FOOTBALL AND FINANCE FORERUNNER
Senior Advisor, J. Stern & Co; Chair of Women in Football; Former Fifa & UEFA Consultant; Former General Manager, Galatasaray ISTANBUL Sports Club
While Ebru’s life is inextricably tied to football (soccer), her background is in finance. Ebru began her professional career in New York, as a financial analyst in Corporate Finance at Morgan Stanley. In 1992, she returned to her native Turkey to serve as a senior manager at Citibank, a post she held until 1999 when she joined AIG’s private equity fund as a VP.
This all changed when the fund chose to invest in Galatasaray, a major Turkish soccer club based on the European side of Istanbul. Ebru, a life-long fan, worked on the proposal. What began as a six-month stint at the club turned into a new career for this reformed economist. Since she was brought on in 2001, she served as Galatasaray’s General Marketing Manager, the Marketing and Finance Group Head, and the Stadium General Manager. Following the merger of football, stadium, and marketing companies in 2010, Ebru was tasked with leading the merged entity, Galatasaray Sports Club, as the General Manager. She was named Executive of the Year by Stadium Business Awards in 2011.
In 2010, she became the first and, to date, only woman to be elected to the Executive Board of the European Club Association, and she served as the vice chairwoman of ECA’s Institutional Relations Working Group. A year later, she became the first and only female General Secretary of Turkish Football Federation. Ebru is passionate about leadership and gender equality, and, of course, the beautiful game. She is the chair of Women in Football, a network of professional women working in and around the football industry, and received the Making a Difference award by HBS Executive Education in 2018.