World Bank President Resigns

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World Bank President Jim Yong Kim is stepping down prematurely from his position at the world body.

In a statement Monday, Kim said his resignation is effective 1 February 2019.

The statement said Kim will join a New York-based equity private infrastructure investment fund.

The fund started raising money for a potential $20bn fund, just a year after raising a record-breaking $15.8bn vehicle, much of it earmarked for assets in the energy and transport sectors.

Kim will be barred from doing any business with the World Bank for a year, a standard cooling period of all former World Bank Group staff and officials.

Kim will also rejoin Partners in Health in Boston, Massachusetts, a non-profit medical organization that he helped found.

The departure of Kim opens another opportunity for US President Donald Trump to nominate a successor.

Speculation is that Trump may appoint only someone who will deny the existence of climate change and have little faith in multilateral institutions.

Kim did not inform World Bank senior staff until last weekend.

It was not until 9.13 am on Monday morning that he emailed members of the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, letting them know he was stepping down.

Some staff said they felt insulted by the way Kim dumped the institution.

At a town hall in an amphitheater on Tuesday, Kim told staff that the opportunity he is leaving to embrace fell on his “lap”.

He struggled to convince doubting staff that he still had faith in the institution.

Kim was nominated for the job in 2012 by former US President Barack Obama. He was elected to the position the same year. He was reappointed in 2016 for a term that was slated to end in 2022.

Photo: Wu Zhiyi/World Bank

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