Executive Board

MARIO DIEL
Co-CEO & Founding Partner

Mario has more than 30 years of experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial space, establishing and operating many successful companies and serving as an advisor to several governments. He continues to oversee his own portfolio of international investments.

Mario was running his own companies in Western Europe, Middle East and the US for the last 20 years. His entrepreneurial activities span from construction and engineering to energy and real estate investments. During his corporate career he worked on executive level for a major construction company in Europe and was the regional head of one of the leading energy groups in SEE and CEE region.

He is the founding Chairman of the Energy Council of Foreign Investors and a board member of the Business School at Bahcesehir University, where he lectures both MBA and Executive MBA students.

Mario manages the interest and operational activities of IKAR Industries from London and Istanbul.

HOWARD BEASEY
Co-CEO & Founding Partner

Howard has spent the majority of his professional career in the European and Middle East regions. He honed his business and advisory skills engaging with military and government leaders, furthering Defense Industry cooperation and National Security Affairs initiatives.

After a 20+ year career as a United States Marine Officer, Howard began his private sector career when he joined Goldman Sachs in 2014. Subsequently, Howard was the President and CEO of the American- Turkish Council in Washington, a leading independent business association, established to help member companies achieve their business and investment objectives and to facilitate stronger economic, strategic and political relations. He gained during these years substantial experience and network and developed a reputation as a leading advocate for the business and investment communities.

Howard manages the interests and operational activities of IKAR Industries from London and New York.

LAWRENCE DU PRE
Chief Marketing Officer & Partner

Lawrence’s communications experience spans the 3 leading Communications Groups and 33 years. His experiences range across local, regional and multi-national business leadership and strategy and spans a diverse range of industries.

Most recently he was MD at DDB Unlimited Amsterdam, re-shaping operations to combine high level creativity with the power of data. Previously he was Group CEO at DDB in Istanbul. Accolades included 5 times top ranking as a creative Group, Effie Index Euro no 1 in 2011, 46 Effies (18 personally led) and no. 4 in Cannes’ European ‘Agency of the decade’ leader table.

Previously he lived in Italy, working for Lowe Worldwide, leading their Unilever client’s worldwide ice cream category. He started his career as a graduate in the UK’s leading agency of that time, JWT London. He is a UK Senator for the World Business Angel Investment Forum and marketing advisor for the MenaPay blockchain app.

WOLF HISSERICH
Chief Technology Officer & Partner

Wolf is a senior executive with a track record of more than 20 years of success in the global high-tech industry, driving disruption and digitalization projects with aggressive growth targets. He has led various global corporate business units in sales, marketing and business development roles, including innovation scouting.

Wolf is specialized in new business development and turn-arounds, has co-raised USD 500 million in funding for a Silicon Valley based tech fund and co-founded tech startups in Germany, Luxembourg and Israel. He combines executive management experiences with operational know-how and strategic insights across multiple sectors, with a focus on data science, 5G, IoT, cloud and smart cities, including mobility.

He has lived and worked in a variety of countries including Germany (his home base), the USA, Italy and France as well as spending extended periods in Asia and the Middle East.

He has various international business degrees from the University of Dortmund, the University of Central Florida and St. Gallen Business School, as well as attending various executive MBA programs including the IE Business School in Madrid.

SASHA LUND
Director, Private Office Relations

Sasha Lund is a multi-cultural polyglot, senior executive and AI enthusiast. She is serving as Senator for the World Business Angels Forum (WBAF). She also serves as Ambassador Europe for Masters of AI. Through her company Core Values Consulting she advises a range of multi-generational HNWI families on their succession planning, family governance and Next Gen challenges to secure healthy generational continuity and longevity.

Additionally, for over 15 years Sasha has also been providing her event production expertise to the high-end, top-tier event management world, focusing on sophisticated events for Next Gens in luxury and edutainment. Prior to this, Sasha worked in the field of philanthropy, where she as MD ran the #1MillionChildren Initiative, a donor collaborative that strives to ensure that one million out-of-school children affected by conflict have access to education globally.

Speaking 11 languages, seven fluently, she has developed a profound understanding for different cultures, the importance of soft skills and emotional intelligence.

Advisory Board

SINA AFRA
Technology & Investment

Sina is a Serial Entrepreneur. His latest endeavor is tiko.es which he founded and serves as CEO. Before that he was the Founder of Markafoni, the first Online Fashion site of Turkey with more than 1,500 people working for the company. Markafoni became also the first Turkish internet company expanding beyond the borders of Turkey: Markafoni launched sites in Australia, Ukraine, Greece and Poland between 2009 and 2011. Sina served until 2014 as Chairman and CEO. 
 
Sina is also an active Business Angel and invests in early stage start-ups. He is the President of the Entrepreneurship Foundation and Board Member of Endeavor Turkey Board (2013-2017).  

D.C. BECKER
Travel & Leisure

With more than 35 years of hospitality experience, D.C. Becker leads, his company, Titan Group of New York’s asset management, branding, development, positioning, and overall performance maximization services for its ownership clients.

From 2010 to 2014 D.C. worked for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, where he was recruited to launch their Interstate China subsidiary. Prior to his international work with Interstate, he was the Senior Vice-President of Sales & Marketing for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.  Before Wyndham, D.C. was Senior Vice-President/Strategic Planning for Flag Luxury Properties, a boutique development group whose projects included Ritz-Carlton properties in South Beach and Jupiter, Florida, as well as Temenos Anguilla, A St. Regis Resort in the Caribbean.

ROBERT DANNENBERG
Investment Banking • Security • Network

Rob has worked for CIA for 24 years where he held many positions such as Chief of Operations for the Counter-Terrorism Center, Chief of the Central Eurasia Division and chief of the CIA’s Information Operations Center.

Rob is the former Head and Managing Director of Global Security for Goldman Sachs from 2009-2014. He held the position as Director for International Security affairs for British Petroleum.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of Business Executives of National Security.

DR. REINHARD DETHLOFF
Private Equity & Professional Services • Energy & Mobility • Real Estate & Infrastructure • Mid & Large Caps

Reinhard has more than 25 years of professional experience in the energy, management advisory, and private equity sectors all across Europe and the Middle East.

In the past years, Reinhard acted as Operating Partner for a pan-European private equity company with a strong focus on strategic realignment, organizational turnaround, and sustainable growth of larger corporates as well as medium-sized companies in special situations. Reinhard is a well-known restructuring and turnaround expert with a long track record as CRO across various industry sectors.

CEFI J. KAMHI
Investment • International Relations

Cefi has an impressive track record, both as a businessman and also in his various public affairs positions spanning politics and work with NGO’s.  He runs his own group of companies, active in multiple sectors on an international scale.  Cefi is currently the Deputy Chairman of the European Jewish Parliament in Brussels.  

He served as the first non-Muslim member of the Turkish parliament and has held distinguished positions as Chairman, President or as a Board Member in various world-renowned organizations.  He has been named as a Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos. He has received numerous medals of honor, including those from USA, France, Germany and Jordan.

SHAHAL M. KHAN
Economy • Investment

Shahal’s career as an investor, entrepreneur, and social venture capitalist spans over 22 years, with investments encompassing Telecoms, Real Estate, Energy, Natural Resources, Technology, as well as various other industrial sectors. He has been directly responsible for syndication of over $5b USD in equity for projects as a principal through his family trust.

He is also currently a Board Member of GDS360 in New York and Board Member of ETT (Economic Transformation Technologies) based out of Dallas Texas. Shahal is Chairman of Trinity Hospitality Holdings based out of NYC. He is also the founder of Trinity White City Ventures, an advisory boutique and family office based in Dubai.

DR. YURI KOSHKIN
Energy • Economy • Investment

Mr. Koshkin is a native of Russia and spent the first half of his career in Soviet Military intelligence during which he participated in several multilateral missions in the US and abroad. Yuri is now a US citizen and based in Washington, DC.

Yuri Co-founded Trident Group in 1996, the group has advised many large US and Global companies in a variety of key sectors, including energy, aerospace, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, and film making & entertainment.

Dr. Koshkin received a PhD-equivalent in History and International Relations from the Institute of the USA and Canada Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

FRANK LUBNAU
Technology • Manufacturing  Digital  IT/IOT

Frank has a track record of 25+ years as a Senior Executive in various multinational technology companies. After working several years within the automotive industry for a special-purpose engineering company, he held various executive positions within Siemens. After being CEO of a Siemens subsidiary, he was part of the companies strategy department, headed the Additive Manufacturing unit, was head of a business segment for cloud based services and CTO of Siemens Customer Services division. He served as the Chief Digital Officer for the Industry activities of Robert Bosch GmbH and member of the managing board of the Connected Industry division and Bosch Industry Consulting.

DR. CAROLE NAKHLE
Energy • Policy • Infrastructure

Dr. Carole Nakhle is the founder and CEO of Crystol Energy.

An Energy Economist, she specializes in international petroleum contractual arrangements and fiscal regimes; upstream oil and gas regulations; petroleum revenue management and governance; energy policy, security and investment; and world oil and gas market developments.

With a unique breadth of experience, Dr. Nakhle has worked with oil and gas companies (NOCs and IOCs) at the executive level, governments and policy makers, international organizations, academic institutions and specialized think tanks on a global scale.

BARIS OZISTEK
InvestmentStartups

Having started his career as an engineer, Barış has built a high-profile reputation as a technology sector entrepreneur and spokesman for his sector. As CEO he led the sale of two of the SHR Group’s successful internet companies to foreign investors. The first company was the leading alternative payment gateway in the region and the second was the regional leader in the game industry. He continued as Chairman of Netmarble EMEA, one of the top 5 global mobile game companies. He also acted as a founding board member at “StartersHub”, the largest accelerator across Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Barış is a board member at Boğaziçi Ventures one of the major venture capital companies in the region managing multiple funds focusing on tech investments.

MARIANA SILVA
Sustainable Infrastructre • Finance

Ms. Silva is an infrastructure and sustainable finance specialist. She started her career in the investment banking industry in Hong Kong before transitioning into the policy space. Over the last decade, working as an infrastructure finance expert for the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, she provided technical advisory services to  governments in Asia, America and Europe on their infrastructure procurement processes in a manner that provides for economic growth, social justice and stewardship of the natural environment.  Mariana has ample experience in the capitalization of infrastructure assets, with emphasis in project finance, investment due diligence and Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s)

MEHMET SIMSEK
Energy • Policy • Government

Mehmet Simsek served as the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs of Turkey from 2015-2018. He previously served as the Minister of Finance from 2009-2015 and as the Minister of State for Treasury from 2007-2009. Additionally, Mr. Simsek represented Turkey as a governor at the G20, IMF, WB, OECD and IsDB. He was also the co-chair of High-Level Economic Dialogue between Turkey and the EU, and Turkey and China.

Prior, he worked for Merrill Lynch in London for seven years, initially as an economist and strategist, and later as the Head of Fixed Income Strategy and Macro Economic Research for the emerging EMEA region.

Mr. Simsek is currently a member of Advisory Council at the New York based Tent Partnership for Refugees. He also serves as an advisor to Berlin based Global Solutions Initiative.

CHRISTIAN UNGER
Sports Management • International Affairs

Chris Unger is a sports management professional with unique qualifications in the production of mega sporting events. Chris was employed by FIFA from 2007 to 2020. During his 13-year tenure, and as Head of the FIFA World Cup Office, Chris led the integrated planning and delivery of over 25 functional areas for three FIFA World Cups: South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018. In addition, the World Cup Office was responsible for delivering the following projects: Competition Management, Team Services, Venue Management & Operations, Delegation Management, and Special Events (including workshops, draws and ceremonies).

Prior to FIFA Chris’s experiences include working for IMG, the sport and event management specialists, on US Soccer and Olympic sponsorship accounts. In 1994 Chris was a member of the local organizing committee for the FIFA World Cup in USA.

KURT VOLKER
Defense & Security • Government

Ambassador Kurt Volker is a leading expert in U.S. foreign and national security policy with some 30 years of experience in a variety of government, academic, and private sector capacities.

He served as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations from 2017 to 2019, and as U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 2008-2009. Ambassador Volker is currently Managing Director, International, and Co-Chair of the Advisory Board at BGR Group, which provides government relations, public relations, and business advisory services to a wide array of clients.

He is also President and Founder of Alliance Strategic Advisors, LLC, and has previously served as a Director of CG Funds Trust and the Wall Street Fund. Amb. Volker also serves as a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis.

STEVE WILLIAMS
Defense & Aerospace

Steve is currently President of Pentagon Strategies, LLC. With decades of experience in defense and aerospace, he is an expert in global teaming, multi-national programs, and government-industrial relations.

His leadership and executive experience speak for itself. As a CEO, Steve grew a private Transatlantic company into a top 100 global defense firm. As a Lockheed Martin Regional President, he and his team helped secure multi-billion-dollar contracts, including six countries’ commitment to F-35 fighter aircraft.

His 20+ years in the US Army, included multiple international and command tours, operations under hostile fire, and positions serving as an advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

GARY WOOLF
Sports • Investment

Gary has over 35 years of CEO-level, entrepreneurial, and investment banking experience. As CEO of Shiboomi, a Boston-based business consulting firm as well as a Managing Director of Charles Towne Holdings, a Charleston, SC-based middle market investment bank, he provides strategy and corporate development consulting as well as investment banking services to companies worldwide, with a special focus in the sports, technology, entertainment, and media sectors. He served as the CEO of two bioengineering companies in partnership with Harvard and MIT and has advised hundreds of emerging sports, technology, and biotechnology companies over the years.

Gary began his professional career as a sports agent, negotiating contracts in the NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and MLB for his father’s sports and entertainment and representation firm, Woolf Associates.

JOELLE WYSER-PRATTE
Economy • Investment

Ms. Joelle Wyser-Pratte is the Managing Partner at OCP Capital, LLC. Her experience in the securities industry spans over eighteen years. In 1992, she began her career as a trader and then as a portfolio manager at Pier Funds before launching Minerva Capital Management Ltd in 1994, a hedge fund trading in global equities, convertibles and high yield.

In 2004, she joined her father’s firm, Wyser-Pratte Management Co. Inc., to launch and market the Wyser-Pratte Euro Value Fund, a European Activist Fund focused on undervalued European equities. After having raised and closed the first round of capital, she left to co-found OCP Capital LLC to help other select alternative managers grow their businesses and investor bases.

Experts

“Our Industry Experts are comprised of distinguished professionals from a variety of fields that cover IKAR Industries investment sectors. Their vast management and entrepreneurial experience provide us the skills and expertise to guide our investments to profitable returns”.

SINEM ALTINEL
Leisure & Travel

Owner and Operator, Altinel Hotel, Turkey

ALAN BEASEY
Leisure & Travel

Restauranteur, United States

HASAN CALISLAR
Architecture

Turkey

ZURAB GOZALISHVILI
Energy & Mobility

Former Board Member, Georgian Industrial Group, Georgia

ANDREA GRAESER
Real Estate & Infrastructure

Owner Graeser Real Estate, Former license partner Engel & Voelkers, Spain

AARUNI KUMAR
Finance

Former Associate LIC, India

DARKO PERIC
Renewable Energy

Former Vice President, Canadian Solar Fund

ERRAN PERSLEY
International Business Development

Former Commissioner for Business Development for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, USA

RAINER SCHORR
Health & Hygiene

Former Managing Director Bayer International, Switzerland

AZIZ SIPAHI
Security & Safety

Former General Manager, Ayesas and Vestel Defense, Turkey

SANI TIRYAKI
Energy & Mobility

Former Country Head of Danske Commodities, Turkey

Legal Counsel

KADIR CEVIKBAS

DR. CHRISTOPH RUECKEL