Besiktas Shipyard

Power 2012: Top 50 Owners And Operators (2 To 50) / June 2012

Yavuz Kalkavan is one of the youngest shipowners in the top 50 and is widely regarded as being at the forefront of the new generation of Turkish executives.

Born in 1978 into an established shipping family, the married father of two studied at the American University in Paris before joining his father Ihsan’s Besiktas Group in 1998. He is now managing director, with responsibility for its vessels and shipyard.

Besiktas has built up from running small coastal cargoships to today’s modern fleet of 14 tankers, including two suezmaxes and four capesizes. Most of these have ships been delivered since 2009.

The group began by building on spec at existing Turkish yards before establishing its own, Besiktas Shipyard, and successfully sold a substantial number of ships to Northern European interests.

Four of its ships were built at its own yard, which is currently constructing tankers and gas carriers for Turkish and Italian owners. It recently won a groundbreaking contract for a $50m platform-construction barge.

One Turkish source says part of the group’s success is its influential connections, which reach up to government level. As for Yavuz himself, the source added: “He is a good guy and has made some good investments. He knows what he has to do. He and others like him are the future of Turkish shipping.”

Besiktas Group is not limited to shipping, however, and also has interests in the financial and insurance sectors, owning stakes in Bank Asia and Isik Insurance.

In 1998, it joined forces with Alpina Shipping & Trading, an Istanbul broking house specialising in sale and purchase (S&P).

Besiktas also bought and refurbished the historic Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul, selling it on in 2011.

June 2012