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Leonard F. McCarthy

Leonard F. McCarthy has been in the business of risk management, litigation, and anti-corruption for more than twenty years.


Following the Volcker Panel Report of 2007, then World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick appointed McCarthy as Integrity Vice President in May 2008. He reported to the Bank’s President and was accountable to its Audit Committee.


The Integrity Vice-Presidency (INT) anchors the World Bank’s mission of directing economic development and eradicating poverty, by ensuring that funds are used for the intended purpose.


INT’s mandate is to investigate, litigate and prevent instances of fraud and corruption in Bank-supported investment and lending activities, including its International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as to address evidence of significant fraud or corruption involving World Bank staff. 


McCarthy has brought about important operational and organizational changes in INT that have increased the World Bank’s capacity to mitigate the cost of fraud and corruption in 1800 large projects in 172 client countries. With McCarthy’s leadership, INT has finalized more than 1500 investigations, sanctions, forensic audits, compliance assessments and advisory engagements in infrastructure finance, the energy and natural resource sectors, as well as consulting engineering and manufacturing, amongst others.  


In 2009, McCarthy paved the way for the World Bank’s first negotiated settlement, enabling the institution to deal more expediently with companies that admit wrongdoing. Under McCarthy’s management, the World Bank launched the International Corruption Hunters Alliance (ICHA), and also brokered a landmark cross-debarment agreement with other multilateral development banks, resulting in the cross-debarment of 600 entities to date.   


McCarthy’s strategic vision for INT led to the establishment of critical new functions in the business, including a forensic accounting section, preventive services unit, and a compliance office. The forensic accounting unit performs vital audits of the Bank’s main development projects, thereby mitigating integrity risk. The preventive services unit integrates insights gained from investigations as precautions into World Bank operations. The integrity compliance office monitors sanctioned entities, so companies can clean up their environment, and helps to restore them to good standing.


As Vice President for Integrity, McCarthy served on the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) management panel and played a crucial role in steering the Bank’s Governance and Anti-corruption (GAC) Agenda.

In sum, he has transformed the Bank’s Integrity Vice-Presidency into a flagship global function, through working arrangements and agreements with the U.S Justice Department, the U.K Serious Fraud Office, the European Anti-Fraud Office, the United Nations Agencies, other Multilateral Development Banks and Interpol.


In prior professional life, McCarthy was appointed by former President Nelson Mandela as a director of public prosecutions in 1998, after which he took over as Director for the Office of Serious Economic Offences in June 2000. He then became Head of South Africa’s Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) in 2003, overseeing crime analysis, investigation, prosecution, asset forfeiture and civil litigation. During his tenure, the DSO secured convictions in major pursuits involving corporate wrongdoing, grand corruption, organized crime, and urban terrorism; and interdicted record amounts of proceeds of crime, financial assets, drugs and other contraband.


McCarthy also chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Anti-Corruption & Transparency and participates in the Volcker Alliance. Admitted as an advocate in 1992, he holds the BA, B-Juris and LLB degrees.


He is the founder and president of LFMcCarthy Associates, Inc., an integrity risk management company based in Washington, D.C. as of July 2017.

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