Badré: World Bank is changing 'for real'

World Bank Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer Bertrand Badré has recently become a source of controversy among bank staff, after he was paid a $94,000 “scarce skills” bonus at a time when staff are on edge because of looming job cuts — one of several ways to meet President Jim Yong Kim’s ambitious internal reform process, which aims to save $400 million in costs.

In a town hall meeting during the first day of the bank’s annual meetings in Washington, D.C., Kim said Badré would forego the portion of the bonus he has not yet received, but he will keep what he has already been paid, on top of his tax-free $379,000 salary.

A few weeks ago, Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones caught up with the World Bank CFO in a video interview on the sidelines of the 2014 Convergences World Forum in Paris, where Badré said the institution is changing “for real,” explained why he believes more in cooperation than alignment to partner with the private sector, and discussed how the reform process will affect the bank’s position on the post-2015 development agenda.

Badré: World Bank is changing ‘for real’

The issue of his bonus is the last in a series of cases of alleged lack of transparency surrounding Kim’s reform process that have prompted many World Bank employees to raise concerns over their future in the institution, and even some staff to openly stand up to management to protest the changes.

Badré joined the World Bank in March 2013 from French banking group Société Général, where he was also CFO. He served in the same position at Crédit Agricole from 2007 to 2011. The “scarce skills” payment was included in a footnote in the the World Bank’s annual review published last week.

Click on the clip below to learn more insights from the World Bank executive on innovative finance, for instance related to natural disasters in the case of Pacific island states.

World Bank CFO on innovative financing

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    Carlos Santamaria

    As associate editor for breaking news, Carlos Santamaria supervises Devex's Manila-based news team and the creation of our daily newsletter. Carlos joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.