Sustainable Trade and Finance
Doğan Erbek

I was born in Bursa, Turkey in 1962, where I completed my primary and high schooling. All my years in high school were filled up with basketball, first as a player and then as a coach. After a year as an exchange student in Denmark, I decided to study computer engineering in compliance with the zeitgeist of the 1980s, and then moved to Vienna to study at the Vienna Technical University. After three years in Austria, I transferred to Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey where I graduated in 1988 as a Computer Engineer. Basketball coaching has been my secondary vocation during my last years as a graduate student and my first years as a professional.

Turkey has seen its financial sector grow very rapidly through the end of 1980s, which prompted me to pursue a career in banking. In 1988, I started working at the treasury department of a privately owned bank in Turkey. In 1991, I joined the Geneva, Switzerland subsidiary of the same bank, where I have had a leading role at the creation of the trade finance department as well as the opening of the bank’s Moscow office. I left banking in 1995 and established my own consulting and corporate services company, which is a licensed and regulated financial intermediary in Geneva, Switzerland.

Together with my team of experienced professionals in Geneva and service providers in various jurisdictions, I assist our clients to establish, implement, and administrate corporate structures. Our clients range from  trading entities to  holding companies across many sectors including, commodity trading, textile manufacturing, machinery production, construction, tourism, cosmetics, and consumer products. My firm’s services also include setting up corporate vehicles to own yachts and private jets as well as their registration and financing.

For over 25 years, I have provided comprehensive consultancy services to a client base of more than 3,000 companies and business people in commodity and trade finance related matters. We specialize in providing funding solutions to companies in order to finance the production and trading of physical commodities, their transportation and distribution throughout the world. In this field, my clients are based in various countries and are active in the production and trading of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, mining, energy (oil products, coal), petrochemicals and soft commodities.

Along these lines, I also assist my clients to find solutions in marine insurance for cargo and vessels, yacht insurance, liability insurance, accounts receivable insurance, and political risk insurance. In this manner, my firm provides services for the issuance and negotiation of documentary credits, managing the amendments, handling the collections, issuance of invoices, and other documents requested in the letters of credits.

Climate change is considered to be the biggest threat mankind is facing and sustainable development is consequently our biggest challenge. Our times require us to adapt to new ways of doing business as well as to unlearn some current practices. With my more than thirty years of experience in the field, I assist my clients to adjust their businesses according to this new worldview and to establish a future with economic models and production systems that reduce environmental problems.