Pope Francis on Thursday named 13 new members to the Council for the Economy, which oversees Vatican finances and the work of the Secretariat for the Economy.
Among the nominations to the office are an Italian layman and six laywomen from Spain, Germany, and Great Britain with high-level positions in banking, finance, asset management, and international law.
The Council for the Economy was established by Pope Francis in 2014 as part of his financial reform. According to its statutes, the office, which is similar to a finance cabinet, “supervises the administrative and financial structures and activities” of the Roman Curia, institutions of the Holy See, and Vatican City State.
Previously, the members of the economy council, which has been overseen by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, consisted of eight cardinals, six laymen, and a priest secretary.
The cardinals newly named to the council by Pope Francis are Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark; Anders Arborelius, bishop of Stockholm; Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest; Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo; Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec; and Giuseppe Petrocchi, archbishop of L’Aquila.
Among the new lay members are German law professor Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof and Maria Kolak, president of the National Association of German Cooperative Banks.
Maria Concepcion Osacar Garaicoechea is president of the board of Azora Capital and Azora Gestion, SGIIC, an independent investment manager. Eva Castillo Sanz is on the board of directors of Spanish bank Bankia and elevator manufacturer Zardoya Otis.
Ruth Mary Kelly worked in Great Britain’s Labour Government as secretary of state for education, she was then part of HSBC Global Asset Management and is now pro-vice-chancellor for research and enterprise at St Mary’s University Twickenham.
Leslie Jane Ferrar was treasurer to the Prince of Wales, from January 2015 until July 2017. Among other non-executive and trustee roles, she has been a trustee of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster for 19 years and non-executive director of real estate investment trust company Secure Income REIT for six years.
The seventh lay member, Alberto Minali, resigned May 29 after three years as CEO of Italian insurance company, Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni, and, according to Italian newspaper Il Corriere del Veneto, is in a legal battle with his former company for compensation of 9.6 million euros for alleged “lack of a just cause” of the revocation of his proxies. The company says the claim is “unfounded.”
Minali was previously chief investment officer of the asset management group Eurizon.
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