Background & General Description:

The World Bank Group (WBG) is the world’s largest source of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2014, the WBG committed $66.4 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $22.2 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with more than 16,000 staff located globally.

In order to further strive towards collaborating as "One WBG" and setting the foundation for further streamlining, policy alignment, efficiencies, and sharing of best practices, a position of WBG Controller and IFC’s Chief Administrative Officer was created in February 2014 to support the implementation of the WBG’s vision and strategy. Under its WBG Finance & Accounting (WFA) Vice Presidential Unit (VPU), the WBG Controller & IFC’s CAO 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), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the extensive Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of these entities. The WBG Controller & IFC’s CAO also leads the client shared service function for the WBG corporate expenses and WBG trust funds, ensures fiduciary responsibility for all disbursements related to Bank operations, and leads the IFC Business Partnership function, including the IFC Budget, Finance & Procurement Networks, as well as the IFC Facilities Management, Procurement & Administrative function. 2

To carry out its mandate related to WBG client shared services, corporate expenses, and trust funds, the WFA is in search of a Director, WBG Accounting Business Services Department (WFAAB). The WFAAB is responsible for providing shared business services in the areas of accounting, financial reporting, and quality assurance services for corporate expenses/fixed assets and trust funds. The department is tasked with the day-to-day accounting for numerous multiple currency transactions for corporate expenses and trust funds. This work program includes transaction processing, monitoring and reporting as well as the design of effective internal control systems for administrative and trust funds transactions for the World Bank Group entities (IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA, and ICSID). The department of more than 180 staff operates from Washington DC and Chennai (India). Responding to the simplification of processes in the WBG, the WFAAB Department is expected to expand its mandate to provide some Country Office Accounting services currently being performed in the regions. Additionally, the evolution of the shared services model is expected to include a consolidated or re-engineered approach for select transaction processes impacting the general ledger, currently done in a distributed model.

The Director, WFAAB will collaborate closely with WBG operational teams, including its Global Practices, Regions and other operations staff, external Donors, the WBG Budget, Strategic Planning & Performance VPU (BPS) and its related Resource Management functions (including Chief Administrative Officers and Program Coordinators assigned to VPUs across the World Bank Group), Information and Technology Solutions (ITS), Development Finance (DFi), and Human Resources, and senior management, to ensure goals are aligned, client needs are met, and that internal controls work effectively.

The Director, WFAAB will be based in Washington DC, report directly to the Vice President and WBG Controller & IFC’s Chief Administrative Officer, and serve as a key member of his Leadership Team.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The Director, WFAAB is tasked with the functional leadership and possible expansion of the current WBG model of business services for finance and accounting. In addition to the functional oversight and strategic leadership, the successful candidate will perform the following overarching responsibilities:

  • Lead a group of professionals to deliver the Department’s work program within the budget envelope with attention to client satisfaction, coherent processes, soundness/timeliness of 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.
  • Develop departmental objectives and productivity metrics, monitor performance, and optimize delivery models to allow greater efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Identify and undertake further process standardization and simplification, productivity improvements, and control enhancement initiatives. Lead optimization, modernization and automation initiatives that serve to improve service quality and timeliness, cost effectiveness, reduce operational risk and support an adequate control environment
  • Ensure client and stakeholder satisfaction and that the department processes deliver superior services and timely transactions and client support
  • Rationalize and ensure proper sourcing and organization of the department’s operations across HQ, Chennai and possibly other key locations.
  • Identify potential services and processes that may be beneficially provided as shared services
  • Actively contribute to the shared services strategy and evolution of the model towards best practices.
  • Liaise with external parties on relevant matters of interest to the multilateral development banking and financial institutions community.
  • Be an active member of the WBG Finance & Accounting leadership team.
  • Act on behalf of the Vice President and WBG Controller & IFC’s CAO in his absence when asked.

WBG Corporate Expenses: has core responsibility for the fair recording and reporting of the World Bank Group’s administrative expenses, payroll and benefits, staff and external accounts receivable, accounts payable, travel, tax, and fixed assets and leases. In addition, this division has a quality assurance role monitoring, analyzing, and reporting on review findings and evaluating compliance of transactions with Bank and IFC policies. Furthermore, this unit provides support to the country office accounting function distributed in the regions. Provide strategic leadership and guidance to Business Units, World Bank Group-wide, on the development and maintenance of an effective system of internal controls over paying, recording and reporting of administrative expenses. Lead discussions, advise other units and Chief Administrative Officers, and ensure adherence to the Bank’s Control Framework for corporate expenses in accordance with US GAAP. This includes leading the design, development and implementation of appropriate fiduciary and risk management procedures.

WBG Trust Fund Accounting: responsibility for financial reporting products in support of the World Bank Group’s (IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA and ICSID) overall trusteeship. This includes maintaining the financial accounting and business records for the Group’s trust fund and partner arrangements as well as a range of internal and external client services, in particular to donors.

  • Provide strategic leadership for trust fund/partnership accounting operations that is aligned with the corporate objectives, regional priorities, and best practices.
  • Play an active role in the formulation and maintenance of the Trust Funds Assurance Framework. Direct the preparation of trust fund financial statements and the "single audit" internal controls attestation on cash, special purpose or GAAP bases.
  • Represent the World Bank Group, as required, on Multi-lateral Development Bank trust fund conferences and other donor interactions as needed.

WBG Country Office Accounting: Currently this division is responsible for providing support, including replenishment of funds and monitoring of internal controls to country office accountants in the regions. The Corporate Expense Services Division is also implementing significant enabling initiatives that will result in a reduced footprint of tasks needed to be performed locally. These transformative initiatives will modify the type of support these offices require from WBG Finance & Accounting. Responding to the simplification of processes in the WBG, the Country Office Accounting function will need to be redesigned and some functions consolidated. To the extent functions are consolidated and lodged in WBG Finance & Accounting, those services will be delivered from this department. Therefore, the Director will have responsibility for the coordination of all processes, risks, and controls that impact WBG country office accounting. He or she will:

  • Develop, implement, and operate a model to consolidate and maximize efficiency and cooperation across the WBG Country Office Accounting function.
  • Identify, and adopt or adapt industry best practices related to the delivery and operation of shared service functions in a global environment.
  • Provide strategic leadership and technical guidance to WBG-wide country office accounting function.
  • WBG Transaction Processing:
  • Provide leadership to the overall WBG-wide effort to redesign and redistribute existing transaction processing activities, in collaboration with other global process owners to modify the service delivery model.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the shared services model for additional transaction processing.

Selection Criteria:

The successful candidate will have an extensive proven track-record in, and be able to provide references who can attest to his or her ability in, leading teams. This includes attracting, developing and retaining key talent. The successful candidate will also have a strong reputation for superior communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the gravitas needed to command respect among direct reports, peers and superiors. Other factors required in the selection of the successful candidate include:

  • Minimum education: Undergraduate degree in Accounting, Finance or related field and an internationally recognized professional accounting qualification (e.g. CPA, CA, ACCA or equivalent) is required. Typically, the successful candidate will have at least an equivalent of 15 years of relevant experience in the accounting field with an international accounting firm, a large, global corporation with complex financial operations, or the World Bank Group, including proven sustained track-record in a leadership position.
  • Solid background in financial reporting and analysis and a solid knowledge of U.S. GAAP and/or international accounting standards (IFRS).
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of accounting theory, concepts and principles, combined with proven practical skills in accounting, reporting, business planning, work programming, budgeting, financial management and audit.
  • Experience with high volume transaction processing operations in a multiple currency, multiple location global environment.
  • Demonstrated experience implementing and successfully managing finance and accounting shared services.
  • A track-record of efficiency improvements that have demonstrably increased quality and timeliness of service.
  • Strong communication skills (in English), both written and oral, to convey complex financial, accounting, and control issues in a clear and concise way at all levels from senior management to staff.
  • Meet World Bank Group managerial competencies at the GI level*. Consistent superior 360 degree feedback is a strong plus and performance reviews may well be requested and examined.

Desirables include:

  • A Master’s degree.
  • Private sector management experience that could be seen as equivalent to experience interacting with donor community and government representatives, with a solid understanding of trust funds and a demonstrated capacity to effectively negotiate and manage trade-offs at senior level with diverse stakeholders.

The successful candidate will demonstrate a track record of excellent decision-making skills in closely scrutinized, complex, results-oriented environments. Vision, excellent problem-solving skills, a collaborative approach, a continuous improvement philosophy, success stories of the development of staff, and a stellar internal and external customer service mentality will be hallmarks of this person’s career leading up to this role. Other qualities that will define the successful candidate include: 6


  • A track record of leading by influence, proactive behavior, problem solving, exercising judgment, being innovative, with an open and collegial work style with ability to listen and integrate ideas from diverse views, create partnerships, and collaborate with others at all levels.
  • A reputation for being a seasoned leader with proven ability to build productive teams and work collaboratively across functions and departments, including building and strengthening cooperation and coordination across the WBG institutions, with varying levels of staff in operations, finance, and corporate support departments. Ability to manage tight deadlines.
  • The demonstrated ability to manage complexity, to identify interdependencies, and take a corporate view.
  • A desire to ensure clear, concise communications and understanding among disparate teams and at all levels
  • A reputation for strong ethics and integrity.
  • Enthusiasm for the WBG’s mission
  • A forward-thinking mentality balanced with respect for heritage, culture and historical context
  • The ability to plan for, and then navigate multiple, sometimes divergent contingencies
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Practicality
  • Diplomacy
  • Conviction
  • High intellect and a bias for precision
  • A sense of humor

*In recent years, the WBG has embraced the following Managerial Competencies and these are sought out, measured and reviewed in every leadership role:

  • Courage of his/her convictions: Takes on challenges in a very diplomatic way, seeing them as an opportunity for both personal and organizational improvement. Pushes back against one’s peers, manager and others higher in the organization, and clients, when necessary or in the best interests of the WBG mission and its clients. Advances bold ideas in the face of resistance (internal and external), especially when they are consistent with the WBG mission and values.
  • Leading the team for impact: Inspires through linking the vision of their department/organization to the WBG mission. Ensures that others buy into the vision through taking symbolic actions and reinforcing desired changes. Energizes through positive encouragement and reinforcement for thinking about possibilities of what can be done versus what can’t be done. Aligns people around the WBG mission as a way to focus people on the most critical priorities. Includes resolving competing priorities as they exist.
  • Influencing across boundaries: Takes a broad view of the organization, seeking to influence across multiple departments in order to advance initiatives. Displays awareness and respect to other’s position when making a case for an opposing opinion. Anticipates other’s reactions, preparing responses and contingency plans in advance. Crafts an argument unique to the individual in order to gain buy-in and participation; engages the heart and mind of the individual by making one’s point of view relevant to them and by connecting with their emotions.
  • Fostering openness to new ideas: Creates and models norms around how others should interact. Encourages and supports the people with whom they come into contact to embrace differences, create transparency and promote frank and respectful discussions. Changes systems or processes to encourage more open communication and to facilitate new ways of doing things.
  • Building talent for the future: Creates opportunities for development, such as full job change or project assignments (as appropriate for their career path) in order to grow their breadth of knowledge and/or leadership capability; may include moving people to different groups or business units. Makes the time to reach out to key talent to mentor them and determine their aspirations, both within and outside the immediate team, regardless of benefit to own self. Identifies future leaders in the organization and develops them over the long-term, incorporating building leadership and WBG specific behaviors. Prioritizes the development of diverse talent in order to ensure that the World Bank Group’s staff is able to meet the needs of clients both now and in the future. Holds team members accountable for providing development opportunities and activities for their people.

Conditions & Remuneration:

The following conditions are specific to this position:

  • This is a 5 year term appointment.
  • Position is based in the Washington, DC office.

* This job is graded equivalent to a Director-level (GI) in the World Bank’s salary structure. Effective July 1, 2014, the minimum salary at this level is $220,800 net with the expected offer range up to the market reference point of $276,000. As stated above, the salary is calculated at ‘net’ due to the fact that as an international organization, the World Bank Group pays all staff on a net-of-income-tax basis.

Non-U.S. employees do not incur income tax liability on their Bank Group income in accordance with the 1947 Convention on Immunities and Privileges agreement that created the United Nations and other international institutions. However, U.S. employees do incur federal, state and 8

local income tax liability, and must file and pay such tax. To maintain salary parity between U.S. and non-U.S. employees, U.S. employees participate in the Tax Allowance system, whereby the Bank Group reimburses staff for their tax liability on World Bank Group income.

The WBG also has an extensive benefits and perquisities package for the employee and his or her dependants. Additionally, many services are provided by the WBG to aid staff and their families.

How to Apply:

Applications and nominations are to be sent to Mr. Derek Wilkinson, Managing Partner, Boyden Global Executive Search at Deadline for applications is December 19, 2014.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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