Hikmet Ersek, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Western Union, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Western Union

Hikmet Ersek

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Western Union

Hikmet Ersek is President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Western Union, a 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; implementing a new technology platform; and significantly upgrading the company’s global compliance programs.

A citizen of Austria and 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.

In 2019, Ersek received the Global Economy Prize in Business from the Keil Institute for the World Economy for his international influence on global issues and was honored for his meritorious services to the Republic of Austria with the Decoration of Honor. A recipient of the Best FinTech CEO, he also received Manager of the Year 2018 from his Alma Mater, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. In 2016, Ersek was awarded Austrian of the Year by Die Presse and currently serves as the Austrian Honorary Consul for Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.

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.