Are you sure?

IMF chief to resign for personal reasons - extended

Rodrigo Rato, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, announced Thursday he would resign in October for personal reasons. Bank of England governor denies interest in IMF job.

He met with International Monetary Fund's Executive Board and informed the latter that “he would leave in October following the conclusion of the 2007 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and World Bank Group,” according to the IMF. “I have taken this decision for personal reasons,” Rato said in the statement. “My family circumstances and responsibilities, particularly with regard to the education of my children, are the reason for relinquishing earlier than expected my responsibilities at the Fund.” “My intention is to step down as managing director soon after the 2007 Annual Meetings and I wanted to share my decision with you as soon as I made it in order to provide the Board with reasonable time to appoint my successor,” he added.

Europe has provided all the IMF's leaders since the Fund's inception after World War Two in 1945. Similarly, the World Bank is by convention headed by an American, shutting out Japan and developing countries. “We hope that the EU will identify a suitable successor candidate in due time so as to ensure the important reform process that has been started at the IMF will be taken to a good port and at a good time,” a spokeswoman for European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said. The IMF has started a reform process it hopes will give a bigger voice to the rest of the world, so opening up the selection of Rato's replacement to non-Europeans would be critical, an IMF board official from a developing country said. “It will be important for the credibility of that reform process that the selection process is opened up to candidates other than a European,” the official told Reuters.

Rato, a Spanish national and former Spanish minister of economy, succeeded Horst Koehler in May 2004 for a five-year term after Koehler resigned to stand for the German presidency. He helped oversee more than $50 billion of debt reduction for poor nations during his tenure at the IMF. (,

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has denied reports that he is interested in taking over from Rodrigo de Rato as head of the International Monetary Fund. However, a spokesman for King said today: "Although the governor is deeply concerned about reform of the Fund he wants to make absolutely clear that he has no interest now or in the future in becoming managing director. “That will not change. He has no interest in working outside the UK and does not want to leave London.” (