Big opportunities coming soon at the IMF and IFC

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A wave of hiring that is not at McDonalds is imminent. The International Monetary Fund and the IFC (the investment and advisory arm of the World Bank) plan to add hundreds of staff this year. Even better, they are interested in applications from people who've worked for investment banks.

A spokesperson for the IMF says they are likely to add as many as 180 people in 2009, with particular emphasis on building expertise in financial sector surveillance, and "surveillance of macro economic and financial sector linkages."

A spokesperson for the IFC says it plans to create 160 full time positions this year, including roles in project, structured, or corporate finance.

Unfortunately, none of these positions are particularly in evidence at the moment. Before Christmas the IMF was advertising for a financial sector restructurer, a financial sector analyst, and a bank supervision expert, but these jobs now appear to have been filled

The IFC's openings don't seem to have materialised yet either. Right now, it only has vacancies for 17 roles, including a principal banking specialist and a financial operations analyst. It is, however, looking for 20 consultants specializing in integrated risk management, treasury management, or loan portfolio monitoring and bad debt management to work on a short term basis.

Recruitment at the IMF follows a programme of voluntary redundancies implemented last May when the fund's services were somewhat less required. It had intended to eliminate 380 of its 2,800 staff, but 600 took it up on the offer.

Competition for jobs at both organizations is likely to be tough. The IMF describes interest in its vacancies as "huge." The IFC says it's already received 200 applications for its consultancy positions. "Many [ex-bankers] seem to feel that working on projects with a real impact on people and countries is more important than making lots of money," says its spokeswoman.

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