the country’s third-largest industry conglomerate behind the family-owned Koc and Sabanci groups. Described by some observers as a “sleeping giant,” Oyak is a hybrid of a military pension fund and private equity investor, which manages funds for its 220,000 members, including senior officers and civilian workers of Turkey’s armed forces, through portfolio and equity investments. It also manages the companies it invests in, including a joint venture with French car manufacturer Renault and French insurance company Axa Group. In 2002 its financial services division OyakBank bought Turkey’s Sumerbank to create a mid-size bank with a network of more than 270 branches.

CEO Coskun Ulusoy says the fund’s investment approach stemmed from the fact that Turkey’s capital markets were relatively underdeveloped. “The fund had to do something to make money, so they invested in companies,” he says, to boost the fund’s income beyond the 10% mandatory wage deduction levied on members. Oyak is now one of Turkey’s largest and highly profitable industrial and services companies.


Anita Hawser

 

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