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Top Draghi Adviser Thimann to Leave ECB After 15 Years

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s top adviser on monetary policy, Christian Thimann, has resigned after 15 years at the institution.

Thimann, 47, will leave his post officially at the end of December, a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt-based ECB said today. Die Welt reported that he will join the executive committee of French insurer AXA SA from Jan. 1.

Thimann, who has worked at the ECB since its founding year of 1998, served as adviser to the president first under Jean-Claude Trichet from 2008, and then Draghi from 2011. Rarely in the public eye, the economist has advised the board through every major policy move to ease Europe’s debt crisis, from the first Greek bond purchases in 2010 to the unveiling last year of Outright Monetary Transactions, the still-untapped program to buy the sovereign debt of stressed nations.

“I want to thank Christian Thimann personally and on behalf of the ECB for his outstanding contribution to our work,” Draghi said in a statement by the ECB. “Throughout several years he advised the president and the executive board with high professional competence and integrity.”

Even as the ECB provided banks with a record level of liquidity since late 2011, the central bank hasn’t lost its ability to keep inflation in check, Thimann wrote in an article published on in March 2012. “Should potential inflationary pressures arise, the ECB Governing Council has all the tools available to counter them,” Thimann said.

Prior to his official position as Counsel to the Executive Board, Thimann headed two divisions at the ECB, first in charge of European Union accession issues and then from 2004 in charge of international monetary policy analysis. Born in Berlin in 1966, Thimann studied economics at the University of Bonn, the London School of Economics and obtained a Ph.D from the University of Munich under Professor Hans-Werner Sinn.

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