Financial Sector Specialist

The World Bank, Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
9th May, 2019

Job Description

Background & General Description


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 global development community is at an auspicious turning point in history. Thanks to the success of the past few decades and favorable economic growth, developing countries now have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation. This is the vision of the WBG: to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day to 3 percent by 2030, and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country. To achieve this vision, the WBG Board of Governors approved a strategy for the organization in 2013. This strategy leverages, for the first time, the combined strength of the WBG institutions and their unique ability to partner with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions backed by finance, world class knowledge and convening services. The strategy has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas. The architecture underpinning the strategy and instrumental to its success is an operating model introduced in July 2014 based on fourteen Global Practices (GPs) five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs).


Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation (FCI) is comprised of about 700 staff working across more than 120 countries. It works toward creating an enabling environment in which financial stability, efficiency and firm-level solutions are provided in an integrated way to crowd in the private sector, support the creation of markets, and accelerate equitable growth. FCI also houses the IFC Implementation Units focused on implementing public sector advisory work in support of the finance and entrepreneurship agenda across all six regions. About one third of FCI professional staff are decentralized to the field working closely with the Country Management Units and in proximity to clients. FCI professionals also lead or participate in a wide variety of analytical and advisory work that add to the core expertise delivered to client countries. Knowledge and learning are a central part of the FCI agenda, with work focused on the following thematic areas:

  • Financial Stability and Integrity;
  • Long Term Finance;
  • Financial Inclusion and Infrastructure;
  • Industry Solutions;
  • Firm Capabilities and Innovation; and
  • Crisis and Disaster Risk Finance.

FCI works closely with the Global Practice for Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment (MTI) on systematic country diagnostics, country strategies, policy lending and other private sector diagnostics, analytical and lending activities.

Roles & Responsibilities

The advertised position will report to the Practice Manager of the Crisis and Disaster Risk Finance team. In order to support the growing crisis and disaster risk finance portfolio, the team is seeking a Financial Sector Specialist with a background and experience in disaster risk finance, catastrophe insurance, finance, risk quantification and model development, and/or design and implementation of financial risk management solutions against crisis and disaster risks. Experience in designing financial risk management solutions in emerging markets in an advantage. His/her overall objective will be to lead the development of analytical & advisory and financial services to improve the financial resilience of developing countries against disaster shocks and, over time, a wider range of crises. S/he will be assigned to work on countries and issues which span a full global portfolio. The candidate will:

  • Support the technical development of financial solutions against climate and disaster risks to help address client needs, including governments and public agencies (e.g., insurance programs and derivatives, financial risk management solutions), drawing on his/her own private sector experience and expertise;
  • Support World Bank’s operations related to crisis and disaster risk finance;
  • Supervise a technical team, comprised of staff and consultants from a wide range of specialist backgrounds, to ensure on-time and high-quality delivery of analytical and financial products;
  • Produce in-depth analytical work and tools to build government capacity to understand, manage and communicate financial risk and to support the policy dialogue on financial risk management with governments;
  • Support the design of comprehensive financial risk management strategies based on clients’ needs and requirements, and supported by cost-benefit analyses of various financing instruments (including risk transfer solutions, contingent credit, retention layers);
  • Contribute to high-level dialogue on the reduction of protection gap and humanitarian finance (e.g., G20, APEC, ASEAN) through the provision of analytical and policy inputs;
  • Translate technical and market-related solutions into knowledge management products (including operational manuals, dissemination brochures, and document country case studies and lessons learned for clients) and contribute to learning events (workshops, training courses, and distance-learning events).

Selection Criteria

Required Competencies:

  • Deliver Results for Clients - Proactively addresses clients stated and unstated needs
  • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives
  • Lead and Innovate – Contributes to development of innovative solutions.
  • Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.
  • Make Smart Decisions - Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.
  • Operational Project Management - Demonstrates broad knowledge of project management tools & methodologies; identifies key risks and mitigation measures; interprets background analysis and proposed solutions.
  • Financial Economic Policy - Demonstrates knowledge of economic policy development; demonstrates strong analytical skills & writing ability to help identify and assess policy issues in support of policy dialogue.
  • Sector/Program Representation - Ability to constructively participate in strategic cross-sector dialogues within the network, across the country, among Bank colleagues and other development institutions, government, and other organizations.

Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Knowledge, understanding and expertise in financial risk management (e.g., pricing techniques, financial product structuring, product performance review);
  • Experience in managing World Bank’s projects, including preparation, implementation and supervision.
  • Experience in managing projects on catastrophe risk financing and large-scale technical assistance programs (including specifying, budgeting, supervising and contracting technical work);
  • Demonstrated ability to establish trust and create partnerships with government officials or public sector clients in emerging markets in order to ensure a collaborative approach to design and implementation of customized financial solutions that achieve development objectives;
  • Private sector experience in financial risk management solutions, such as traditional or parametric reinsurance and catastrophe bonds, alternative risk transfer solutions, and hedging products;
  • Knowledge of reinsurance industry practices and/or financial risk management practices;
  • Advanced knowledge, understanding and expertise in applied probability and statistics, and/or actuarial techniques.
  • Experience in engaging and interacting with donor partners on finance related topics.
  • Experience translating specialized financial expertise and technical topics into training materials and tools for non-technical audiences.
  • Presentation skills demonstrating the ability to present the results of complex analytical output to a variety of audiences with different levels of technical knowledge and experience.
  • Expert-level skills and experience using MS Excel/VBA, statistical tools (e.g., R, SAS) and risk mapping tools is preferred.
  • Experience of the use of commercial property catastrophe risk management tools (with focus on risk analysis and portfolio management) is preferred;

Other Selection Criteria:

  • Master’s degree [or equivalent professional qualification] plus at least 5 years of experience in finance, insurance, economics, statistics, disaster risk management, or related discipline.
  • Proven ability to work in teams, as well as support the delivery of complex analytical and advisory services.
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and deliver high quality work on time.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience in emerging markets in an advantage.


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