IFC 'refocusing' through internal reorganization

The headquarters of the International Finance Corp. at the convergence of Pennsylvania Avenue and K Street in Washington, D.C. Photo by: NCinDC / CC BY-ND

The International Finance Corp. announced an internal reorganization of staff on Thursday that is intended to “simplify IFC’s organizational structure” and deepen its engagement with the other arms of the World Bank Group.

In an email to staff obtained by Devex titled “Refocusing the IFC,” Jin-Yong Cai, IFC’s executive vice president, wrote that the reforms would take place over the “weeks and months ahead” and would involve the creation of three new vice-presidential units known as “VPUs.” Those new VPUs will be: global client services, which “encompasses investments, advice and client relationships”; corporate risk and sustainability, which “unifies our transaction-enabling services”; and global partnerships, which will “facilitate smooth interaction with our counterparts in the World Bank Group and ensure strong private sector engagement.”

Each unit will be lead by two vice presidents. Dimitris Tsitsiragos and Jean Philippe Prosper will lead global client services, Saadia Khairi and Ethiopis Tafara will lead corporate risk and sustainability, and Karin Finkelston and Nena Stoiljkovic will lead global partnerships.

Stoiljkovic is already one of two co-vice presidents of 14 global practices, which assigned hundreds of World Bank and IFC staff members to these newly created practices. It is unclear how the IFC reshuffle aligns with the broader global practices reorganization.

The new IFC units will combine previously separate offices, but the email said that it would not involve the “re-mapping” of staff. It’s unclear how many employees will be affected by the changes, but the announcement was said to have taken employees by surprise.

Paul Cadario, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and former World Bank senior manager who has criticized Jim Kim’s larger restructuring of the bank, wrote in a comment on the Financial Times website that "the sudden IFC reorganization, done without staff consultation and to be advised by a Sounding Board that was appointed without World Bank Group Staff Association input, is the latest example of change being done to WBG staff, not with them."

In a response to questions about how the reorganization fits in with broader reforms within the World Bank Group, and how staff were consulted about the process, IFC spokesperson Serene Jweied responded with a statement saying that the “internal re-grouping of functions” would “focus resources on improving service delivery, building partnerships, and streamlining processes to benefit clients and staff. We expect that this will further enhance our ability to leverage the private sector across the World Bank Group as we work to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.”

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About the author

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    Paul Stephens

    Paul Stephens is a Devex staff writer based in Washington, D.C. His coverage focuses on Latin America and World Bank affairs, as well as Washington's global development scene. As a multimedia journalist, editor and producer, Paul has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Washington Monthly, CBS Evening News, GlobalPost and the United Nations magazine, among other outlets. He's won a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for a 5-month, in-depth reporting project in Yemen after two stints in Georgia - one as a Peace Corps volunteer and another as a communications coordinator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.