Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

IMF moves to undo age limit for the position of managing director

An affirmative vote would pave the way for Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva, 66, to succeed Lagarde

Outgoing managing director Christine Lagarde, a former French finance minister, was the IMF's first female head. AFP
Outgoing managing director Christine Lagarde, a former French finance minister, was the IMF's first female head. AFP

The International Monetary Fund has recommended its board vote to remove a restriction prohibiting anyone above the age of 65 from being appointed managing director.

The IMF is currently looking for a candidate to replace the outgoing Christine Lagarde, who will head the European Central Bank after serving eight years at the organisation. The move is expected to clear the way for current favourite, Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva, 66, to succeed Ms Lagarde. Ms Georgieva is the European candidate for the position. She is currently the chief executive of the World Bank, which does not have an upper limit on age.

The IMF also recommended to remove the limit on a managing director serving beyond their 70th birthday, noting that removing the age restriction, “would bring the managing director’s terms of appointment into line with those of members of the IMF Executive Board, which the managing director chairs.”

Ms Lagarde, at the helm of the multilateral organisation since 2011, will step down from her role on September 12. Ms Lagarde, a former French finance minister, was the first woman to head the IMF and played a key role in negotiating with EU countries during the debt crisis in 2012.

A simple majority is required to adopt the IMF’s proposal on removing the limit.

Voting is set to begin on August 21 until September 4.

Nominations for the position of the managing director will close on September 6, with the selection process expected to be completed by October 4.

Ms Georgieva beat the Netherlands’ Jeroen Dijsselbloem, an economist, as well as the Finnish central bank governor, Olli Rehn, to secure the European nomination, with strong backing from France, which lobbied to remove the age limit. As per convention, IMF is headed by a European candidate, while a US national serves as the head of the World Bank.

Updated: August 22, 2019 11:07 AM

SHARE

SHARE