Clean energy investing: Crescent Capital
Aygen Yayikoglu, founder and managing partner of Crescent Capital, is not looking to compete with the big Turkish banking groups or family conglomerates. Rather he is looking to work with them. "The Turkish banks have been so incredibly central to Turkish growth since 2001 that the country owes a huge amount to them," he says. He established Crescent Capital in 2009, looking to provide project equity and advisory services to the burgeoning private-sector renewable energy market. During his first year he realized that fund-raising was pointless given the continuing global finance crisis, so he spent the time meeting project developers, working with them on project development and advising them on how to structure projects. His previous career – 14 years first in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s power and energy team, another four years running the bank’s regional offices and then helping set up the International Finance Corporation’s regional energy and infrastructure team in Istanbul – gave him the confidence to see the opportunities that existed, both in Turkey and the wider region.