Meet the Austrian Honorary Consul and Vice Consul

Hikmet Ersek

Honorary Consul for Austria

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Hikmet Ersek is President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of The Western Union Company, a Fortune 500 global leader in digital and retail cross-border money transfer and payments services.

With more than 30 years of executive experience in financial services, Ersek joined Western Union in 1999 and became CEO in 2010. Under his leadership, Western Union has successfully diversified and evolved its business to become a global payments company. Significant accomplishments include: growing the company’s digital and mobile offerings; expanding the company’s portfolio into the B2B payments sector; growing its retail money transfer business to more than 550,000 worldwide Agent locations and more than 100,000 ATMS and kiosks; implementing a new technology platform; and significantly upgrading the company’s global compliance programs.

Founded more than 166 years ago, Western Union has become one of the world’s most global companies, serving customers in 200 countries and territories, with a diverse base of agents, frontline associates, and WU employees. A purpose-led company, a remarkably high 80 percent of WU employees contributed to the Western Union Foundation in 2016. A citizen of Austria and born in Turkey, Ersek draws on his international background to speak out publicly for the rights of migrants and refugees worldwide. He has been publicly recognized for his commitment to community and corporate responsibility, including as Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine’s Responsible CEO of the Year. A recent recipient of the Best FinTech CEO, and Austrian of the Year Award, he also currently serves as the Austrian Honorary Consul for Colorado and Wyoming.

Ersek is frequently quoted by major global media outlets on business and societal topics such as migration, digital payments, and global business transformation. He is a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and the Business Roundtable.

Ersek began his career in financial services in Europe when he joined Europay/MasterCard in Austria in 1986. A decade later, he joined General Electric (GE) Capital, where he also represented the GE Corporation as the National Executive in Austria and Slovenia. He speaks English, German and Turkish fluently, and enjoyed a short career as a professional basketball player in Europe prior to his private sector experience.

Ersek holds a Master’s (Magister) degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Wirtschaftsuniversität (University of Economics) in Vienna, Austria..

Dr. Nayantara Ghosh-Ersek

Honorary Vice Consul for Austria

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Dr. Nayantara Ghosh-Ersek is a management consultant, trainer and lecturer with solid experience in international business and cross –cultural consulting for global corporations and universities. She holds a M.A. in Philology and Pedagogy from the University of Salzburg/Austria, and a Ph.D. from the University of Lausanne/Switzerland in socio-cultural studies. Fluent in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, she also has a working knowledge of Bengali, Turkish and Greek. Her lifelong interest in intercultural issues was sparked by her extensive work experience in the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Sudan and India.

Prior to launching Ghosh International back in 1996, she was an executive for Apple Computer, UNICEF, Neumann Management Consultants and Korn/Ferry International.

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