A similar, yet different, leader for MIGA

The World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency is a member of the World Bank Group. Photo by: Deborah W. Campos / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

Some observers may suspect that Keiko Honda is just another Japanese, female executive vice president for the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. But Honda brings some new contributions to the table.

Honda will take over the post that Izumi Kobayashi will leave in June. According to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim in a press release Honda will bring with her “extensive experience within global organizations — both private and public sector — where she has gained a reputation as a leader in banking, corporate finance, and private equity.”

It is no small wonder that Kim expressed his confidence in Honda’s ability to lead MIGA, where she is expected to carry on its legacy of ushering in more foreign investments to the least-served countries.

Honda is, after all, McKinsey & Co.’s first-ever female director in Asia. She joined the global management consulting firm in 1989 and rose up the ranks until she finally became a partner and a director.

In her current role as the director for McKinsey & Company’s Japan office, she has provided counsel to both Japanese and multinational clients in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, corporate valuation and long-term growth strategy.

A sought-after advisor on financial institutions and corporate finance, she has been said to have aided organizations in structuring their financial operations and in forming functional capability to be able to compete in the global market.

Honda has not only worked in the private sector, also sitting on several Japanese government committees. In particular, she was a member of Japan’s Council for Regulatory Reform under the Koizumi, Abe, Fukuda, Aso and Hatoyama administrations. She was also once a visiting associate professor at the Hitotsubashi University’s Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy and a lecturer at the Chuo Graduate School of Strategic Management.

She received her bachelor’s in consumer economics from the Ochanomizu University, one of only two national women’s universities in Japan, and, as a Fulbright scholar, obtained her Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

A prolific writer, Honda has authored several books, including “Turnaround” (2004) and “M&A and Strategic Alliances” (1998). Other recent works include ”Private equity Asia-Pacific: Is the boom back?” (2011), ”Private equity in Asia Pacific: Rebounds, glocalization, and other tales” (2011) and “What we talk about when we talk about…private equity in Asia” (2010).

Honda will assume her role as executive vice president of MIGA on July 15.

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About the author

  • Johanna Morden

    Johanna Morden is a community development worker by training and a global development journalist by profession. As a former Devex staff writer based in Manila, she covered the Asian Development Bank as well as Asia-Pacific's aid community at large. Johanna has written for a variety of international publications, covering social issues, disasters, government, ICT, business, and the law.

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