Press Release: IMF Completes Voluntary Separations Phase of Organizational Restructuring

April 29, 2008

Press Release No. 08/94

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today announced that it had completed the voluntary separations phase of its organizational restructuring that began several months ago. The results will enable the Fund to achieve its principal objectives: to maximize reliance on a voluntary rather than mandatory separation process; and to better align its staff profile with its future business needs.

"I am pleased that this outcome will allow us to achieve our restructuring goals with the least possible uncertainty for staff and disruption of service to our membership," said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. "It will also help us to bring the process to closure quickly, which is important." He also noted that, as part of this voluntary phase, a number of department heads—the Fund's most senior staff—will be leaving over the coming year.

Of the total number of 2,900 eligible Fund employees, 591 staff volunteered for separation, which will enable the Fund to more than meet its target of a reduction of 380 positions without the need for a general mandatory phase. The profile of those volunteering is also in line with the objective of focusing staff reductions in two main areas: at the senior staff level, where the Fund had determined it was top heavy; and at the level of support staff, whose numbers were large relative to other international organizations. Requests for voluntary separations were proportionately higher in both these groups, and thus the Fund will be able to achieve the needed rebalancing in its structure.

The Fund will accommodate some of the requests for voluntary separations in excess of the required 380 positions to facilitate reskilling of its staff base even as it reduces total staff numbers. However, for some of the staff who volunteered, the Fund will need to exercise the right of refusal. This will be applied for a group of staff at the middle level of the organization and it is expected that about 100-125 staff—out of the 591 who have applied—will be asked to stay. "From the beginning, we were aware that we might receive more requests from staff in some groups, and from individuals, whom we need to keep. Thus we reserved the right to retain some staff who best meet the future business needs of the Fund and, also, to ensure that the cost of separation packages remains within budget," said

Mr. Strauss-Kahn. "The separation framework that we had already put in place will enable the Fund to make these decisions in a transparent and fair way."

As part of the restructuring, six of the IMF's department heads have decided to leave the Fund, in some cases, bringing forward their retirement. They are: Mark Allen, Director of the Policy Development and Review Department; Shailendra Anjaria, the Secretary of the Fund; David Burton, Director of the Asia and Pacific Department; Bert Keuppens, Director of the Office of Internal Audit; Mohsin Khan, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department; and Michael Kuhn, Director of the Finance Department. "My sincere thanks to this tremendously dedicated group for their long and tireless service," said Mr. Strauss-Kahn. "They have made major contributions to the Fund and to its goals of promoting financial stability and growth." He added that he would begin the process of selecting their replacements soon.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn said that with this phase of the organizational restructuring now completed, the Fund would move forward speedily with its refocusing to strengthen its services to its global membership and to enhance its effectiveness. "For the vast majority of staff who will be remaining at the Fund, the future is going to be exciting," he said. "They are part of a world-class group of people who will help the Fund meet the challenges facing our membership in the 21st century."


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