De Lage Landen follows Rabobank in deveioping international markets Rabo band De Lage Landen, or DLL for short, is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Rabobank. In the Netherlands this rapidly growing company is active in the area of financial services in the form of leasing, fac toring, financing for private individuals, car leasing and debt-col- lection. With four hundred employees in the Netherlands and eighty abroad, a profit of more than 20 million Dutch guilders was realized last year. Two years ago, De Lage Landen made a start with its internationalization. We recently spoke with Hans van Beerendonk, who since February has been manager Interna tional Development at DLL. Issue 4/September 22, 1989 lands for cultivation. There are also a num- ber of companies, many in the agricultural sector, with an agent or representative in Spain.' Because of the low volume of trade between the Netherlands and Portugal, there are no plans at present to open an of fice in Portugal. Barendrecht explains: 'There is, however, a great deal of trade be tween Spain and Portugal. Being in Madrid will enable us to keep up to date and estab- lish contacts. We will try to determine from Madrid if it would be in the best of interest for the organization to establish a represen tative office in Portugal.' Like the other for- eign offices, the role of the office in Spain is twofold: helping Dutch clients and looking for possibilities to finance the international agribusiness. First working day 'The first days in the office in Madrid will be a new experience. We have to start from scratch and develop Van Beerendonk was appointed to set up the new offices of DLL abroad. He carries out market re search and keeps an eye on developments for the future. 'You have to have a line of march', he finds. 'Anyway, we are not the cock of the walk in the market. We follow. That means that the initial losses are con- trollable. It requires quite an effort to break open a market.' In the Netherlands DLL is primarily en- gaged in leasing, car leasing and factoring. Financing for private customers has a na- tional character. From a judicial and legal point of view, it is rather difficult at the mo ment to enter this market abroad. Says Van Beerendonk: 'The distribution structure plays an important role. In the Netherlands we have the Rabobank offices as a dis tribution channel. This is not the case abroad. With leasing, car leasing and fac toring we offer the entrepreneur the possi- bility of supporting his own expansion and solving his particular financing problems. Europe is about to become one of the largest markets in the world and this is what we are focusing our attention on first.' The Madrid office at Alfonso XII38. initiatives ourselves. We will be arranging meetings with Dutch companies in Spain to make them aware of our presence and to cement a number of existing contacts. We Three countries At present De Lage Landen is represented in three European countries. In Belgium there is a joint ven ture with Cera, a co-operative bank with 300 offices. Says Van Beerendonk: 'To- gether we have set up CLP, Cera Lage Lan den Products. This is a holding company with subsidiaries for leasing, factoring and car leasing. We have a similar co-operation agreement in West Germany with ADCA- BANK. This is the ADCA Leasing und Fac toring Verwaltungsgesellschaft GmbH, a holding company which encompasses a car leasing company and a leasing com pany. On the lst of May, in consultation with the London Branch, we set up DLL Financial Services Ltd., which aims at the British market. At present, therefore, there are three companies active and we have great plans for the future. In mid-1990, we are making a start in France.' Future The italian and Spanish mar kets are next in line. With them the most important European markets are then cov- ered. Van Beerendonk mentions that there are plans for new activities outside Europe: 'Attention is paid to them in our already have quite a list. The Spanish mar ket highly values personal relationships.' Barendrecht concludes: 'Setting up a new of fice is quite enjoyable.' longterm policy. It has to proceed at a speed that you can keep up. You have to go into new international markets as a profitable company. Initial losses must be converted into profits in a relatively short time. The second restriction lies in the per- sonnel sphere. It is difficult to attract good people. Moreover, a certain pioneering spirit is required to go and work abroad. There are cultural differences, language differences, the way to the business is dif ferent there... We are busy looking for suit- able managers.' The third restriction lies in the market. Says Van Beerendonk: 'Not every market is suited to the products that we have in our package. To give an example: the German factoring market lags behind that in England because of legal restraints.' Outside Europe 'In the Far East we are researching, together with Rabobank's of fice in Hong Kong, what possibilities there are for factoring. America, too, is high on our non-European priority list. But here too there are restrictions in speed, in person- nel, in capitalization', says Van Beeren donk. 'Rabobank's New York Branch is, of course, a tremendous base from which to venture forth, but we can't do everything at once.' Environment Internationally, Van Bee rendonk foresees a growth in activities. Amongst others, environmental issues have an effect on this. 'For many com panies this means that they will have to make quite a few - perhaps unforeseen - investments, which come on top of normal production costs. Leasing can then be an attractive financial instrument. The same is true for agribusiness. In view of the pol- lution of the environment, we can expect quite a few measures.' Van Beerendonk discerns yet another trend: 'Use has be come more important than possession. A product such as leasing can take tremen dous advantage of this. With factoring you can see another development. Entre preneurs, the smaller ones too, will contin ue to pay more attention to increasing their exports. Factoring helps entrepre neurs to avoid financial risks in doing so. This means that in international transac- tions, with a product such as factoring, you have a tremendous future.'

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'Raboband International' (EN) | 1989 | | pagina 5