Outgoing Chair Alan Gillespie oversaw raising of US$ 3.6 billion
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René Karsenti will take over as IFFIm Board Chair on 24 February.
Washington DC and Geneva, 3 February 2012 - René Karsenti has been appointed as the new Board Chair of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm).
He joined the Board on 23 December 2011 and will take over as Chair on 24 February, replacing Alan Gillespie, who has served since IFFIm was established six years ago. Under his leadership as Chair, IFFIm has raised US$ 3.6 billion in bonds to support GAVI childhood immunisation programmes.
IFFIm is a multilateral development institution created to accelerate the availability of predictable, long-term funds for health and immunisation programmes through the GAVI Alliance in developing countries.
Capital markets and development finance expertise
Dr. Karsenti, a French national, brings to IFFIm a background both in the capital markets and in development finance. He will continue in his current role as President of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), a self-regulatory organisation and trade body that represents some 430 member firms involved in the international capital markets. On the development side, Dr. Karsenti has served as Director General of Finance of the European Investment Bank and was the first Treasurer of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He also spent more than 10 years in senior positions in the treasury organisations of the World Bank Group in Washington, including as Director of the Treasury and Financial Policy Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
GAVI’s mission is very important to me and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to use my capital market experience to raise money for GAVI through IFFIm and so to ensure that children in the world’s poorest countries can be afforded the same vaccinations as children in richer nations.
Dr. René Karsenti
“René is very highly respected in supranational circles and among capital market participants,” said Doris Herrera-Pol, Global Head of Capital Markets at the World Bank, IFFIm’s treasury manager. “He has accumulated decades of experience in the capital markets through his roles as a senior member of the management team of various supranationals, including the World Bank. René is a professional with integrity who cares deeply about development.”
“GAVI’s mission is very important to me and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to use my capital market experience to raise money for GAVI through IFFIm and so to ensure that children in the world’s poorest countries can be afforded the same vaccinations as children in richer nations,” Dr. Karsenti said. “The pioneering work of Alan Gillespie has established IFFIm as a major and innovative model in development finance.”
Dr. Gillespie served as IFFIm’s founding chair, helping IFFIm raise commitments of US$ 6.3 billion in pledges from nine sovereign donors.
“Alan has been a tireless and successful chair of IFFIm and a powerful advocate for the GAVI Alliance,” said Seth Berkley MD, GAVI Alliance CEO. “The funds IFFIm has raised have enabled the GAVI Alliance to double our funding for immunisation and reach millions more children with the life-enhancing power of vaccines."
"Alan Gillespie's leadership as first chairman of IFFIm has been a model of close engagement and long-term vision,” said Susan McAdams, Director of Multilateral Trusteeship & Innovative Finance at the World Bank. “IFFIm has benefited from his experience, versatility and professionalism as he effectively communicated the benefits of IFFIm's financial structure to development partners, as well as IFFIm's development benefits to interested investors.”
“I am grateful to my colleagues on the IFFIm board for their dedication toward such an important cause,” Dr. Gillespie said. “Their support and vision has been instrumental in our work to support GAVI’s mission, and I am confident that IFFIm will, under René’s leadership, continue to serve as a model for innovative finance in global health.”
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About the GAVI Alliance
The GAVI Alliance is a Geneva-based public-private partnership aimed at improving health in the world’s poorest countries. The Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists. GAVI support consists of providing life-saving vaccines and strengthening health systems. In its first decade of work, GAVI has financed the immunisation of more than 326 million children and prevented more than 5.5 million premature deaths. For more information, please visit: www.gavialliance.org.
About the World Bank
The World Bank is a global development cooperative owned by 187 member countries. Its purpose is to help its members achieve equitable and sustainable economic growth in their national economies and to find effective solutions to pressing regional and global problems in economic development and environmental sustainability. The goal is to help overcome poverty and improve standards of living for people worldwide. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody's/S&P), is the oldest and largest entity in the World Bank Group and provides funding, risk management tools and credit enhancement to sovereigns. To fund this activity, IBRD has been issuing debt securities in the international capital markets for 60 years. The World Bank is also the Treasury Manager for IFFIm. In that capacity, the World Bank, as IFFIm's agent, manages IFFIm's finances according to prudent policies and standards. This includes IFFIm's funding strategy and its implementation in the capital markets, rating agency and investor outreach, hedging transactions and investment management. The World Bank also coordinates with IFFIm's donors and manages their pledges and payments as well as IFFIm's disbursements for immunisation and health programmes through the GAVI Alliance.