On a proposal from the EIB's Management Committee, the Board of Directors of the European Investment Fund (EIF) has appointed Mr Francis Carpenter as Chief Executive of the EIF. As the EIB Group's subsidiary specialising in equity investments and guarantees in favour of SMEs, the EIF has an innovative tripartite shareownership structure comprising the EIB (61%), the European Union represented by the Commission (30%) and 28 European commercial banks (9%). Mr Carpenter will also assume the role of Advisor to the EIB's Management Committee on Group strategy and negotiations. He will take up his new duties on 1 August 2002.

Commenting on this appointment, EIB Group President Philippe Maystadt said: "As the EIB's Secretary General from 1996 to 2002, Francis Carpenter oversaw the major organisational and operational changes made at the EIB in recent years, especially the creation of the EIB Group. His appointment as Chief Executive of the EIF underscores the importance that the Bank attaches to the role of that institution and the strength of its continued support: indeed, with some 168 equity investments in venture capital funds established in both the EU and the Accession Countries and with a portfolio of EUR 3.96 billion in SME guarantees concluded with 97 banks and financial institutions, the EIF is making a key contribution to the objectives of the Innovation 2000 Initiative (i2i), which we launched in the wake of the Lisbon European Council (March 2000) to underpin the development of a knowledge-based, innovation-driven European economy".

During Mr Carpenter's term of office as Secretary General, the EIB saw profound changes including the formation of the EIB Group, the development of new financial products and risk management structures designed to accommodate the new tasks handed down by successive European Councils, the strengthening of dialogue with the European institutions, especially the European Parliament, and the introduction of a policy of enhanced transparency vis-à-vis civil society. On 5 June 2002, the EIB's Governors decided to increase the institution's subscribed capital from 100 to 150 billion euro.

After joining the EIB in 1975 in the Department for Lending Operations in Italy, Francis Carpenter headed the Department for Lending Operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal and the North Sea at the time when Portugal joined the EU (1987). He was subsequently Director of the Credit Risk Department before being appointed Secretary General (July 1996). Francis Carpenter studied at Oxford, in the United States and at the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris. He succeeds Mr Walter Cernoia, Chief Executive of the EIF since June 2000, who has joined the SanPaolo IMI Group to direct its operations in Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.

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In tandem with Mr Carpenter's appointment, the EIB's Management Committee has called on Mr Eberhard Uhlmann to assume the duties of Secretary General alongside his current position of General Counsel of the Bank's Legal Affairs Directorate. Aged 58, Mr Uhlmann joined the Bank in 1979. His early career was spent in the commercial banking sector in Germany and France. Mr Uhlmann, who is a graduate of the University of Freiburg-im-Breisgau and gained a foreign student's degree from ENA, is a lawyer and has since July 2000 been General Counsel of the Legal Affairs Directorate. Prior to that, he had forged his career at the EIB in the Finance Directorate, firstly dealing with operations in the Treasury Department (1979), then as Head of the Planning and Control Division (1983) and as Director of the Department for Planning and Settlement of Operations (1996).

Mr Uhlmann's appointment, which will take effect on 1 August 2002, coincides with reorganisation of the General Secretariat and Legal Affairs Directorate's services into three main areas of activity:

A first group, placed under the direct authority of Mr Uhlmann, will be responsible for operational and organisational strategy as part of the Bank's development, with special emphasis on EU enlargement. In addition, Mr Uhlmann will deal directly with matters relating to intra- and inter-institutional relations - especially the Bank's relations with its shareholders (the EU Member States) and partner EU institutions, principally the Parliament, Council and Commission. Assisted by the legal services responsible for institutional and financial questions, Mr Uhlmann will in particular supervise issues relating to enlargement and the mandates entrusted to the Bank for supporting the Union's aid and cooperation policies vis-à-vis non-member countries. This will notably involve introduction of the Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership Facility decided by the Barcelona European Council (March 2002) and the Investment Facility established under the Cotonou Agreements between the EU and the ACP countries.

A second group will be answerable to Mr Rémy Jacob, appointed Deputy Secretary General. This will especially comprise the services responsible for management of the EIB's internal resources, those dealing with documentation, and the Information and Communications Department. Mr Jacob joined the EIB in 1973 and has been Director of General Administration since 1997. A graduate of the École Supérieure de Commerce in Dijon, he began his career at the EIB in the Finance Directorate (1973), subsequently supervising the management of Administrative Services (1976), the Budget (1983) and Human Resources (1987). He was appointed Director of Information Technology in 1993. Mr Jacob is also an alternate member of the EIF's Board of Directors.

In his capacity as Deputy General Counsel of the Legal Affairs Directorate, Mr Konstantin Andreopoulos will be responsible for legal monitoring of all EIB lending operations both within and outside the EU. A registered lawyer in New York and Athens and graduate of the Universities of Athens, Freiburg-im-Breisgau and Yale, Mr Andreopoulos joined the Bank's Legal Department in 1981 as Head of the Greece Division. He was appointed head of the EIB's Athens Office when it opened in 1984 and subsequently directed the Division for Lending Operations in Greece and Finland (1988) before moving back to the Legal Affairs Directorate as Director (1995) and Deputy General Counsel (1998).