Hans Rothenbuhler, World Bank Country Director in Nepal since July 1997, left Kathmandu in the middle of a bandh Thursday heading into retirement. Hans led the Nepal office in the crucial years since the cancellation of a major loan for the Arun-3 project and the metamorphosis of the traditionally tight-lipped club of banker types into one that talks more easily about issues such as poverty alleviation and social support. Hans also led the team that prepared the Nepal Country Assistance Strategy 1999-2000, where the Bank said it was poor governance and weak institutions that were the main obstacles to Nepal's development and not so much the finances. He was also instrumental in convening the Nepal Development Forum in Paris in April after a gap of four years. Asked about who was going to succeed him, Hans told us: "They're still working on it."