WASHINGTON, May 1st, 2014 – Jorge Familiar, a Mexican national, is the new Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the first Latin American to hold the post in 30 years. Familiar will oversee a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants worth more than US$30 billion.“It is an honor for me to take this new responsibility at a very exciting time for the region,” Familiar said. “Having closely seen the significant economic and social progress of the region in the past decade, there is no question that the eyes of the world are focused in Latin America these days and for the good reasons.”The World Bank’s twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity will be a central focus for the new Vice President. On both of those fronts the region is one step ahead. Since 2003, extreme poverty has been cut in half to 12 percent and, as opposed to other regions around the world, the income of the bottom 40 percent in Latin America has done better than the income of the rest.“The Bank has become a much closer partner to our clients, supporting their own demands and providing innovative global solutions to the region’s current challenges,” – Familiar emphasized. “Our task now will be to continue deepening that relationship and building on the many achievements the region has witnessed this decade. There is, of course, still a way to go to maintain and improve the recent gains and we will stand ready to help.”Last week, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim hailed regional leaders given the effective combination of prudent public policies and solid economic growth which have helped to reduce poverty and inequality.
Typically, the region accounts for more than 30 percent of total Bank lending under the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which serves middle-income countries. This fiscal year the World Bank Group is expected to deliver new lending commitments for around US$11 billion. The World Bank serves 31 countries in LAC, home to more than 540 million people.
“From climate insurance, to disaster related contingency lines of credits, or cutting edge knowledge and technical assistance, we are customizing our services to better serve the needs of our clients in the region,” Familiar added.
Prior to becoming Vice President for Latin America, Mr. Familiar was Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank Group since 2010. In that position, he played a key role in facilitating and fostering cooperation and strategic dialogue between the Board of Governors, the Boards of Executive Directors and the World Bank Group Senior Management, in the adoption of the World Bank Group’s new strategy to eliminate global poverty by 2030.
He also promoted the modernization of the institution regarding the provision of services tailored to the needs of the member countries, including innovative financial services, knowledge products and comprehensive solutions to development challenges.
Before joining the World Bank, Familiar was the Chief Executive Officer of the Mexican Instituto del Fondo Nacional para el Consumo de los Trabajadores (Instituto FONACOT), a government owned financial institution with 1 million clients and a loan portfolio of US$1 billion. It grants consumer loans to workers, guarantees their access to finance and fosters the development of financial literacy.
From 2004 to 2008 Familiar served as Executive Director and Alternate Executive Director in the World Bank Group in Washington D.C., having been elected by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and Venezuela as its representative on the Boards of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the International Development Association, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.
He started his career in the Banking and Securities Commission of Mexico (CNBV, in Spanish), where he held various appointments until becoming Vice-chairman of Securities and Derivatives Markets Supervision and member of the Board of Government. He was in charge of the design, negotiation and implementation of several pieces of regulation, including the executive’s branch proposal of the new Securities Market Law, issued by Congress on December 2005 and the proposals to amend the Securities Market Law and of a new Mutual Funds Law, both issued by Congress on June 2001.
Familiar replaces Hasan Tuluy, who served in that position for two and a half years, and now will become special advisor to the World Bank Group’s Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati.