Warburg Pincus sets sights on Turkey with new hire

The firm has hired senior banking exec Murat Mergin to help identify investment opportunities in Turkey.

Warburg Pincus has hired Murat Mergin as a senior advisor as it looks to begin investing in Turkey.

Mergin has more than 27 years of experience as a senior executive in Turkey, most recently as chief financial officer of Turkiye Garanti Bank, the country’s second largest private bank, according to a statement from the firm.

At Warburg Pincus Mergin will work on identifying and evaluating new investments in Turkey. In the statement, the firm’s head of Europe Daniel Zilberman said Turkey was “a market of key focus for us”.

“Turkey has one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe with attractive demographics which should provide a number of interesting investment opportunities,” Zilberman said.

Zilberman was named head of European investment activities in January as part of a scheduled succession plan, taking over from Joseph Schull, who was named chairman of Warburg Pincus International. Both Zilberman and Schull are members of the firm’s executive management group.

Warburg Pincus has yet to make an investment in Turkey, although last year it was reported that the firm was close to acquiring a minority stake in Turkey’s stock exchange Borsa Istanbul.

Turkish banks are likely to be a focus for the firm in the country, as well as businesses in the healthcare, consumer and TMT sectors, it is understood.

“The Turkish market should offer a variety of opportunities for Warburg Pincus to apply its long-term approach to building durable businesses of scale in the years ahead,” Mergin said in the statement.

Despite regional turmoil, the Turkish economy showed resilience in 2015. This was in part due to plummeting oil prices which, as an importer of oil, has a positive effect on the country.

Warburg Pincus, which has more than $40 billion in assets under management and an active portfolio of more than 120 companies, is an active investor in emerging markets globally, where it has invested more than $10 billion to date.

In November Warburg Pincus closed its latest flagship fund in excess of its $12 billion hard-cap after just six months in market in what is thought to be one of the largest single closes in private equity history, as reported by Private Equity International.

Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII drew commitments from public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, endowments, foundations and wealthy individuals. LPs in the fund include the Minnesota State Board of Investment, the New Hampshire Retirement System and Washington State Investment Board, according to PEI Research & Analytics.