Bilge Yılmaz

After graduating from Boğaziçi University with a double major in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Physics departments, Yılmaz started his career as an R&D engineer in 1991 and completed his master’s and doctoral studies at Princeton University, Department of Economics.

He started his academic life at the Wharton School in 1997. After working as an associate professor of finance at Stanford University, he returned to Wharton in 2009, where he has been a professor of finance since 2013.

As the Academic Director of the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program at Wharton, Yılmaz is responsible for the curriculum of the School’s undergraduate and MBA programs on alternative investments. He is also the founder of Wharton’s senior management training programs on alternative investments. Yılmaz continues to lecture on mergers, hedge funds, private equity, shareholder rights, bankruptcy, investment in troubled assets and European financial markets.

Yılmaz’s research areas include corporate finance, alternative investments, and political economics. In recent years, he has written several articles on corporate governance, credit rating agencies, hedge funds, private equity, securities design, short-selling restrictions, corporate bankruptcy, and bank regulation. His articles have been published in journals such as Econometrica, American Economic Review and Journal of Political Economy – the three best academic journals in the world in economics.

Besides his position at the Wharton School, Yılmaz has been a start-up investor in a hedge fund company’s asset management and financial technology practice. He is currently the co-founder of a consulting firm offering corporate finance and wealth management expertise. Yılmaz advised several financial institutions, including the Federal Reserve Bank, throughout his career. He continues to serve on the board of directors of various organisations.

During a visit to Turkey in 2021, where he travelled to several cities with his son, Yılmaz saw the impact of the deteriorating state of the economy on citizens’ lives. The impoverishment he witnessed urged Yılmaz to put his experience to good use and form a working group to prepare an economic policy program to reinstate stability, kick-start recovery, and set a sustainable growth agenda that benefits all. Yılmaz met with various opposition parties and, in October 2021, became an advisor to İyi Party leader Meral Akşener. He was appointed the İyi Party Chairman of Economic Policies in December 2021.