Erik Berglof to become AIIB inaugural Chief Economist

Professor Erik Berglof, the Director of the Institute of Global Affairs at the LSE School of Public Policy, has been appointed as the first Chief Economist at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, it began operations in January 2016 and now has 103 countries as shareholders worldwide. It invests in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond. During COVID-19 it has also been deeply involved in the Asian response to the pandemic.

“I am much delighted to welcome Erik to AIIB’s management team as the Bank transitions into an important growth phase while facing ongoing global challenges,” said AIIB President Jin Liqun. “Erik’s outstanding intellectual leadership and extensive experience working with international financial institutions will bring valuable insights and support AIIB’s efforts to meet clients’ demand and promote sustainable social and economic growth in Asia and beyond.”

“I look forward to contributing to AIIB’s vision of a prosperous Asia and its mission of financing infrastructure for tomorrow. I hope to support AIIB’s firm commitment to financial, economic, environmental and social sustainability and a multilateral approach to development finance,” said Berglof. “We are in the midst of an intertwined medical emergency and economic crisis, and the international financial institutions have a crucial role to play. It has been inspiring to be part of LSE’s COVID-19 response – an example of its research and teaching mission to reshape the world - and I will continue to be engaged with the School of Public Policy as it trains the leaders of the future.”

While at the LSE, Berglof has been part of launching the LSE Global Policy Lab and the Maryam Forum, engaging LSE faculty and students with emerging and developing economies on the global challenges. He also led the School’s effort in winning the EU Horizon 2020 second funding call in response to COVID-19. Prior to joining the LSE, Berglof served as Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. During his tenure, he helped create and co-led the Vienna Initiative, a European crisis response credited with mitigating the impact of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Lord Nick Stern, who also served as Chief Economist at two international development banks, and who is on the AIIB International Advisory Board, said that “The AIIB is at a crucial period in its development. And looks likely to play a key role on the world stage. I hope it does.”

Sir Vince Cable, Visiting Professor in Practice at IGA, “I recall being in the Cabinet when approval was sought for Britain to join the AIIB. I felt then and feel now that it made a positive contribution the family of multilateral development banks bringing in new sources of capital and expertise.”

Berglof has been a nonresident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution since 2006. He was also Professor at Stockholm School of Economics, and Assistant Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In addition, he has held visiting positions at Harvard University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He has served on several prominent international advisory groups, including the 2019 High-Level Wise Persons Group on European Development Finance Architecture, an eight-person group with a mandate to assess the European development finance architecture and propose options for European policymakers. In 2017-2018, he served as Deputy Secretary of the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, which was involved in the review of the system of international financial institutions.

Berglöf has published widely on financial development, corporate governance, transition and EU reform.