The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has appointed Janet Heckman as its new Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region.
Ms Heckman will assume her new role on 1 February, succeeding Hildegard Gacek who is retiring. Based in Cairo, she will lead the Bank’s teams in the SEMED region and will also assume the role of Head of Egypt, supported by Catarina Bjorlin-Hansen as her deputy.
The EBRD expanded its operations to the SEMED region in 2012 and Ms Gacek played a key role in launching the Bank’s activities. Under her leadership the EBRD built a portfolio of €4.8 billion in 118 projects across Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia since the start of its activities.
To meet high demand for the EBRD’s finance, the Bank opened a second office in Tunisia late last year in the city of Sfax. New offices in Alexandria, Egypt and Tangiers, Morocco are planned to open in 2017.
Ms Heckman, a US citizen, joined the EBRD in July 2012 as Director for Kazakhstan, based in Almaty. She oversaw a significant expansion of the Bank’s investments in the country, with a record €1.05 billion in 33 projects in 2016 alone. During her tenure the EBRD signed the Enhanced Partnership with the Kazakh government which also resulted in establishing a network of local offices and expanding the Advice for Small Business programme to 220 projects in 2016.
Before joining the EBRD, Ms Heckman was a Managing Director with Citi, where she led corporate and commercial activities in the regions where the EBRD also invests.
Ms Heckman said: “I know that taking over from Hildegard Gacek will be a hard act to follow and I would like to pay tribute to her achievements. The dedicated teams she put in place are testimony to her success and she has laid strong foundations on which we will be able to build. My focus going forward will be the promotion of the private sector and creating conditions under which it can thrive and contribute to creating jobs.”