Robert Yuksel Yildirim, Dr. Evren Öztürk, Prof. Dr. Halil Ercument Erdem

Robert Yuksel Yildirim

A graduate of Oregon State University, Robert Yuksel Yildirim is a Turkish businessman born in 1960. He is the President of Yildirim Group, and a member of CMA CGM Group’s Board of Directors.

Robert Yuksel Yildirim was born in Sivas, Turkey in 1960. He graduated from high school in Samsun, Turkey. 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 exited the doctoral program to begin his career in California as a design and project engineer at Paceco Corporation, which manufactured container-handling cranes. He worked at Paceco for five years.

After 10 years of studying and working in the United States, Robert Yuksel Yildirim returned to Turkey in 1993. He joined the management board of the family-owned company, located in Samsun at that time. The same year, he led the first international achievement of the company, directly importing coal from Russia. In 1997, Yildirim Group of Companies moved its headquarters to Istanbul. Robert Yuksel Yildirim led the group in new initiatives in the 2000s, and in 2008, the Group made its first international acquisition in Sweden.

Yildirim Group of Companies has grown to become a global force based in Istanbul by Robert Yuksel Yildirim’s accomplishments in international trade. The company operates in 11 sectors in 21 countries on four continents. Today, the Group is among the leading companies in port management, maritime industry, metals and mining, coal and coke, fertilizers and chemicals, becoming a global player in those areas of interest. The Group continues growing in the international business world since 2008 by acquiring chrome mines, ferrochrome plants, ports and terminals. Lloyd’s List ranks Robert Yuksel Yildirim among the top 50 global leaders in maritime industry, and acclaimed research and consulting company Drewry lists him as one of the top 20 global leaders in port operations. Containerisation International ranks Mr. Yildirim among the top 10 most powerful people in container shipping. Robert Yuksel Yildirim is also among the top three leaders of the global chromium industry.

Robert Yuksel Yildirim is the President and CEO of Yildirim Group of Companies. In addition to his responsibilities at Yildirim Group, he is a Board Member of CMA CGM Group. CMA CGM Group is the third largest container shipping company in the world, and Yildirim Group owns 24% of its shares. In addition, he is a Member of the Board of Trustees at Garip & Zeycan Yildirim Foundation, and the Chairman of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkey-Colombia Business Council. Robert Yuksel Yildirim is married and has two children.


Dr. Evren Öztürk

Born in 1981 in Turkey, Dr. Evren Öztürk is an alumnus of Marmara University’s Ph.D. program in finance. He is the CFO of Yildirim Group, and a member of CMA CGM Group’s Board of Directors.

Evren Öztürk was born in 1981 in Istanbul, Turkey.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Marmara University on Business Administration, he was awarded three master’s degrees from Marmara University, Yildiz Technical University and Gebze Institute of Technology; respectively in Financial Markets and Investment Management, Economics, and Strategy Science

Evren Öztürk completed his doctoral studies in Finance and Accounting at Marmara University to receive his Ph.D.

Dr. Öztürk started his career in 2002 at Reel Çözüm Factoring Inc. as the Finance and Funding Manager, followed by his tenure as the Corporate Finance Director at BDO Denet Accounting and Consulting Inc.

Evren Öztürk joined Yildirim Group in 2005. 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.

Dr. Öztürk is currently the Chief Financial Officer and the Board Member of Yildirim Group. He also acts as board members of CMA CGM Group in France, Sealease S.A. in Belgium, and Vargön Alloys AB in Sweden.

Dr. Öztürk is married and has one child.


Prof. Dr. Halil Ercument Erdem

He is the Senior Partner of Erdem & Erdem Law Office in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey and Professor (E.) of Commercial Law at Galatasaray University (Istanbul). He holds a LLM from Ankara University (1986 with honours) and Ph.D from University of Fribourg (1990).

H. Ercument Erdem is the member of Istanbul Bar Association, the Vice–Chair of the ICC Commission on Commercial Law and Practice, member of the ICC Court of Arbitration, member of the ICC Incoterms Experts Group, member of the ICC Institute of World Business Law, council member of the ICC Turkish National Committee Arbitration, member of Association Henri Capitant des Amis de la Culture Juridique Française, member of the Advisory Board of Istanbul Arbitration Centre (ISTAC), member of Association Suisse de l’Arbitrage (ASA) and member of International Bar Association (IBA).

He specializes in the field of competition law, international commercial law and arbitration and has published several books and articles on these issues.

Prof. Dr. Erdem has collaborated for many years with the ICC and has actively participated in several ICC Task Forces, drafting model contracts for international business (e.g. agency, distribution, confidentiality, mergers & acquisition, occasional intermediaries, Incoterms).

Prof. Dr. Erdem is independent Board member in several companies active in different sectors such as glass packaging, soda production, chromium chemicals production and port operation.

He speaks Turkish, English and French.