Speaker Profile

Headshot of <b>Mehmet Şimşek</b>

Mehmet Şimşek

Minister of Treasury and Finance
Republic of Turkey
Mehmet Simsek served as the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs of Türkiye during 2015-2018. He previously served as the Minister of Finance (2009-15), and as the Minister of Economy (2007-09). He was elected to the Parliament for three terms (2007, 2011, 2015) representing the ruling AK Party. Mr. Simsek has formulated the fiscal policy which has helped Türkiye recover strongly from the global financial crisis. He has also undertaken far reaching reforms such as simplifying tax regulations, enhancing taxpayers’ rights, and reducing the size of shadow economy. During his 11 years of public service as a minister, Mr. Simsek was a strong advocate of structural reforms and prudent macroeconomic policies. The country’s strong fiscal position and reform efforts have helped Türkiye weather multiple (domestic and external) shocks over the past decade. A credit guarantee scheme, enhanced under Mr. Simsek’s leadership, helped the country avoid a recession after the failed coup attempt in 2016. Mr. Simsek represented Türkiye as a governor at the IMF, the World Bank Group and the IsDB and as the Finance Minister of Türkiye at the G20. He has regularly attended several international forums including the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the Bilderberg Group meetings. Before entering politics, he worked for Merrill Lynch in London for seven years, initially as economist and strategist, and later as the head of Fixed Income Strategy and Macro Economic Research for the emerging EMEA region (2005-2007). From 1998 to 2000, he was a senior economist and bank analyst at Deutsche-Bender Securities in Istanbul. Earlier in his career, he worked on Wall Street for UBS Securities in New York (1997-1998), and as a senior economist at the US Embassy in Ankara (1993-97). Mr. Simsek holds a B.S. in Economics from Ankara University and worked as a research assistant in the University’s International Economics and Economic Development Department. He also studied in United Kingdom after being awarded a competitive Turkish State Scholarship. He holds an M.PHil in Finance and Investments from Exeter University. Mr. Simsek is also a member of the Global Economic Symposium (GES) advisory board. Mr. Simsek was born in 1967, in a small village in Batman, a province in Southeastern Türkiye. He is married, has twin girls, and a boy. He is fluent in Turkish, English and Kurdish.