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Vatican names new bank president, restructures financial offices

As the restructuring of Vatican financial institutions moves into high gear, “our ambition is to become something of a model of financial management rather than a cause for occasional scandal”, said George Cardinal Pell, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy and former Archbishop of Sydney.

Introducing the new president of the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly called the Vatican bank, and announcing changes in several Vatican structures, the cardinal told reporters on 9 July, “This should, we hope, result in financial gains generating revenue for the work of the church, especially in the service of the wider society.”

The new president is Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, the French chairman of INCIPIT, a mergers and acquisitions consulting firm. Prior to that, he was the chief executive officer of Invesco Europe, an investment management company.

He replaces the German industrialist Ernst von Freyberg, who served as president for the past 17 months, leading the bank through the process of reviewing all its client accounts, culling those not strictly tied to the church and implementing new procedures designed to prevent financial scandals and money laundering.     [Full Story]


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