Honorary Consul, Hikmet Ersek is Chief Executive Officer and Director of The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a Fortune 500-ranked global leader in cross-border money-movement services. Ersek has executive management responsibility for a global financial services network and powerful brand spread over 200 countries and territories. Western Union has a rich history encompassing more than 160 years of innovation and today is also one of the world’s most diverse companies, with employees from more than 100 countries in 292 offices around the world.
During Ersek’s tenure as CEO, which began in 2010, Western Union has successfully diversified and transformed its business model. Beyond growing its retail money-transfer business to more than 500,000 worldwide agent locations, the company has successfully expanded into electronic and mobile channels, added global cross-border business payments, and broadened its financial services product line with business partnerships to benefit customers around the world.
Prior to becoming CEO, Ersek served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. He joined Western Union in September 1999, and held several senior international roles of increasing responsibility within the company. Under these roles he was a major force for the global expansion of Western Union.
Ersek began his career in financial services in 1986 at Europay/MasterCard in Austria. In 1996, he joined General Electric (GE) Capital, where he was responsible for retail sales, finance and the card business. Ersek also represented the GE Corporation as a National Executive in Austria and Slovenia.
Ersek is frequently quoted by major global media outlets on international, economic and social topics such as globalization, migration, transformation, digital payments and social ventures. He has been a recurring speaker at the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a member of the World Economic Forum International Business Council.
Ersek has been publicly recognized for his commitment to corporate responsibility and shared value. In 2012, he received The Opening Minds Corporate Leadership Award from the Institute of International Education and Corporate Responsibility (CR) magazine’s 2012 Responsible CEO of the Year Award. Ersek serves on the Board of Directors for Teach for All, an NGO that is dedicated to expanding educational opportunities around the world. Ersek also represents Austria as Honorary Consul for Colorado and Wyoming.
Growing up in an international family himself, Ersek’s background reflects that of the Western Union customer. Born in Istanbul to an Austrian mother and a Turkish father and married to a woman of Indian and Austrian descent, Ersek understands firsthand the important services Western Union provides its customers around the world. Ersek has a Master’s (Magister) degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Wirtschaftsuniversität (University of Economics) in Vienna, Austria. He is fluent in English, German and Turkish.