Press Releases

IFC Names Irene Arias Director for Latin America and the Caribbean

In Washington, DC:
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +1 202-458-5204

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.

About IFC

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

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