By Sudeep Reddy
The International Monetary Fund’s No. 2 official, John Lipsky, said Thursday he’ll leave his position when his term expires in August — creating the first test of whether emerging-market nations will play a role in filling top posts at the fund.
Lipsky, a U.S. national, has served as the IMF’s first deputy managing director since September 2006 in a five-year term. Lipsky has agreed to serve as Special Advisor to IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn through the Group of 20 Summit in November “to ensure continuity,” the fund said in a statement.
The No. 2 slot at the IMF has traditionally gone to an American, working under a managing director from a European nation. The fund has already taken steps to recognize the increasing power of emerging-market economies such as Brazil, China, India and Russia. Now those nations will see whether their citizens get a shot at the top jobs in Washington.
The IMF managing director selects the No. 2 official with approval of the fund’s 24-member executive board. There’s widespread speculation that Strauss-Kahn, who took his post in 2007, will leave the IMF to run for president of France. That would create another opportunity to swing from tradition by putting a non-European into the post.
Lipsky, 64, previously served as vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Investment Bank and also had been chief economist at J.P. Morgan and Salomon Brothers. Earlier in his career, he spent a decade in various positions at the IMF.
“From my first days at the Fund, John has been a sincere friend to me, as well as an exemplary colleague, a tireless thinker, an instigator of debate, an influential proponent of multilateralism and deeper financial surveillance, and an outstanding communicator to a broad range of external constituencies,” Strauss-Kahn said in the statement.
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