Borsa Istanbul CEO Atilla Set to Step Down Later This Month

Borsa Istanbul Chief Executive Officer Hakan Atilla, a former banker convicted in the U.S. of busting sanctions, is set to step down after the stock-exchange operator’s annual general meeting on March 26, according to people familiar with the matter.

Atilla went on a leave on Friday and isn’t planning to get back to work until shareholders convene later this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as no formal decision has been announced by the executive or the exchange.

Both Atilla and the stock exchange confirmed he is on leave, but neither would comment further. A spokesman for Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Atilla was appointed to the role in October 2019 by former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after being convicted in the U.S. of helping Iran to evade sanctions while he worked at Turkey’s Halkbank.

Borsa Istanbul’s owner, the Turkish sovereign wealth fund TWF, is planning an initial public offering of the exchange operator by 2022.

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