Nursel Ilgen leaves TAV and takes new role at Koç Holding

Feb 22, 2019
After more than 12 years running IR at Turkish airport giant, Ilgen moves to country’s largest investment holding company

Award-winning head of IR Nursel Ilgen has stepped down from her role at TAV Airport Holdings after more than 12 years with the company, taking a position with Koç Holding.

Ali Ozgu Caneri and Besim Meric are currently sharing Ilgen’s IR responsibilities. Caneri has been with the company since 2011, while Meric joined TAV in 2009.

Ilgen, who led the TAV IR team since 2006 and was also a member of the corporate governance committee, has taken the role of investor relations coordinator at one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates, Koç Holding. The first firm founded by Vehbi Koç, which would go on to form part of the group, was established in 1926 – with Koç family members, and companies owned by Koç family members – continue to have a controlling stake of almost 65 percent in the conglomerate.

In 2017, Ilgen and her team took home the best crisis management award at the IR Magazine Awards – Europe for TAV’s handling of a suicide bomb attack at the company’s flagship Istanbul Atatürk Airport, followed two weeks later by the attempted coup in Turkey. The coup attempt, commented Ilgen on the company’s win in 2017, ‘added to the already battered security perception of Turkey.’

In both cases, the company managed to reopen the airport at remarkable speed, taking just eight hours to get flights moving again after the terrorist attack. And the company took a very proactive approach to its IR program. ‘Our chairman wrote a letter to our investors, we put an ad in the Financial Times, and we made ourselves available via all communication channels and actively targeted value investors,’ explained Ilgen. Between June 28 and the end of the 2016, TAV met with more than 300 investors.

And it paid off. While the share price fell for a while, Ilgen added that ‘long-term investor confidence in the company was bolstered because we made ourselves very available during the crises, communicated all possible outcomes openly, and reacted quickly and proactively.’

Talking about the plans for the IR team going forward, Caneri tells IR Magazine that the team has been regularly recognized for its IR efforts, including being voted best company in Turkish investor relations for five consecutive years in the Extel awards. ‘We also achieved benchmark status among our peers, especially those in Turkey, in many areas of our discipline,’ he says.

‘This was made possible through strong support from our senior management, the leadership of Nursel and the fact that we have had the team for the past eight years. TAV Airports has become brand name in good investor relations.

‘Our primary objective is to continue to deliver a top-notch engagement quality with the financial community. We are also continuously on the lookout for innovation opportunities so that we can identify channels of engagement where we can set the standards even higher,’ he says.

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