The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Miga), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank,has appointed Izumi Kobayashi as an executive vice-president. She is joining the agency from Merrill Lynch in Tokyo where she has held a number of high level roles since joining the company in 1985.

She is presently president and representative director at Merill and will be taking up her new role at Miga in early December 2008.

“I am delighted that Ms Kobayashi will be leading Miga,” comments World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick.  “She is an outstanding professional with a distinguished track record and will be an important addition to the bank group’s senior management team.”

Kobayashi has become a high-profile figure in the both the Japanese and international business world. She has been featured in the October 2005 edition of the Wall Street Journal’s ’50 Women to Watch”, and in 2004 she received ‘The Business Woman of the Year’ award from Veuve Clicquot.

She actively promotes opportunities for women and young professionals in the workplace and is a board member of Keizai Doyukai, the Japanese association of corporate executives.