4 International opened officially in November and our Milan operation upgra- ded to branch status. Rabobank also acquired the specialist Aus- tralian agri-bank, PIBA, which gives us a real foothold in a fast- growing region. In the coming year, we will continue to consoli- date our international position and to explore new opportuni- ties. 'All in all, 1995 will be another year of hard work for all our people in CBS - whether they are located in Holland and in our foreign operations - as we pursue the changes in cliënt approach already launched. And even though it is very early in the year to make predictions, I'm confident we'11 do very well in the coming 12 months. The strategies are in place, we know where we want to go and I'm sure everyone will do everything they can to make sure we get there. 'As I said, we're living in an ever-changing world. We have to be ready to adapt flexibily to what is happening around us and, where possible, to antici- pate change. So we have to be aware of the challenges facing us not just this year, but in the years to come. A number of real chan ges are relatively imminent. First The Challenge of 1995 After a boom year in 1993, last year proved tough going for a wide variety of reasons. Although the high targets set for 1994 were not always met, CBS senior management are not disappointed. Chair- man Rik van Slingelandt explains why, and outlines the challenges facing the bank in the coming year. '1994 was a difficult year, not just for us, but for everyone. I don't need to remind you of the turbulence that hit the markets in the first half. Although we'd been expecting something of this nature, forecasts indicated the second, rather than the first half. This created problems with the tough targets we had set for the whole year. However, in spite of this, I would say 1994 was a good year for Rabobank. Strong growth for the organization as a whole continued and gross re- sults rose by 11 percent. That is no mean achievement, especially when you consider the turmoil in the first half. 'In purely practical terms, we as an organization were under- going massive changes. I think the bank's chairman, Herman Wijffels, put it well when he said 1994 will prove an historical milestone for us. We launched a far-reaching program of change throughout the bank. The world around us is evolving all the time and we have to evolve with it. Our focus last year was to ensure that we moved firmly from a product-oriented bank to a client-focused organization. I think everyone would agree we made real progress in that sense. We've put enormous effort into improving the quality of our ser vice all across the board and that effort will pay off. 'Internationally, we again expanded. We reinforced our presence in North America. Representative offices were laun ched in Thailand, Poland, Chile and China. Rabobank Ireland

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blad 'Raboband International' (EN) | 1995 | | pagina 4