World Bank president Jim Yong Kim announced the appointment of Keiko Honda as executive vice president of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA, the Bank’s political risk insurance arm) in late March. Honda, a Japanese national, will join MIGA in July. MIGA has only ever had Japanese nationals as its head; Honda is the sixth since its founding in 1988. Honda is currently a director of McKinsey Japan, the Japanese arm of global management consultancy McKinsey & Company, but has previously worked at private equity firm Bain & Company, and failed US investment bank Lehman Brothers. Her expertise centres on private equity based mergers and acquisitions in the Asia region.
Dorothy Guerrero of Thailand-based Focus on the Global South, cited the much-hyped intention for reform: “starting from the effort last year by developing countries to have a non-American at the helm, we can see that these intentions are failing, which simply shows that old powers do not want change and using their power to ensure that the status quo continues. In the face of all the crises, instead of much-needed fresh approaches, institutions are merely digging in with the same paradigm as the past.”