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World Bank debars private equity executive

The World Bank debarred a private equity executive Thursday for two years for misleading the International Finance Corporation that supports a closed-end private equity fund investing in Turkey.

Selcuk Yorgancioglu and any firms he controls are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group during the 24-month debarment.

According to the World Bank, Yorgancioglu, a Turkish national, was part of the investment team on the Abraaj Turkey Fund I Project. 

The investment team omitted to disclose “material and relevant facts” about the financial situation of one of the investee companies, which mislead the IFC, the World Bank said. This constitutes a fraudulent practice as defined in the IFC’s sanctionable practices.

The $600 million Abraaj Turkey Fund invests in privately-held medium-sized businesses based in Turkey with regional growth potential, operating primarily in consumer goods and services, financial services, logistics, and retail.

The IFC is the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group. It cooperates with the World Bank but is legally and financially independent.

According to LinkedIn, Yorgancioglu is currently managing partner at Tork Partners and a board member of Bluegrove Capital Management, a private equity firm based in London. He previously worked at Deutsche Bank as the country CEO for Turkey.

In 2018, Yorgancioglu was appointed co-CEO of the Arbraaj Group as part of its restructuring.

“The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of debarment in light of Mr. Yorgancioglu’s cooperation, acceptance of responsibility, corrective action, and voluntary restraint from pursuing future opportunities with the World Bank Group,” the World Bank said.

Yorgancioglu agreed to take corporate ethics training and committed that any firms or other individuals that he controls will implement a corporate ethics training program.

He also committed to continue fully cooperating with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency, the World Bank said.

The debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

A list of all World Bank debarred entities and individuals is here.

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