January 2, 2012 / 4:58 PM / in 7 years

Factbox - ECB Governing Council: Who's Who

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Joerg Asmussen and France’s Benoit Coeure replaced Juergen Stark and Lorenzo Bini Smaghi on the European Central Bank’s six member Executive Board at the start of the year.

Following is a who’s who of policymakers on the ECB’s Governing Council, which decides on interest rates and other monetary issues for the countries sharing the euro.

The Governing Council consists of the six Executive Board members, who are appointed by EU leaders, plus national central bank governors from each of the 17 euro zone countries.

The Executive Board members are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Eurosystem, where the ECB works with national central banks, and for setting the policy agenda.

MARIO DRAGHI

Born: September 3. 1947, Rome, Italy

In office since: November 1, 2011

Term ends: October 31, 2019

Title: President

Responsibilities on Executive Board: communications, internal audit, secretariat and language services.

Background: Draghi helped restore the credibility of the Bank of Italy during his time as governor (2005 to 2011), following a high profile takeover corruption scandal that brought down his predecessor Antonio Fazio.

He joined from investment bank Goldman Sachs and at times had strained relations with some of the country’s political elite. But his shrewd, no frills operating style at the central bank and his economics expertise established his reputation. In 2006 he was appointed the head of what is now the Financial Stability Board.

As director general of the Italian Treasury between 1991 and 2001, Draghi spearheaded a privatisation drive. He played a key role in Italy’s successful bid to join the first wave of euro currency participants and headed the European Economic and Financial Committee that prepares the agenda for the monthly meetings of euro zone finance ministers.

He graduated from Rome University in 1970. From there he took a PhD in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied under Nobel prize-winning economist Franco Modigliani. He worked as an economics professor at several Italian universities before joining the World Bank in Washington as an executive director in 1984.

Before taking over as head of the ECB, Draghi rarely telegraphed his monetary policy views. Whilst sticking closely to the ECB’s traditional price-stability mantra since his appointment, the bank has aggressively cut interest rates and launched a new, ultra-accommodative wave of measures designed to support the banking sector.

VITOR CONSTANCIO

Born: October 12, 1943

In office since: June 1, 2010

Term ends: May 31, 2018

Title: Vice President

Responsibilities on Executive Board: financial stability and administration

Background: Constancio headed the Bank of Portugal for 10 years before moving to the ECB, and developed a reputation as an inflation dove who often emphasised the need for economic growth.

An economist with a background in politics, he started his public career as the budget secretary in Portugal’s first provisional government after the leftist 1974 revolution, and briefly served as finance minister in 1978. Constancio then led the Socialist party in 1986-88.

Constancio also has experience in the private sector. Before his Bank of Portugal appointment in 2000, he had held the post of executive director in Banco Portugues de Investimento, now known as Banco BPI — the country’s third-largest listed bank. Constancio graduated from the prestigious Lisbon Technical University’s Superior Economics and Management Institute.

JOSE MANUEL GONZALEZ-PARAMO

Born: August 9, 1959, Madrid, Spain

In office since: June 1, 2004

Term ends: May 31, 2012

Title: Executive Board member

Responsibilities on Executive Board: banknotes, research and market operations

Background: Gonzalez-Paramo is typically one of the more dovish, economic growth-focused ECB board members.

Before joining the ECB he was a budgetary hawk with a reputation for economic orthodoxy and has strong academic and public sector credentials.

Until joining the ECB he divided his time between the Bank of Spain, where he was an executive board member since 1998, and the Complutense University, where he had been professor of public finance since 1988. From 1985-87 he was a economic advisor at Spain’s finance ministry and first joined the Bank of Spain in 1989 as a senior advisor.

Gonzalez-Paramo has a doctorate in economics from New York’s Columbia University, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

PETER PRAET

Born: January 20, 1949, Herchen, Germany

In office since: June 1, 2011

Term ends: May 31, 2019

Title: Executive Board member

Responsibilities on Executive Board: Human resources, budget and organisation, payment systems and market infrastructure.

Background: On monetary policy he traditionally leans to the dovish side, meaning he is more likely to take growth prospects into account than strict inflation hawks do.

Praet was born in Germany but grew up and studied in Belgium. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Free University of Brussels in 1980 and worked in the public and private sectors before becoming a board member of the Belgian central bank in 2000.

After working at the International Monetary Fund as an economist he returned to the Free University of Brussels as a teaching professor. Between 1987 and 1999 he was chief economist of what is now Fortis Bank and then spent a year as the Belgian Minister of Finance’s Chief of Staff.

He was also a member of Basel Committee on banking supervision and a first alternative of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements.

BENOIT COEURE

Born: March 17, 1969, Grenoble, France

In office since: January 1, 2012

Term ends: December 31, 2019

Title: Executive Board member

Responsibilities on Executive Board: Yet to be decided. His predecessor Lorenzo Bini Smaghi was responsible for international and European Relations, legal services and the new ECB premises.

Background: He has positioned himself as a monetary policy pragmatist since being nominated for the ECB job. When taking questions from lawmakers at the European Parliament, he said that while the ECB’s current support measures — which include government bond purchases and liquidity injections — should only be temporary, they should also be expanded if needed.

Deputy head of the French Treasury and its chief economist before taking up the position on the ECB’s board.

A former student of the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique and National School of Statistics and Economic Administration (ENSAE), Coeure is an expert on the European economy and a highly regarded economist.

He helped steer France’s reflections on reform of the international monetary system during its year-long presidency of the Group of 20, which ended in November.

Coeure also co-chaired the Paris Club on sovereign debt and is a former head of France’s AFT public debt agency, giving him an intimate understanding of the dynamics of the bond markets.

Fluent in English and Japanese, he is the author of several economic text books and has worked as an economics professor at the Ecole Polytechnique.

JOERG ASMUSSEN

Born: May 31, October 1966, in Flensburg, Germany.

In office since: January 1, 2012

Term ends: December 31 2019

Title: Executive Board member

Responsibilities: Yet to be decided. His predecessor Juergen Stark held the influential economics portfolio as well as those for information systems and statistics.

Background: Asmussen has labelled himself a monetary policy pragmatist, a marked contrast to arch ECB hawk Stark. In his hearing at the European Parliament during the ECB nomination process, Asmussen said that despite the usual preference in Germany for hardline inflation fighters, being a pragmatist was a good thing in the current economic environment.

The slim-built, shaven-headed Asmussen has been one of the key protagonists in Berlin’s response to both the global financial crisis and the euro zone debt crisis for the past three years.

He is the second of Angela Merkel’s key lieutenants to become an ECB policymaker in less a year. Jens Weidmann, whom Asmussen worked closely with in Berlin, became head of the Bundesbank early last year when Axel Weber quit.

Asmussen’s intricate knowledge of international economic and financial issues, from banking and regulation to bailouts, helped propel him up the ranks and led German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to keep him as his number two after the last elections, despite the fact that he is a member of the opposition Social Democrats.

He acted as Germany’s G20 sherpa and has represented it at major international financial summits since then, substituting for Schaeuble when he was in hospital at various stages in 2010.

Unlike Stark and the ECB’s first chief economist Otmar Issing, Asmussen doe not have an economics Ph.D. Like Weidmann, he studied under Axel Weber at Bonn University, but his lack of a doctorate has raised questions over whether Germany should retain the influential economics portfolio.

GOVERNING COUNCIL

Following are the 17 euro zone country representatives:

AUSTRIA

Ewald Nowotny, Governor, Austrian central bank

Born: Jun. 28, 1944, Vienna, Austria

In office since: September 1, 2008

Term expires: August 31, 2013

BELGIUM

Luc Coene, Governor, National Bank of Belgium

Born: March 11, 1947, Ghent, Belgium

In office since: April 1, 2011

Term expires: March 2016 (renewable without limit)

CYPRUS

Athanasios Orphanides, Governor, Central Bank of Cyprus

Born: March 22, 1962, Brno, Czech Republic

In office since: May 2, 2007

Term expires: May 2012

ESTONIA

Andres Lipstok, Governor, Bank of Estonia

Born: February 6, 1957, Haapsalu, Estonia

In office since: June 7, 2005

Term expires: June 6, 2012 (Non-renewable)

FINLAND

Erkki Liikanen, Governor, Bank of Finland

Born: September 19, 1950, Mikkeli, Finland

In office since: July 12, 2004

Term expires: July 2018

FRANCE

Christian Noyer, Governor, Bank of France

Born: October 6, 1950, Soisy, France

In office from: November 1, 2003

Term expires: October 31, 2015

GERMANY

Jens Weidmann, President, Deutsche Bundesbank

Born: March 8, 1968, Solingen, German

In office since: May 1, 2011

Term expires: April 30, 2019

GREECE

George Provopoulos, Governor, Bank of Greece

Born: April 20, 1950, Piraeus, Greece

In office since: June 20, 2008

Term expires: June 2014

IRELAND

Patrick Honohan, Governor, Central Bank of Ireland

Born: October 9, 1949, Ireland

In office since: September 26, 2009

Term expires: September 25, 2016

ITALY

Ignazio Visco, Governor, Bank of Italy

Born: November 21, 1949, Naples

In office since: November 1, 2011

Term expires: October 31, 2017 (six-year term)

LUXEMBOURG

Yves Mersch, Governor, Central bank of Luxembourg

Born: October 1, 1949, Luxembourg City

In office since: June 1, 1998

Term expires: May 31, 2016 (renewable with no limit)

MALTA

Josef Bonnici, Governor, Central bank of Malta

Born: Apr. 15, 1953, Malta

In office since: July 1, 2011

Term expires: June 31, 2016

THE NETHERLANDS

Klaas Knot, President, Dutch central bank

Born: April 14, 1967, Onderdendam, Netherlands

In office since: July 1, 2011

Term expires: June 30, 2018

PORTUGAL

Carlos Costa, Governor, Bank of Portugal

Born: November 3, 1949

In office since: June 1, 2010

Term expires: May 31, 2015

SLOVAKIA

Jozef Makuch, Governor, National Bank of Slovakia

Born: August 26, 1953

In office since: January 12, 2010

Term expires: January 11, 2015

SLOVENIA

Marko Kranjec, Governor, Bank of Slovenia

Born: April 12, 1940

In office since: June 16, 2007

Term expires: June 15, 2013

SPAIN

Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez, Governor, Bank of Spain

Born: April 3, 1945, Madrid

In office since: July 13, 2006

Term expires: July 2012 (non-renewable)

Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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