Nemat Shafik: economist to be Bank of England deputy governor

Posted on March 22, 2014


Sean Farell,

Nemat Shafik’s appointment as deputy governor of the Bank of England will turn her from a relative unknown into arguably the most powerful woman in the City of London.

Shafik, known by her nickname of Minouche, will oversee banking and markets in a newly created job at the Bank and will join the monetary policy committee, which sets interest rates.

The Egyptian-born economist is a British and US national. She joins in August with an impressive record in academia and public service, shaped by her early life in Egypt.

As deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund for almost three years she has overseen work on Europe and the Middle East and has managed the IMF’s $1bn (£600m) administrative budget.

Shafik, who is 51, is already well connected in the UK after working as permanent secretary at the Department for International Development (Dfid) for three years before joining the IMF. At Dfid she was the main sounding board for ministers and appeared regularly before parliament.

Before Dfid, she was the youngest ever vice president of the World Bank and was responsible for $50bn of investments.

Shafik was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1962 but her family left Egypt in the 1960s after her father lost everything during the country’s nationalisation. Those early years had a profound influence on her.

“When you live in a poor country, you’re surrounded by poverty and so that natural interest in why some people have and other people don’t is always there,” she said in 2001. [Please click here to read the remainder of the article.]