The World Bank Is Getting a New Chief

April 10, 2023
2 Min Read
The World Bank Is Getting a New Chief

Under pressure from world leaders, development experts and shareholders, the bank opens its spring meeting on Monday, poised for big changes.
World leaders, led by Prime Ministers Emmanuel Macron of France and Mia Mottley of Barbados, along with a constellation of academics and development experts want the bank to do more to help poor countries grappling with climate change. The bank has set out its own vision for transformation, in response to calls for action from the United States and others. Major shareholders have approved some initial reforms, including agreements to let the bank lend more money and attract more private investment.

At the center of the discussions will be Ajay Banga, who is widely expected to be confirmed as president of the bank in the coming weeks. When he takes over this summer, he will face high expectations and urgent questions about whether the bank will change its lending model, whether it will seek more money from shareholders and how he will direct the bank to address issues including poverty, global warming and the war in Ukraine.

A longtime finance executive, Mr. Banga, 63, became chief executive at Mastercard in 2010, shortly after the company, which had been owned by a coalition of more than 25,000 financial institutions, went public. During 10 years as C.E.O., he built Mastercard into a powerhouse now worth $350 billion.

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