World Bank, Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
Above 15 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th September, 2020

Job Description


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. 

World Bank Group Finance and Accounting (WFA) is led by the Vice President and Controller, who reports to the Managing Director and WBG Chief Financial Officer. WFA is responsible for all aspects of the financial reporting and internal control framework for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the extensive Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of these entities as well as that of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). WFA also leads the service function for the WBG corporate expenses and WBG trust funds, and the fiduciary responsibility for all disbursements related to Bank operations.

WFA is organized into three (3) departments - WFA Corporate Accounting and Reporting (WFACA); WFA Financial Controls (WFAFC); and WFA Trust Funds and Loans (WFATL) – which comprise approximately 450 staff, of which 100 are based in Washington D.C., and the remainder in regional offices, including the largest in Chennai, India. Collectively, the three departments carry out core functions in: Accounting Business Services; Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis; Valuation Analytics; Trust Funds and Loans Operations; Systems and Transformation; Structured Finance, and Risks and Controls.

Department/Unit Context

WFA Trust Fund and Loan Operations (WFATL) department is in search of a new Director. The department conducts financial services, compliance, disbursements, accounting, and analytics for IBRD/IDA loans and trust funds, and provides cross-cutting support to the overall Vice Presidency in the areas of systems & transformation; WFATL consists of three divisions – WFA Client Services (WFACS), WFA Corporate Services and Accounting Support (WFAAS), and WFA Systems and Transformation (WFAST). Each division is led by a Manager, who is based in Washington D.C,. All three Managers report to the WFATL Director.

The WFAAS and WFACS divisions manage loans and trust fund financial operations activity and were recently reorganized to better serve client needs, accommodate new Bank priorities, and achieve further efficiencies and consistency in service delivery. WFAAS, comprised of approx. 60 staff located in Washington D.C., Chennai and Manila, provides core accounting, reporting and client support for the WBG Trust Fund portfolio, and the IBRD and IDA loan portfolios. WFACS provides “front-end” client services related to the loan, grant and guarantee instruments to internal business and external clients and serves all regions of the World Bank. Its services fall into four categories: regional coordination, country focal point assistance, project level fiduciary and portfolio management, and disbursement. WFACS has 60 staff who are located, and carry out operations, in Washington D.C., Beijing, Brasilia, Chennai, Manila, Nairobi and Zagreb.

The WFAST division was created in 2018 to provide project management and automation support to all WFA business operations, as well to give consistent support to each WFA department for the identification and implementation of transformative initiatives such as the adoption of Lean Six Sigma, Robotics Process Automation, Intelligent Automation and Blockchain. These initiatives are intended to increase productivity and efficiencies in work program delivery, while maintaining continuity in current WFA business operations. WFAST has 22 staff members and conduct operations in Washington D.C. and Chennai.

An important role of the Director, WFATL is to collaborate with a broad section of WBG colleagues, including: the two other WFA Directors; Finance Partners (Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Development Finance (DFi), and Treasury (TRE)); Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) and Operational teams; Operations staff (including Global Practices and Regional) ; Information and Technology Solutions (ITS), Group Internal Audit (GIA), Budget, Performance Review, & Strategic Planning (BPS), Human Resources (HR); IFC; and Senior Management to ensure goals are aligned, client needs are met, and that internal controls work effectively.

The WFATL Director is based in Washington D.C., reporting directly to the Vice President and WBG Controller, and serves as a key member of the WFA Leadership Team. Given WFATL’s global operations, a willingness to travel internationally and at short notice is an important requirement for this role.

Duties and Accountabilities of the Director, WFATL

The Director is tasked with the functional oversight and strategic leadership of the three divisions within the department. The successful candidate will perform the following overarching responsibilities:

  • Proactively lead a group of professionals to deliver the Department's work program within a given budget envelope, paying close attention to client satisfaction, coherent processes, quality, soundness and timeliness of all its products and services.
  • Attract, retain, and develop high caliber staff through the implementation and active use of a career framework to increase individual and organizational capabilities.
  • Work closely with the three divisional managers to develop and deliver on departmental objectives and productivity metrics, monitor performance, and optimize delivery models to allow maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Take a lead role in critical projects, for example, LIBOR transition, loan system replacement, Blockchain for disbursement traceability, and ERP upgrade.
  • Actively promote a culture of innovation within the department and pursue productivity improvements and control enhancements.
  • Lead modernization and automation initiatives that improve service quality and timeliness, cost effectiveness, and support a strong internal control environment.
  • Ensure client and stakeholder satisfaction by delivering superior services and secure, timely transactions across all locations.
  • Liaise with external parties on relevant matters of interest to the multilateral development banking and financial institutions communities.
  • Represent WFA on relevant Steering Committees and Corporate Governance groups, as required.
  • Act on behalf of the Vice President and WBG Controller in his absence when required.
  • Specifically, for WFACS: Support the division’s global client services, loan origination and disbursement operations. Maintain and strengthen relationships with key business partners in OPCS, Operations, Legal and other Finance Partners. Visit staff in WFATL’s country offices on a regular basis. Work on collaboration efforts with other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) as part of the Bank’s harmonization agenda, particularly as it relates to disbursement policies, procedures, practices and systems.
  • Specifically, for WFAAS: Support the division’s activities related to the WBG Trust Fund (TF) business and the IBRD/IDA loans business. Closely oversee the division’s financial reporting services and products for the trust funds and loans portfolios, including audited and unaudited individual trust fund statements, the annual internal controls assertion, client billing and loan accounting, and engagement in corporate Trust Fund and loans initiatives. Actively participate in institutional initiatives, such as Trust Fund Reforms and Financial Agreement Partnership Agreements with donors.
  • Specifically, for WFAST: Support the team’s cross cutting activities within WFA and with other internal Bank units. Lead important initiatives such as Robotics Process Automation (RPA) through collaboration and provision of support to other World Bank Directors in their efforts to roll out RPA initiatives within their domain. In close collaboration with ITS, lead the effort to replace the Bank’s loan systems, a major project over the next 3-4 years. Support WFAST’s role as the WFA focal point for the ERP replacement program. Ensure each of these initiatives have strong governance arrangements.

Selection Criteria

The successful candidate will have:

  • an extensive proven track-record in leading teams, ideally at an international level, including attracting, building and retention of talent;
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills (in English), both written and oral, with an ability to convey complex financial, accounting, and control issues clearly, concisely and diplomatically at all levels.
  • a combination of strategic vision, strong financial knowledge and business acumen, management insight, proactivity, and problem-solving skills;
  • a demonstrated highly innovative mindset, especially as it relates to technology (RPA, AI, Blockchain, etc.) and experience providing leadership to technology supported initatives;
  • a strong focus on client responsiveness and pragmatism;
  • a proven track record of organizational change; and
  • a proven ability to leverage and develop relationships cutting across functions towards achievement of collective goals.
  • Minimum education: undergraduate degree in Accounting, Finance or related field and an internationally recognized professional accounting qualification (e.g. CA, ACCA, CPA or equivalent) is required. Master's degree desirable.
  • The successful candidate will have at least an equivalent of 15 years of relevant experience, ideally with a background in one of the ‘big four’ international accounting firms, and preferably experience with an MDB/IFI or the World Bank Group, with a proven track-record in a senior leadership position.
  • Solid background in financial reporting and analysis with sound knowledge of U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and/or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of management reporting, business planning, work programming, budgeting, financial management and audit.
  • Solid understanding of finance, including loan origination and disbursements.
  • Experience with high volume and large value transaction processing in multiple currencies and multiple locations in a global environment.
  • Track-record of efficiency improvements and leveraging the latest technology to increase quality and timeliness of service.
  • Experience interacting with a high-level international finance community, such as donors and government representatives. A demonstrated capacity to effectively negotiate and manage tradeoffs at a senior level with diverse stakeholders, would be a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complexity, identify interdependencies, and take a corporate view.
  • Meet World Bank Group managerial competencies at the GI level.


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