Despite an unprecedented challenge from two candidates from developing nations, the US's 66-year lock on the World Bank presidency will almost certainly remain intact when directors meet on Monday to fill the post.
Even after one of the challengers dropped out on Friday to push his support to the other - Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - they won't be able to overcome American and European backing for Washington's nominee, health expert Jim Yong Kim.
But the first-ever challenge to traditional American control of the job has signalled that, as with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), emerging economies are flexing their muscles for a bigger say in how the near seven-decade-old institutions are run.
Bank directors say they'll aim for a consensus decision when they meet formally on Monday to replace current president Robert Zoellick, the former US diplomat incumbent who is leaving in June at the end of his five-year term.
The position is crucial for much of the developing world. The president oversees a staff of 9000 economists, development experts and other policy specialists, and a loan portfolio that hit $US258 billion ($A247.99 billion) in 2011.
Last year the bank committed $US43 billion ($A41.33 billion) to new loans and grants, helping diverse countries to develop infrastructure, administration and key sectors of their economies.
Critics have raised doubts about the US nominee, saying Kim lacks experience across the broad realm of development economics.
Keep reading - next article