Ceremonies marking changes of office in Mumbai and São Paulo

Thomas Notheis, Burkhard Balz, Peter Kern ©Fotograf Hemant
Thomas Notheis, Burkhard Balz, Peter Kern

Thomas Notheis succeeds Peter Kern in Mumbai

Thomas Notheis has been the Bundesbank representative at the German Consulate General in Mumbai since the beginning of this year. He has already held various positions abroad, including at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the OECD in Paris and at the German Embassy in Beijing. He knows Mumbai well, what with his being the first Bundesbank representative in Mumbai back in 2010. In spite of the heat, overcrowding and traffic chaos being constant companions in everyday life, he considers Mumbai to be one of the most interesting posts abroad. He succeeds Peter Kern, who worked for the Bundesbank at the Consulate General until the end of September. Mr Kern returned to Frankfurt in October after a four-year stint and now works in the Bank’s Directorate General Communications.

Burkhard Balz ©Fotograf Hemant
Burkhard Balz
The official handover ceremony took place in March once the global pandemic had subsided. Around 50 guests from government, the financial sector, research institutions and the consular corps were present at the event. Attending on behalf of the Bundesbank was Executive Board member Burkhard Balz, whose responsibilities include coordination of the Bank’s representatives and representative offices abroad. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a key issue. Mr Balz discussed in detail the impact of the pandemic on economic life and stressed the need for close cooperation among central banks the world over. “We central bankers are facing similar challenges, be they finding the right monetary policy responses to developments in the real economy and financial sector or the introduction of a central bank digital currency. That, too, is why it is also so important to us at the Bundesbank to have a permanent representative here in Mumbai.” He also took the opportunity to hold talks with representatives from the central bank and supervisory authorities as well as German banks and insurance companies.

Alexander Lieber succeeds Eike Berner in São Paulo

Alexander Lieber, Burkhard Balz, Thomas Schmitt, Eike Berner ©Marco Torelli
Alexander Lieber, Burkhard Balz, Thomas Schmitt, Eike Berner
The ceremony marking the change of the Bundesbank representative in the South American city of São Paulo took place in glorious weather conditions in the garden of the residence of the German Consul General on the evening of 25 April. To honour the occasion, Bundesbank Executive Board member Burkhard Balz travelled from Frankfurt for the official inauguration of Alexander Lieber, who had already taken over the role from Eike Berner in July 2021. In his speech, Mr Balz stressed the importance of international cooperation and in-person meetings, especially in challenging times such as these. Indeed, he continued, this is the very reason why the Bundesbank has foreign representatives who observe economic developments in the country of their posting and maintain personal contact with local central banks, supervisory authorities, banks and other key players. In addition to host Dr Thomas Schmitt, around 50 invited guests from the local financial and economic scene as well as the diplomatic community were also present and enjoyed the get-together, with events like this having scarcely taken place in the past two years in Brazil either due to the pandemic.

 Renato Dias de Brito Gomes, Fernanda Guardado, Roberto Campos Neto, Burkhard Balz, Alexander Lieber, Martin Dinkelborg, Sabine Albrecht ©Raphael Fernades
Renato Dias de Brito Gomes, Fernanda Guardado, Roberto Campos Neto, Burkhard Balz, Alexander Lieber, Martin Dinkelborg, Sabine Albrecht
The Bundesbank delegation met with heads of the Brazilian central bank at its headquarters in Brasilia over the course of the week. Mr Balz and his colleagues discussed current topics, including the rapid progress of digitalisation in the Brazilian financial system and the digital real project, with Governor Roberto Campos Neto and the two Deputy Governors Fernanda Guardado and Renato Dias de Brito Gomes.

Alexander Lieber has spent most of his career at the Bundesbank working on IMF and G20 issues and in this connection had already been seconded to the IMF in Washington DC as senior advisor to the German Executive Director for three years. Now that he has been officially inaugurated, he will also visit other countries in the region and is expected to start off with Argentina in June.

Text: Thomas Notheis, Alexander Lieber