Cansen Basaran-Symes is a prominent figure in the business and finance sector, known for her extensive experience and leadership roles in various organizations. She graduated from Istanbul University's Faculty of Business Administration and joined Price Waterhouse (PW) Turkey in 1981, where she served for 32 years until 2013.
Throughout her career, Cansen held several notable positions within PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). She worked at the PW Copenhagen office in 1983 and the PW London office in 1989. In 1990, she became a partner at PW European Firm. On July 1st, 1998, she was appointed as the leader and senior partner in charge of country operations at PwC Turkey. During her tenure, she also served on the board of directors of PwC - Central and Eastern Europe Region from 1998 to 2005 and as a board member of PwC Eurofirm from 2005 to 2008.
Cansen's contributions extend beyond her work at PwC. In 2015 and 2016, she served as the President of the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TUSIAD). Additionally, she held various board positions in organizations such as Allianz Sigorta A.S., Allianz Hayat ve Emeklilik A.?., Nokia, Alcatel Lucent Teletas Telekomünikasyon A.S., and the Harvard Business School MENA and Central Asia Advisory Board.
Cansen Basaran-Symes actively participates in numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and holds memberships in prestigious institutions. She is a member of the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TUSIAD), Council of Presidents, and a founder member and board member of Endeavor Turkey. She also serves as the chairperson of the Advisory Board at the Financial Literacy and Inclusion Association (FODER) and a senior advisory board member at the British Chamber of Commerce Turkey (BCCT), among others.
Her achievements have been recognized and celebrated internationally. Cansen was honoured as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow" at the 2000 World Economic Forum and received several awards, including the "Executive of the Year" by Istanbul University/Dunya newspaper in 1999 and the "Honour Management Prize" at the EDU Plus Management Summit in 2014. She has been featured in prestigious rankings, such as Business Life magazine's "30 Top Businesswomen that Drive the Business World" and Fortune magazine's "Most Powerful 30 Businesswomen," where she ranked 3rd in 2016. Her exceptional leadership and contributions to civil society were also acknowledged by the "Leader of the Civil Society" recognition in the "Business People of the Year" research conducted by the Weekly Economist in 2016 and 2017.
Cansen Basaran-Symes continues to inspire and make a significant impact on the business landscape through her expertise, leadership, and dedication to various organizations and causes.
Cansen Basaran-Symes is a highly accomplished business executive and leader with a distinguished career spanning several prestigious organizations. She has made significant contributions to the business and finance sector through her expertise, strategic vision, and dedication to driving growth and innovation.
Cansen's journey began with her graduation from Istanbul University, where she completed her studies in Business Administration from 1976 to 1980. Following her education, she joined Price Waterhouse (PW) Turkey in 1981 when it was first established. Over the course of 32 years, she served in various roles within PW, showcasing her exceptional skills and commitment to excellence.
Throughout her career, Cansen demonstrated her versatility and international perspective by working at PW's Copenhagen office in 1983 and the London office in 1989. Her outstanding performance led to her admission to the PW European Firm partnership in 1990, marking a significant milestone in her professional journey.
In 1998, Cansen Basaran-Symes was appointed as the leader and senior partner in charge of country operations at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Turkey. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in shaping and implementing the company's strategies, driving growth, and fostering innovation within the organization. Her exemplary leadership skills and deep industry knowledge earned her recognition, leading to her membership on the board of directors of PwC - Central and Eastern Europe Region from 1998 to 2005 and PwC Eurofirm from 2005 to 2008.
Cansen's influence extended beyond her work at PwC. In 2015 and 2016, she served as the President of the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TUSIAD), where she demonstrated her commitment to promoting the interests of the business community and advancing economic development in Turkey. She continues to contribute to TUSIAD as the Advisory Board Co-President of TUSIAD/Berlin Bosphorus Initiative (BBI).
In March 2014, Cansen Basaran-Symes assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Directors of Allianz Sigorta A.S. and Allianz Hayat ve Emeklilik A.S. Turkey, leading the company with her strategic insights and business acumen. Additionally, since May 2015, she has been a member of the International Advisory Board at Allianz SE, a global financial services company.
Cansen has also been actively involved in various advisory roles and memberships. She serves as an Advisory Board Member at ScaleX Ventures, Harvard Business School's MENA Research Center, and Endeavor Türkiye. She was a Board Member of Nokia – Alcatel Lucent Teletas Telekomünikasyon A.?. from April 2014 to June 2020. Cansen has also contributed her expertise as a Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Company from 2018 to 2020.
With her extensive experience, remarkable leadership qualities, and commitment to driving positive change, Cansen Basaran-Symes continues to inspire and make a lasting impact on the business and finance landscape. Her dedication to promoting entrepreneurship, supporting innovation, and
Cansen Basaran-Symes, a visionary business leader, is driven by a strong sense of purpose and a clear vision for the future. Throughout her distinguished career, she has demonstrated a commitment to fostering innovation, promoting sustainable growth, and empowering individuals and organizations to reach their full potential.
At the core of Cansen's vision is the belief that businesses have a vital role to play in driving positive change in society. She envisions a future where entrepreneurship and innovation flourish, creating opportunities for economic development, job creation, and social progress. Cansen understands the transformative power of technology and its potential to shape the future, and she actively advocates for leveraging technology to drive innovation across industries.
In line with her belief in the importance of inclusive growth, Cansen is a strong advocate for diversity and gender equality in business. She envisions a future where women have equal representation and leadership opportunities in all sectors, including the traditionally male-dominated fields of technology and finance. Cansen recognizes that diversity brings unique perspectives, enhances decision-making, and fosters a culture of creativity and innovation.
Sustainability is another crucial aspect of Cansen's vision. She understands the importance of balancing economic growth with environmental responsibility and social impact. Cansen envisions a future where businesses prioritize sustainable practices, embrace renewable energy sources, and integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies. She believes that by adopting sustainable practices, businesses can not only mitigate environmental risks but also create long-term value and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient society.
Furthermore, Cansen is dedicated to fostering collaboration and partnership among various stakeholders, including businesses, governments, and civil society organizations. She believes that collective action is essential to address complex challenges and seize opportunities in today's interconnected world. By fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, Cansen aims to create a conducive environment for innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development.
Recognition and Awards
Cansen Basaran-Symes, Global Entrepreneurship Network
Cansen Basaran-Symes, TUSIAD