Indian-origin business leader Ajay Banga (63) is set to become the chief of the World Bank unopposed after a month-long period of nominations closed on March 29, with no other nominations of candidates by other countries. Banga, who is the former Mastercard CEO, was nominated by U.S. President Joe Biden last month to succeed World Bank’s current chief David Malpass. Malpass has announced an early retirement from the top position and will be stepping down on June 30, 2023.

"The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today confirmed that, as announced on February 22, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank Group closed on Wednesday, March 29 at 6:00 pm ET," the World Bank said.

"The Board received one nomination and would like to announce that Mr Ajay Banga, a U.S. national, will be considered for the position. In accordance with established procedures, the Board of Executive Directors will conduct a formal interview with the candidate in Washington D.C., and expect to conclude the Presidential selection in due course," it added.

Last month, Biden, while nominating Banga for the top position, called him a business leader with extensive experience and one who has led successful organisations in developing countries and forged public-private partnerships to address financial inclusion and climate change.

"Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history. He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies and guiding organisations through periods of fundamental change. He has a proven track record in managing people and systems, and partnering with global leaders around the world to deliver results," said Biden.

He added that Banga has critical experience in "mobilising public-private resources" to tackle the most urgent challenges, including climate change. "Raised in India, Ajay has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing developing countries and how the World Bank can deliver on its ambitious agenda to reduce poverty and expand prosperity,” said the US President.

In his current capacity, Banga serves as Vice Chairman at U.S.-based growth equity firm General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, a company that he led through a strategic, technological and cultural transformation.

Banga completed his B.A. in economics from Delhi University and did his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Banga joined as Mastercard's COO and president in August 2009, following which he was appointed as president and CEO of the company in July 2010. Before that, he worked with Citigroup’s Asia-Pacific Region as its CEO. He joined the company in 1996 and worked in a variety of positions. Prior to that, Banga was with FMCG giant Nestle's India unit and global multinational company Pepsico.

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