50s & 60s - UP AND RUNNING

Decade 1
1950s and 1960s — Up and Running

Small at first, IFC launched new tools to increase the private sector's growth and its contribution to development.

IFC opens under Robert L. Garner’s leadership with $100 million in capital, 12 staff and an ambitious goal: "Encouraging the growth of productive private enterprise" in three broad ways—investing, advising, and mobilizing capital from others. Watch video

IFC’s first loan: $2 million to help Siemens’ Brazilian affiliate manufacture electrical equipment. Watch video

First syndication: IFC mobilizes $2 million from a group of banks for Brazilian pulp and paper company Champion Celulose.


IFC’s charter amended to allow equity investments—in time, a key to its profitability.

First equity investment: approximately $500,000 stake in Spanish auto parts manufacturer Fabrica Espanola Magnetos.



1945: WWII ends in a divided Europe
1945: Soviet-occupied countries adopt command economies
1947: Indian independence from the U.K.
1948: Israel created
1949: People’s Republic of China created
1950-1953: Korean War
1955: IBM invents the first hard disk (5 MB)
1956: Morocco becomes first North African country to gain independence from France
1957: European Economic Community created; Ghana becomes first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis
1968: Prague Spring
1969: Apollo 11 moon landing