"New Horizons in Steel Markets" 15th Annual Conference

01 December 2020 / Virtual



Alessandro Sciamarelli

Director / EUROFER

Alessandro Sciamarelli holds the position of Director of Economic Studies and Market Analysis at the European Steel Association (EUROFER) based in Brussels, where he carries out economic research and analysis linked to the steel sector. Prior to joining EUROFER, he held for over ten years equivalent positions at other Brussels-based European associations (namely in the mortgage lending sector and the cement sector) and, before that, he worked for the Economic Studies Office of a leading cement and construction group in Rome and for the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht. He holds a PhD in Economics (1999) and a degree in political science (1995) from the University of Pisa, Italy.

Baris Ciftci

Head of Strategic Initiatives and Raw Materials Markets Evaluation / World Steel Association

Dr. Baris Bekir Ciftci is the Head of Strategic Initiatives and Raw Materials Markets Evaluation at the World Steel Association. Having joined the organization in 2010, he specializes in the raw materials markets, conducts daily analysis of steel industry statistics, economic data and events, and provides commentary on the implications these may have on the steel industry. He has extensive experience in building quantitative models to assess the drivers of the steelmaking materials markets and steel industry developments, making forecasts for the steel-using sectors and steel demand. Dr. Ciftci has presented analysis and forecasts at numerous worldsteel committee meetings and events, and has also frequently presented worldsteel’s outlook and communications at seminars and conferences. He holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey and a PhD in Economics from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Bekir Agirdir

General Manager / Konda Research Company

He was born in 1956 in Çal / Denizli. He graduated from METU / Faculty of Administrative Sciences, Department of Business Administration in 1979. Between 1979 and 2003, he worked as a manager in various industrial companies. Between 2003-2005, he worked first as a Coordinator and then as a General Manager at the TARİH FOUNDATION. Since 2005, he has been working as KONDA Research and Consultancy General Manager. He is a founding member of the Democratic Republic Program, a Board Member of TESEV and TÜSES Foundations, and a writer for T24 Internet Newspaper.

Burak Soydan

General Manager / NLMK Turkey

Born in 1971, Burak Soydan graduated from Istanbul Technical University Mechanical Engineering Faculty in 1994, while he received his Master’s degree in Finance from Istanbul University. He started his professional career at Garanti Bank as a financial analyst and subsequently joined the marketing team at Alarko Carrier. He then continued his career in the product marketing department of Pirelli Tyre Turkey, where he participated in various new projects and product groups over a period of seven years. His experience in the automotive sector continued at the Uzel Makine and Otokar companies between 2006 and 2010 as marketing manager and product development manager, respectively. While focusing in particular on the areas of market development, product management and strategic marketing, he was responsible for carrying out successful projects with many international partner companies. Mr. Soydan worked in sales marketing and steel service center departments at Erdemir Group between 2010 and 2017. In 2017, Mr. Soydan joined NLMK Group and worked on the establishment of NLMK Turkey. As of September 2017, he is working as general manager of NLMK Turkey.

Darko Pepovski

Vice President Sales & Operations / Hilco Industrial

Darko is a General Management Executive with 10+ experience within the Steel, Automotive, and Metal Industry in various senior sales, consulting, and management roles. It has been working for the past years advising and negotiating with large companies the disposition of industrial assets and restructuring of operations.

Enrico Paglia

Research Manager / Banchero Costa

After completing a degree in maritime economics at the University of Genoa, Enrico gained brief and valuable experience in the shipping and energy sectors while working in Perth, Western Australia, for a renowned offshore oil production project. In 2005, he joined leading shipbroking house Banchero Costa group at its Genoa office, at first as a sales and purchase broker and after as an analyst in the research and studies department. In 2011, he was based at Banchero Costa's London office where was responsible for the European research desk. Then he came back to the company’s headquarters in Genoa where he follows mainly, but not exclusively, the dry bulk, tankers and container sectors. Enrico regularly takes part in shipping conferences around Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa, both as a presenter and panelist alike.

Gokhan Demiruz

Chairman / Turkey's Association of Flat Steel Exporters and Manufacturers (YISAD)

Born in 1966, Gokhan Demiruz has been actively involved in the flat steel sector since 1983. He graduated from the finance department of the economics faculty of Istanbul University in 1987. He is one of the founder members of YISAD, which was established in 2003. He has served as board member and secretary general of the association, and has been serving as chairman as of May 2016.

John Anton

Associate Director – Pricing and Purchasing / IHS Markit

John Anton is the Steel Director of the IHS Pricing and Purchasing Service. The outlook for steel prices is formed by close monitoring of the industry and contact with executives at steel makers and end users. In addition to producing regular forecasts of steel production, demand and price, Mr. Anton is also responsible for managing the IHS relationship with major steel buyers involved in automotive, energy and pipeline companies, retailers, and manufacturing. Clients are located in the United States, Japan, India, East Asia, and Europe. Mr. Anton joined IHS and its predecessors in 1995. Prior to that time, he was in the private practice of law, specializing in small business representation and in criminal defense work. Before attending law school, Mr. Anton worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics as an Economist/Statistician.

João Paulo Fragoso

Pig Iron Export Manager / Kentron Ltda

João Paulo Fragoso graduated in business administration and has a master’s degree in international business from Fundação Getulio Vargas, Belo Horizonte, in Brazil. He has been working at Kentron Ltda, a leading pig iron export company in Brazil, for over 12 years. João Paulo began his career as a pig iron sales representative to Brazilian foundries and steel mills and was soon promoted to develop the companies’ international pig iron sales structure. Currently, he is responsible for Kentron’s domestic and international sales, exporting over 1.8 million metric tons and selling over one million metric tons locally per year.

Kazuo Mike Fujisawa

Principal - Overseas Business Planning Department / JFE Steel Corporation

Kazuo Fujisawa joined NKK Corporation in 1982 and has held management positions in sales, engineering and in an assistant role to CEOs. After NKK merged with Kawasaki Steel to create JFE Steel in 2003, he has held positions in the Corporate Planning Department and Overseas Business Planning Dept. He was on the committees and the Board of Directors of California Steel Industries from 2003 to 2016. He is the member of worldsteel’s Communication Committee and Economic Committee. He has spoken at a number of steel conferences around the world. He graduated from Seattle University, USA and from Sophia University, Japan.

Kemal Sarac

Chairman / Turkish Steel Pipe Manufacturers Association (ÇEBİD)

Born in Istanbul in 1958, Kemal Saraç graduated in business administration at Marmara University. He has been working at Yücel Boru ve Profil Endüstrisi A.Ş. since 1997. As of 2002, he has assumed responsibilities as general manager at Yücel Boru A.Ş., while he also serves on the executive board of the group companies. At the same time, he is a board member at Kocaeli Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Turkish Steel Pipe Manufacturers Association (ÇEBİD).

Kerem Cakir

General Manager / Borcelik

Born in Istanbul in 1971, Kerem Çakır is graduated from Istanbul (Erkek) High School, and then from Boğaziçi University Mechanical Engineering Faculty in 1994. After graduation, he started his business life and career in Borusan. In 2000, he completed his post-graduate study (Executive MBA) Koç University. Within Borusan Group of Companies, Kerem Çakır worked in Borusan Birleşik Boru Fabrikaları (currently named Borusan Mannesmann Boru), Borusan Elektronik, Borçelik and Kerim Çelik. After working as General Manager in Kerim Çelik between 2008 and 2015, Kerem Çakır is still working as Borçelik General Manager since January 2015.

Matthew Nolan

Partner / Arent Fox LLP

Matt Nolan is a leading trade lawyer at Arent Fox LLP in Washington DC, with more than 30 years of experience. He is nationally recognized in Martindale Hubbell, Chambers USA, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal, and Best Lawyers. Mr. Nolan has represented clients in dozens of trade litigation proceedings, including antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, administrative reviews, sunset reviews, Section 201 Safeguards cases, Section 301 unfair Trade Practices cases, and others. He is the lead counsel in Transpacific v United States, the ground breaking constitutional case invalidating 50% section 232 tariffs against Turkish steel imports. Mr. Nolan has represented Turkish, Austrian, South African, Indian, and Mexican steel producers in proceedings involving several pipe products, rebar, hot rolled steel and corrosion-resistant steel, and in cases involving numerous other products, such as softwood lumber from Canada and tomatoes from Mexico. He has acted as lead counsel on several appeals resulting from these proceedings before the US Court of International Trade, CAFC, and NAFTA Binational Panel reviews. Mr. Nolan has represented foreign governments in various proceedings, including the Government of Canada in the NAFTA negotiations, the Government of Mexico in disputes involving the United States and China, the Government of Korea in connection with the Korea-US Free trade Agreement, and the Government of Argentina in WTO cases involving the United States. He has advised Turkish steel producers for over 14 years. He is currently advising several companies in the U.S., Turkey and the EU on the 232 tariffs and has been active in lobbying the issue as well as in submitting exclusion requests and in court challenges.

Mehmet Cakmur

General Manager / M Steel Dıs Ticaret

After graduating from Industrial Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University, Mehmet Çakmur started his career in 1990. He took part in different roles in iron and steel trade until 2002. Between 2002 and 2011 he worked as the authorized representative for Turkey of Russian MMK Magnitogorsk. In 2011, he was appointed as export and sales director at MMK Metalurji plant, built by MMK Russia in Turkey. In 2017, he left MMK to found his own company M Steel Ltd. specializing in iron and steel trade, consultancy and agency. He is also in the management of Steel Foreign Trade Association.

Muammer Bilgic

General Manager / Bilecik Demir Celik

Born in 1958, Muammer Bilgic graduated in 1983 from the Metallurgical Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University in Ankara. During his career, he has worked as an engineer and as an executive in various positions at Cukurova Celik, Cebitas, Metas, Kumas, Eregemetal, Sivas Demir Celik, Ferrocom, Cer Celik, Ecosid Ltd and Kocaer Celik. Since 2014, he has been serving as managing director of Bilecik Demir Celik. Muammer Bilgic has published industry analyses and articles in various professional publications on subjects such as steelmaking processes, the relation between refractory and steelmaking processes, and alternative raw materials for electric arc furnaces.

Philip Bell

President / Steel Manufacturers Association

Philip K. Bell is president of the Washington, D.C. based Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA). SMA’s producer members represent over 70 percent of domestic steelmaking capacity. The SMA is the largest steel industry trade association in the U.S. He assumed leadership of the organization in 2013. Prior to that he was director of External Communications and Public Affairs with Gerdau North America. Mr. Bell has held senior level management positions throughout the steel industry supply chain with companies such as the SGL Carbon Group, Qualitech Steel, and Elementis Chromium. He currently serves on the International Trade Advisory Committee for Steel (ITAC 7) advising U.S. Government on trade issues that impact the domestic steel industry. He holds a Bachelors’ degree from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and a Master’s degree from the University of Florida.

Professor Ozgur Demirtas

Chair Professor of Finance / Sabanci University

Ozgur Demirtas was born in Ankara, Turkey. He was among the top 50 students who attended the Turkish University Placement Exams. He got his BS degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bogazici University in 1998. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Finance from Boston College in 2003. In the same year, he was appointed as a tenure track Assistant Professor at Baruch College, City University of New York. In 2004, he was elected as the best instructor within the Finance Department of the college. In 2005, he was elected as the best instructor within all the departments of the business school. In 2007, he was awarded with one of the prestigious medals of the University: The Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. He earned a tenured Associate Professor position in the same year. In 2010, he was ranked within the top 20 list among more than one million professors evaluated by 10 million students in USA, Canada, England, and Scotland. He also taught classes at the New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business and he earned the highest evaluations in the finance department. His academic work has been published in various academic journals. He published more than 30 academic articles in top leading journals such as Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Management Science, Review of Finance, and Journal of Business Economics Statistics. He published a book by Elsevier Press. His research has been rewarded by the City University of New York for six consecutive years. In 2012, he joined Sabanci University as a Chair Professor of Finance and achieved to be Marie-Curie Research fellow. Professor Demirtas is a founding chairman of the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) at Sabanci University. He is also a founding board member of Turkey’s first Financial Literacy and Savings Association (FODER).

Simon Yu

Vice President / Jiangsu Yonggang Group Co., Ltd.

Simon Yu has been working in the steel industry for more than 20 years. As vice president, he is responsible for the commercial departments of Jiangsu Yonggang, which is one of the main long steel product producers and exporters in the Chinese steel industry.

Sushim Banerjee

Former Director General / INSDAG

Shri Sushim Banerjee is a Post Graduate in Economics (Gold Medalist) from Presidency College and Kolkata University. He had obtained Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from All India Management Association, New Delhi. Has also undergone training for Industrial Research at Fordham University, New York - May-July, 1988. As Executive Director (Commercial), Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Shri Banerjee was associated with working out strategies and policies of the Marketing Organisation of the Company. He was also the Chief Risk Officer of SAIL and instituted the Enterprise Risk Management in plants and other units in SAIL. Has published reports and presented papers on steel demand, linkages of economic growth with various industrial segments, globalisation, international trade, Anti-Dumping, WTO issues relating to steel in national and international seminars. Till recently Shri Banerjee worked as Director General, Institute for Steel Development & Growth (INSDAG) at Kolkata, an Institute set up by Ministry of Steel and all major Steel Producers like SAIL, TATA, RINL, JSW, ESSAR Steel, Ispat Industries to promote steel consumption in the country by making innovative and cost effective steel based structural designs.

Tolga Kisacikoglu

Chairman / Galva Metal

He was born in Istanbul in 1975. He completed his primary school education in Kocaeli; He completed his secondary and high school education at Nişantaşı Işık High School. After graduation from Istanbul Technical University Electrical Engineering; He studied an MBA for 2 years at Stetson University in the USA. He worked in steel industry for 4 years and in 2005, he founded Galva Metal A.Ş. and currently managing as president.

Ugur Dalbeler

General Manager / Colakoglu Metalurji

Uğur Dalbeler has been working as the CEO of Colakoğlu Metalurji for many years now. Mr. Dalbeler is also a board member of the Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD), deputy chairman of the Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association (CIB) and a board member of IREPAS, the International Rebar Exporters and Producers Association and a representative at worldsteel Executive Committee.

Dr. Veysel Yayan

Secretary General / Turkish Steel Producers Association

Mr. Yayan got B.A. degrees from Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University in 1977 and Faculty of Law of the Istanbul University in 1987. Then he got his PhD degree from the Istanbul University Faculty of Economics in 1997. Mr. Yayan has diplomas from University of Michigan on Economy of Development and Population; from the University of Sussex on Labor Market Information System and Japan Int. Coop. Agency on Development and improvement of Employment. Mr. Veysel Yayan started his career as Reporter at the Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Trade in 1976. Then he worked at State Planning Organization, as Expert and Undersecretariat of Defense Industries, as Head of Department, Deputy Undersecretary and Acting Undersecretary until he retired in 1998. After serving 22 years for government from expert to Undersecretary levels between 1976-1998, he was appointed as Secretary General to the Turkish Steel Producers Association in 1998. On 25 September 2017, Dr. Yayan was appointed as Undersecretary to Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology. In August 2018, Yayan retired from government and returned to his position as Secretary General of Turkish Steel Producers Association. In addition to this position, Dr. Yayan has been the President of TOBB Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals Assembly since 2007.

Yeoh Wee Jin

Secretary General / South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute (SEAISI)

Mr. Yeoh Wee Jin is the Secretary General of the South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute (SEAISI), which is based with its office in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. He has been working in the steel business for about 20 years, covering corporate strategy, market research & analysis, project feasibility studies, M&A, government relations, as well as general management of a few regional business units of NatSteel Holdings (Singapore). He has a wide knowledge of the ASEAN steel market as well as industry experience in the various countries where he managed the business units. He has also actively participated in SEAISI activities at regional as well as at ASEAN levels in the past. Mr. Yeoh holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Melbourne, Australia), a Graduate Diploma in Computing Studies from the University of Canberra and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Australian Graduate School Management at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

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