Operations Officer

World Bank Group

Panama City, Panama

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: Media and Communication

IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2023, IFC committed a record US$43.7 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises.

Sound financial systems underpin economic growth and development, and are crucial to the World Bank Group’s mission of alleviating poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Also, tapping into capital markets is needed to attract additional sources to help finance global development goals, which are projected to require.

Income inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean remains high, despite significant progress the region has made in reducing poverty over the past few years. IFC works to foster inclusive growth, boost innovation, and strengthen regional integration. In the fiscal year ended in June 2020, our long-term investments in the region totaled a record $7.1 billion, including a record $4 billion mobilized from other investors, enabling investments to foster sustainable growth across the region, create jobs and fight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IFC’s Country Advisory and Economics Unit delivers on IFC’s capital increase commitments by providing a foundation for IFC to increase private sector investment opportunities. CAE addresses key reform asks in IFC country strategies, complementing World Bank efforts, while strengthening IFC's relationships with client countries in support of the IFC 3.0 Strategy. Specifically, CAE works proactively with governments and regulatory agencies to create effective and efficient market conditions, both at economy wide as well as industry/sector level, for increased private investments. Our global experience shows that challenges in the business environment and lack of the right enabling regulatory framework results in countries losing significant amounts of investment annually.  The unit collaborates extensively with the public sector, private sector and other teams across the World Bank Group in the design and delivery of advisory services.

IFC’s focus in Latin America and the Caribbean is on promoting Inclusive Growth, Competitiveness and Innovation, Regional and Global Integration, and Climate Change. CAE currently operates across the Latin America and the Caribbean region, with an active portfolio in Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eastern Caribbean States, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, and Peru.

In this role, the selected candidate will serve as an Operations Officer for the CAE team in the IFC office in Panama City, Panama. He/she will work closely with IFC teams from other business lines (Upstream, Investments and Advisory) as well as World Bank staff to design and ensure implementation of reforms that address bottlenecks faced by investors in IFC’s priority sectors, using a variety of WBG tools and offerings. He/she will play a leading role executing strategic initiatives to enhance the CAE practice in LAC, with a strong focus on Central America, innovate new projects and build new business in line with the WBG/IFC country strategy, and deliver high quality advisory engagements with public sector counterparts and the private sector. The selected candidate will report to the CAE Manager for Latin America.

The selected candidate will be responsible for providing technical and operational support for the implementation of financial sector reforms.  In this respect, the focus will be to ensure the CEA portfolio is responsive to IFC’s investment commitments and priorities, as well as to build new business given the potential market, client needs and strategic commitments, aligned with the IFC business plan for LAC as needed.    

Client and Stakeholder Management:

  • Participate in senior level client meetings to provide technical advice and monitor progress in implementing financial sector reforms and conduct new business development in line with client and market needs as well as IFC priorities. 
  • Leverage relationships with Government officials, private sector and World Bank Group staff to design and implement reforms targeting the financial sector, using existing or new projects and tools to support reform implementation.  
  • Communicate with senior level clients of the Government, banking sector and other private sector entities to articulate the case for reforms that can unlock new investment opportunities in the market. 
  • Work collaboratively with the IFC country offices and internal business anchors ( Investment/Upstream/Advisory) to orient CAE engagements toward building a 3-5 year pipeline of investment projects and provide solutions to key portfolio clients.
  • Engage with the relevant teams at the World Bank and IFC to leverage synergies, develop joint initiatives and strengthen collaboration to implement reforms needed to unlock new markets and work collaboratively across IFC.
  • Engage pro-actively with donor partners to report progress on donor funded programs and develop new fund-raising proposals.

Design and Operationalize Solutions:

  • Collaborate within CAEE as well as industry specialists in the identification and design of financial sector reforms to mobilize private investment in LAC as needed. 
  • Review and contribute to the development and approval of relevant project documents such as Concept Notes, Implementation Plans, Project Supervision Reports (PSRs) and Project Completion Reports (PCRs) and client deliverables to ensure standards and objectives are met.
  • Improve the design and delivery of client solutions by incorporating global best practices and lessons from past. Partner with results team in developing appropriate theories of change and results frameworks and indicators to strengthen the development impact and sustainability of client solutions and continuously learn from client projects/ engagements. 
  • Ensure high quality of project management, project supervision and completion documents and provide quality control over client deliverables. Moreover, support client in implementing recommendations and help trouble shoot as needed.

Create and Share Knowledge and Build Capacity:

  • Support peer to peer knowledge exchange sessions across the region, lead diagnostics with the client and develop and implement advisory engagements in line with IFC investment and country priorities. 
  • Conduct research to shape ongoing and future offerings on financial sector-level reforms and develop new tools and guidance to incorporate internal and external best practices.
  • Design and deliver training and communication strategy for Investment and Advisory staff to better enable them to be champions for sector-level reform, and for external stakeholders to generate interest on sector-level reforms and understanding of why it is important/ advantageous to businesses, community and/or economy.
  • Proactively strengthen the value proposition of advisory products through embracing new trends and partnerships.
  • Help build a bench strength of experts and consultants in key thematic areas across the region.

Staff Supervision:

  • Oversee/supervise assigned tasks executed by staff and consultants.
  • Ensure quality control of work products and outputs.
  • Determine resources needed to support projects and ensure efficient/ effective use of resources.
  • Manage project budgets and align staffing needs. 

Selection Criteria:

  • Master’s Degree in business, finance, economics, or related discipline.
  • At least six (8) years of relevant work experience in the financial sector, sustainable finance and/or consulting. Experience with bank regulators is highly desired.
  • Familiarity with literature on best practices in financial sector level reforms.
  • Strong technical knowledge and demonstrated track record in delivering advisory engagements in several of the following thematic areas: investment climate, financial sector, sustainable finance, capital markets.
  • Strong conceptual/analytical skills and ability to design, deliver and close projects on a timely manner.
  • Extensive project management experience. Demonstrated experience with consulting firms is a plus.
  • Understanding of IFC and WBG products/instruments and where there are opportunities for cross-organizational collaboration. Demonstrable experience working on IFC and WBG products will be an advantage. 
  • Understand the implications of different policy and regulatory frameworks governing the thematic areas.
  • Able to design, negotiate and lead efforts to develop client offerings that reflect in-depth knowledge of thematic area and understanding of business case for how thematic focus will help client to improve their business.
  • Able to identify how changes in markets, sector policy, regulations or emergence of new/ successful innovators/ disruptors may create new opportunities for IFC.
  • Thorough understanding of IFC products, what is likely to be approved, and how long it will take. Good understanding of WBG and how to initiate collaborative efforts to leverage its products/ instruments.
  • Able to design research and analytical projects or major portion of complex projects to credibly produce new understanding of a thematic issue and/or potential opportunities to unlock new markets or new streams of business.
  • Strong drive for results and impact
  • Excellent knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and aptitude to learn new systems is a must.  Ability to use project management systems (iportal, etc.) is a plus.
  • Knowledge of emerging economy conditions and challenges related to project implementation plus ideas to overcome related constraints. Experience working in an emerging country is a plus.
  • Demonstrated capacity to prioritize decisions for operational results.
  • Proven ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment with excellent teamwork and diplomatic skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and client engagement skills as shown by good working relationships with government clients, donors, and other state and private sector institutions.
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and presentation skills in English and Spanish is a must.

Source: https://worldbankgroup.csod.com/ats/careersite/JobDetails.aspx?id=27178&site=1