World Bank President Resigns to Join Investment Firm

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim unexpectedly announced his resignation on 07 January 2019, setting up a potential dispute between the U.S. and other member countries over selecting the next leader of the world’s largest development-finance institution.

Mr. Kim plans to leave the bank on Feb. 1, nearly three years before his term was set to expire, to join a firm focused on infrastructure investments. He first became president of the World Bank in 2012, appointed by President Obama, and in 2016 he was appointed to a new term lasting through 2021, meaning his successor wouldn’t have been appointed during the first term of the Trump presidency.

Kristalina Georgieva, the current CEO of the World Bank, will become interim president effective Feb. 1. Mr. Kim, 59 years old, said in an email to bank staff that his “opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets.”

The Treasury is the largest shareholder at the World Bank, controlling about 16% of voting shares. It has had a sometimes-antagonistic relationship with the bank under Mr. Mnuchin. The Treasury has criticized the World Bank for lending too much to China and for compensation packages that it says are too generous.

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