Washington, DC, September 26, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the appointment of Irene
Arias as Director for the Latin America and Caribbean region. Based in
Bogota, Arias will oversee IFC’s Investment and Advisory Services operations
in 34 countries across the region, where IFC has a combined investment
portfolio of $11.9 billion in private sector projects and Advisory Services
programs worth $80.3 million.
“The private sector is responsible for more than 90 percent of jobs and
its innovations and expertise are vital to improving living standards in
Latin America and the Caribbean,” Arias said. “We are committed to helping
address the region’s most pressing challenges through our in-depth sector
expertise, long-term partnerships, and ability to mobilize investment partners.”
During fiscal year 2013, commitments in Latin America and the Caribbean
accounted for 26 percent of IFC’s total global commitments – the largest
share of any region. IFC provided an unprecedented $6.5 billion to 129
projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. This included $1.7 billion
mobilized from other investors and marked a 30 percent increase from fiscal
year 2012. IFC also approved 20 new Advisory Services projects for $14.8
million during the last fiscal year.
IFC’s strategy in Latin America and the Caribbean promotes inclusive economic
growth, regional integration, innovation, and business solutions to the
threats of climate change. IFC’s clients support about two million jobs
in the region and one in eight people benefit from infrastructure projects
supported by IFC. In the financial sector, our clients have provided 29
million loans valued at $217 billion to micro, small and medium enterprises.
Before being named Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Arias
was IFC’s Regional Manager for the Andean region, overseeing IFC operations
in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. Arias joined IFC in
2001 and has been responsible for managing investments, primarily in the
financial sector, from Washington, Istanbul, Johannesburg, and Bogota.
Arias was part of the team that developed IFC's Asset Management
Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC which manages over $5.5 billion
of capital across six investment funds.
Arias, a Spanish national, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from
Carlos III University in Madrid, an M.A. in International Relations from
Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC, and an M.A. in Advanced European
Studies from the College of Europe. She is a CFA Charterholder.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the
world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit