IMF's Ms. Lagarde Taps Chinese Central Banker as Fund's Second Chinese Deputy MD
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
IMF's Ms. Lagarde Taps Chinese Central Banker as Fund's Second Chinese Deputy MD

(Yicai Global) July 11 -- Managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms. Christine Lagarde, has nominated Chinese central banker Mr. Zhang Tao as one of the fund's deputy managing directors to replace outgoing incumbent Mr. Zhu Min.

Mr. Zhang, 53, is deputy governor of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), where he has held positions since returning to China in 2004. Previously he was an economist at the World Bank and a senior economist at the Asian Development Bank. Mr. Zhu steps down on July 25. If the fund's executive board approves the appointment, Mr. Zhang would succeed him on Aug. 22.

"Mr. Zhang is very intelligent, competent, pragmatic and is fluent in English," an insider told Yicai Global. "He is representative of the new generation of international government officials."

The Washington-based IMF added a fourth deputy managing director position in 2011, and welcomed Mr. Zhu to the role as its first senior Chinese executive. Since then Chinese officials have become increasingly involved in the governance and rule-making of international financial institutions. Mr. Jin Liqun was chosen as president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in January, and finance ministry official Mr. Yang Shaolin was appointed managing director and chief administrative officer of the World Bank Group in February.

"Mr. Zhang brings a strong combination of international economic expertise, public sector policymaking, and diplomatic skills," Ms. Lagarde said in a statement on July 8. "He also has extensive experience with international financial institutions, excellent communication and negotiating skills, and a superb understanding of IMF policies and procedures."

Ms. Lagarde added that Mr. Zhang "is very well known and highly respected here at the Fund, having served as Executive Director for China from 2011 to 2015."

The insider also told Yicai Global that Mr. Zhang has headed the International Department and the Department of Statistics and Analysis of the PBoC, and has extensive professional and policymaking expertise. He has also worked at the research bureau, where he developed solid skills. Most recently, he has served as the bank's Director General of the Legal Affairs Department, leading the design of the framework for Internet finance legislation. He is also well acquainted with legal matters, the person said.

Mr. Zhang has an MA and a PhD in International Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a BS in Electrical Engineering and MS in Finance from Tsinghua University in Beijing.

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