WB president quits to join investment firm starting February

Jim Yong Kim, who abruptly resigned as president of the World Bank on Monday, is joining investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners next month.

Jim Yong Kim Jim Yong Kim

GIP, which focuses on projects in the energy, transport, water and waste industries, invests in developed and select emerging countries, said Kim will become vice chairman and a partner on Feb. 1. Bloomberg News reported earlier that he was in discussions to join the firm.

“The leadership and vision that Dr. Kim brought to the World Bank as well as his prior roles as president of Dartmouth College and director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department speak for themselves,” GIP Chairman Adebayo Ogunlesi said in a statement announcing the appointment Tuesday. His “broad knowledge base along with his first-hand, comprehensive experience of working with governments and institutions around the world will provide very valuable insights.”

Kim, 59, left the World Bank more than three years ahead of schedule, telling employees in an email that he planned to join a private firm, which he didn’t identify. He began his second five-year term at the bank on July 1, 2017, and helped the lender win support from member countries in April for a $13 billion capital increase, after the US dropped proposals to limit the World Bank’s resources.

“The opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets,” Kim said in the email.

New York-based GIP, which manages more than $40 billion in assets from ports and airports to a vast wind farm in the North Sea, last year teamed up with investors to acquire renewable-power specialist Equis Energy for $5 billion. GIP, an owner of London’s Gatwick Airport, and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. have amassed two of the largest infrastructure funds on record. The firm last year began raising capital for a fund that, at $20 billion or more, could eclipse both of those. (Bloomberg)