First Republic's former co-CEO is Turkey's next central bank chief
A former co-CEO of First Republic has been appointed Turkey's next central bank chief.
- Hafize Gaye Erkan was a longtime banker at Goldman Sachs and has a doctorate degree from Princeton.
A recent leadership position at First Republic, which collapsed and was taken over by JPMorgan Chase on May 1, is arguably not a great thing to highlight on a résumé just now.
That's not stopping the Turkish government, which has nominated Hafize Gaye Erkan, a former co-CEO of First Republic, to be the next governor of its central bank, according to reports.
Erkan was an executive at First Republic for nearly eight years, serving as chief investment officer and co-chief risk officer, among other positions. In July 2021, she was named co-chief executive officer, the heir apparent to Jim Herbert, the founder and longtime CEO of First Republic.
A heart condition forced Herbert to go on medical leave that December and Erkan left the company a month later, causing the stock to tumble.
Her surprise departure triggered a "distracting internal succession crisis" inside First Republic just months before rising interest rates would test the bank, the Financial Times reported in March. The bank would ultimately name the chief financial officer, Michael Roffler, to be CEO. Last summer, Erkan joined Graystone, a real estate finance company, as CEO, but resigned in December.
Before First Republic, Erkan was at Goldman Sachs for nearly nine years, advising financial institutions. She was named a managing director in 2011. A graduate of Bogazici University in Turkey, she earned a Ph.D. in operations research and financial engineering from Princeton in 2006.
Navigating the Turkish economy and politics under longtime leader Erdogan will be her most difficult job yet.
Turkey's central bank has been a punching bag for Erdogan, who has forced out its leaders and pressured the bank to slash interest rates even in the face of surging inflation.
Yet his recent reelection and the selection of Mehmet Şimşek as finance minister has raised hopes for the central bank's independence.
Goldman Sachs said in a note on Saturday, according to the Financial Times, that Şimşek's appointment " increases the likelihood that monetary policy will shift towards a more orthodox direction."
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