Organization and VPU Overview
Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally.
The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.
The World Bank Group Finance and Accounting (WFA) Vice Presidency Unit, is responsible for all aspects of financial reporting and the internal control framework for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the extensive Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of those entities. The VPU is also responsible for expressing a Finance viewpoint on controls over Bank Group operations.
WFA comprises the following functions: Financial Instruments Accounting and Valuation; Loan Operations; Accounting Business Services; Financial Analysis and Reporting; Accounting Policy; Documentation and Communication; Advisory Services; and Operational Risks and Controls. These units collectively include approximately 500 staff, of which approximately 170 are located in Washington, D.C., with the remainder in regional offices including the largest in Chennai, India.
The Trust Funds and Loans Operations Department (WFATL) manages loan and trust fund operations and was recently reorganized to better serve client needs, accommodate for new Bank priorities, and achieve further efficiencies and consistency in service delivery.
Because of the reorganization, WFATL consists of two divisions, each managed by one manager.
The first division, WFACS, is devoted to providing “front-end” client services and related operations to business and external clients and is organized along business lines serving the regions and global practices. The Services within the area of WFATL responsibilities fall under three categories: regional coordination, country focal point assistance, and project-level fiduciary and portfolio management.
The second division, WFAAS, is focused on supporting both the WBG’s Trust Funds and Loans portfolios, for example, providing advice on the design and implementation of new trust funds, policies, or processes, as well as many activities associated with the implementation and closure of loans or trust funds, including account creation and maintenance, disbursement transactions, trust funds and loans accounting and reporting and helpdesk functions. These two divisions work closely and collaboratively with one another, in addition to with other Bank units.
This is an advertisement for a Finance Officer, in the WFAAS Trust Funds Advisory team based in HQ, reporting to the Team Lead, Trust Fund Advisory Team.
This position requires the individual to proactively and significantly engage with WBG staff and other corporate units – at all levels – who very often seek advice, subject matter expertise (product knowledge, impact upon controls, reporting, accounting, policies) in the design or modification of new/amended trust funds and/or policies and practices, while ensuring that the Bank’s fiduciary and reporting requirements can be achieved. In addition, this individual is expected to be one of the division’s leads in institutional projects to formulate policies, corporate views, responses and solutions related to trust funds. There is a significant hands-on component to this position, and the successful candidate must be comfortable rolling up their sleeves.
It is critical that the candidate has a strong client service orientation, a superior problem-solving attitude and aptitude, and the ability to influence others without authority, while explaining policy, legal, and basic finance, accounting, and internal control concepts in easy to understand language.
Duties and Accountabilities
The Trust Funds Advisory Finance Officer is based in Washington, D.C. and reports to the Trust Funds Advisory Team Lead within the WFAAS Advisory Team. The general duties and responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:
- Contribute to the ideation, technical development, and implementation, as appropriate, of innovative products across Trust Funds and Loans
- Support and lead WFAAS’ representation and contributions to corporate initiatives and projects
- Support WFAAS’ provision of data insights to stakeholders
- Drive a shared vision across Trust Funds Advisory team by contributing to product execution
- Model an environment of collaborative, cross-product teamwork and open communication within the Advisory team and across the division.
- Build and maintain relationship with clients and systematically engage stakeholders
- Proactively advise and consult upstream with Bank stakeholders during the development of new or blended products, corporate initiatives, or data insights
- Cultivate trusted working relationships with other Bank units, as it relates to the design, construction, and policies related to Trust Funds
- Support the Advisory Team’s participation in corporate and/or cross VPU projects and initiatives
- Conduct proactive and sustained outreach to clients, key business partners, and other WBG staff in order to keep abreast of Trust Funds developments, connecting the implications of those insights into the division’s actions
- Apply Trust Funds subject matter expertise, business knowledge, and familiarity with client needs to advise internal and external clients on the accounting implications of new and complex Trust Funds and FIFs.
- As necessary, preparation of TF and FIF financial statements, or related analyses, including diagnosis and formulation of replies to financial questions, fielding questions from the external auditors or external bodies (eg: TF Councils, Donors etc) including developing and explaining of accounting and audit responses
- Contribute to hands-on research to identify issues (e.g., internal control, fiduciary, reporting, or system issues) and provide recommended solutions in response to specific issues on existing TFs, or in the design of new TFs or corporate initiatives
- Ensure consistent interpretation and application of Trust Funds policies and processes, internal control, and framework requirements across the Trust Funds portfolio
- Apply Trust Funds business knowledge to represent the division’s interests, articulate its views, together with the supporting business rationale in cross functional meetings and projects
The successful candidate will have/be a:
- Strategic outlook with ability to take enterprise/strategic view of topics and ability to articulate consequences/implications of new proposals
- Highly proactive and client-centric outlook and behavior, with proven ability to represent WFAAS’ point of view across Bank stakeholders.
- Analytical thinker with demonstrated ability to confidently manage complexity, ambiguity, and high-stress situations, identify and navigate interdependencies, and to take a corporate view.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to explain technical issues and their implications on Bank and external stakeholders.
- Demonstrated good judgement and ability to navigate trade-offs between solutions orientation and escalating key issues to management
- Advanced degree in finance, accounting, law, or business, and a minimum of 8 years relevant work experience.
- Professional accounting designation, such as Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Accountant or equivalent is highly desirable.
- Ability to analyze business requirements (eg: legal, accounting, internal control), and articulate them in plain English to other Bank units.
- Meets and exhibits WFA competencies at the GF level.
Key Competencies – the preferred candidate must demonstrate the following competencies:
- Proactive outreach: Proactive communication and engagement style.
- Solutions orientation: Ability to synthesize information and communicate the “so what” to stakeholders.
- Judgement: Ability to know when to escalate issues to management.
- Results orientation: Track record of completing tasks.
- Leadership and innovation: Ability to take initiative and be persistent in their drive for results; seek opportunities to improve and find innovative solutions to problems; inspire and encourage others to have a positive attitude and impact; be able to adapt to changing circumstances; and be bold to increase the World Bank Group’s effectiveness.
- Smart decision making: Able to balance the need for making empirically-based sound decisions with a sense of urgency by making quick, timely, and relevant decisions; be good problem solvers.
- Collaborate within teams and across boundaries: Lead collaboration across WBG and with partners drawing on robust professional networks.
- Results for clients: Address the needs and challenges of clients; hold themselves accountable and take personal ownership for identifying and managing risks and delivering evidence-based results.
- Client understanding and advising: Look at issues from the client’s perspective and advocates for clients within own area as well as urges others to focus on meeting client needs. Follow through on client inquiries, requests, and addresses problems promptly and non-defensively. Proactively keep the client up-to-date on the progress of projects.
- Knowledge creation, application, and sharing: Share their expertise; create and contribute to the WBG’s body of knowledge; and efficiently reflect and draw on lessons from colleagues; expand their professional networks in their areas of expertise.
- Communication: Communicate to effectively share and exchange information. Able to listen actively, obtain necessary input, share ideas, speak persuasively, and convey information in a clear, objective, and concise manner.
- Broad business thinking: Solicit information on WBG/VPU direction, goals and industry competitive environment to determine how own area can add value to the organization and to clients. Makes decisions and recommendations clearly linked to the organization's strategy and financial goals.
- Project management: Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of project management concepts, and is experienced with complex, multi-functional projects. Effectively leverage and modifies project management tools, methodologies and processes. Effectively manage project issues, risks, stakeholders, and team members.
- Analytical thinking: Able to break down raw information and undefined problems into specific, workable components that in-turn clearly identify the issues at hand. Make logical conclusions, anticipate obstacles and consider different approaches that are relevant to the decision making process.
- Policies and procedures: Understand and apply relevant policies and procedures in executing responsibilities.
- Information technology and systems: Exhibit working knowledge of key information technology and main systems in own function areas. Effectively utilize such technologies and systems to successfully carry out work programs.
- Risks and controls: Demonstrate understanding of key risks and internal control procedures in the related processes. Able to identify key risks and mitigating control steps in own functional areas. Perform internal control procedures in compliance with the overall risk and control framework.