I am Alev Barutcu Ozturk. I was born in Zonguldak in 1963 but I grew up in Istanbul. After graduating from French High School Notre Dame de Sion, I studied Business Administration at Bosphorus University. I started my banking career while I was still a senior at college, and by 1990, when Turkish Lira became a fully convertible currency, I was one of the first FX traders in Turkey. Only a few leading banks had Reuters screens to connect them to the global financial markets at that time. These years were crucial to my career development as we had seen so many financial crises until the banking sector with new rules and regulations, mergers and acquisitions became stronger to withstand global crisis. I worked in private banking and investment banking as a senior executive and founded one of the first Treasury Marketing Divisions to offer corporate clients more sophisticated banking services to manage their currency risks. Later, as a General Manager, I founded the first derivative trading company in Istanbul. I was also involved in fashion industry to establish a well-known French fashion school’s branch in Istanbul, and in overseas, a real estate business to offer US distressed assets to Turkish investors.
In 2011, when my husband was offered a job in London, we became an expat family. Living abroad and being an expat for the first time in my life has been exciting. American School in London and St John’s Wood Women’s Club played a vital role for us in settling happily in London. It has been fun to discover a new life style with new activities like running, hiking: I am a member of Women Running the World and have run 2 Half Marathons with them and a special one in Istanbul, over the Bosphorus Bridge connecting two continents. I also love going on long country walks in the beautiful English Countryside from time to time. In May 2014, I walked 56 kms in one day with Team 34 that raised £5000 for GOSH charity. With my children grown and more independent, I am happy to have more free time to myself to discover what London has to offer. My son Can (19) is a student at Purdue University and my daughter Naz (13) is an 8th Grader at ASL. I am delighted to have discovered a global community in London and have made so many great friends coming from different corners of the world.
My latest excitement is to build a bridge between England and Turkey via “Made in Istanbul”.