Christine Lagarde wins second term as IMF head

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde
Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde

IMF head Christine Lagarde made a call for financial cooperation Friday as she prepared for another term at the forefront of global economic policy.

"Are we at a 2009 moment? I don't think so," Lagarde said Friday in a speech. "Are we in a moment where coordination is needed? Yes."

Lagarde will serve a second term as head of the International Monetary Fund, the executive board announced Friday.

As managing director of the policy body, Lagarde is tasked with guiding members on the gamut of challenges to macroeconomic stability while navigating geopolitical tensions in areas like Greece, China and the Middle East.

"I have been honored to serve in the past five years," Lagarde said in a speech Friday. "We have, I think, served the membership well — whether we have provided surveillance, financial support, to those who were in difficulties, or technical assistance and capacity building."

IMF's Lagarde: Do not expect China hard landing
IMF's Lagarde: Do not expect China hard landing   

Lagarde was first appointed in 2011. Ascending on the heels of a global financial crisis, Lagarde's role at the IMF has put her near the center of the world's stage over the past five years.

The eurozone's economy was roiled last summer by deteriorating talks between Greece and the IMF, which, helmed by Lagarde, resisted pleas to restructure the nation's significant debt load.

"If there's one thing we've identified clearly in the past few years, it's the importance of spillovers, spill-backs ... how one monetary policy decided in one country can have repercussions in other countries," Lagarde said.

Though she didn't comment specifically on the Greek situation in her speech, Lagarde said Friday she hopes the IMF will move toward a more forward-looking approach to leverage positive gains from changing demographics and technological innovations around the world.

"I believe we can do a lot in terms of support, in terms of lending, in terms of programs," Lagarde said. "But I would hope in the coming years we can also move more into prevention. More into anticipating changes, and capable of advising countries to equip themselves with macroeconomic policies and ...structural reforms ... to deal with the challenges ahead of them. "

Under Lagarde's leadership the Chinese yuan was added as a reserve to the IMF's basket of currencies, called the SDR. The decision to give central banks an alternative to holding foreign exchange reserves dollars or euros was not without controversy, awarding China more influence in global economic matters.

Lagarde said Friday that the restructuring and reforms still facing China will be far from "a walk in the park."

"It will not necessarily be smooth," Lagarde said. "What's critical is .... good and solid communication."

As sliding oil prices put pressure on energy exporters, the IMF faces ongoing challenges, helping countries like Azerbaijan with mounting budget pressures. Lagarde said during her new term, she's aiming to make the IMF's efforts as tailored and country-specific as possible, while striking a balance between strength and flexibility within the organization's policies.

Her new term will begin July 5, the IMF said in a statement.

— Reuters contributed to this report.