The former French Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde, took up her post as the new head of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, after countryman Dominique Strauss-Kahn quit in May amid sexual assault charges.

Ms. Lagarde (55) is committed to serving five years as Managing Director of the world's key crisis lender after three previous Directors, all Europeans, left the job early, according to an IMF statement of her terms of appointment.

Ms. Lagarde was given a pay package of $467,940 in annual salary net of any taxes, and $83,760 in allowances for maintaining a “scale of living appropriate” to her position. Her terms of appointment require her to “to observe the highest standards of ethical conduct, consistent with the values of integrity, impartiality and discretion”.

Such terms were not in the contract signed by her predecessor in 2007.

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