Australia-New Zealand Rabo Australia Group - Integrated F&A focus pays off 4 Supplement to What's NewS January 1996 lt is just over a year since Rabobank acquired the Primary Industry Bank of Australia (PIBA). This was the first time the bank had ever ventured into primary production outside the Netherlands. How has the new merchant banking/rural lending combination fared over the past 12 months? What's NewS finds out from CEO Cor Broekhuyse and his people throughout the region DARWIN NORTH ROCKHAMPTON SYDNEY Rabobank's Australian and New Zealand operation now comprises two dedicated divisions which work closely together - Rabo Australia Ltd (RAL), the merchant/corporate arm, and PIBA, which finances the top end of the agricultural market in both countries. 'Known collectively as the Rabo Australia Group (RAG), this combination gives us a very clear, integrated agribusiness identity,' Broekhuyse (photo) says. 'In all of the bank's other international operationsvthe focus is on serving a numbers of sectors. So you find their portfolios are strongly F&A oriented, but not exclusively. They are looking for a 50/50 mix. Because of our very distinct structure, we actually have a greater F&A emphasis in our business, even on the corporate side. Fd say between 70 and 80 percent of what we do here is food and agri- related.' KICK-START If the numbers generated this year by the operation down- under are anything to go by, this F&A focus is certainly paying off. The Group will be contributing between 17 and 18 percent net return on investment to CBS's bottom line. 'We knew there was a real affinity between Rabobank and PIBA,' says Broekhuyse, 'but it has proved even greater than expected. Perhaps that's why we have done so well. The PIBA connection has helped us build our corporate banking business because by buying a bank like this one, you have a presence in the market which gives the merchant side a real kick-start.' LOCAL ADVANTAGES PIBA has remained firmly entrenched in its core rural market. But the kick-start appears to be working both ways. Over the past year, three new branches have been launched in Australia and one more is slated for next year. In New Zealand, two more offices have also been added to the network and another is planned. According to Broekhuyse, PIBA bears some striking similarities to the domestic Rabobank organization. 'Maybe that's why we see so much affinity,' he says. 'PIBA is strong in agriculture. And we also have a very interesting mortgage loan book for retail clients. Both of those aspects are CLIENT PANEL - AUSTRALIAN STYLE In what appears to be a first for an Australian financial institution, the bank has set up a food and agribusiness advisory board. Chaired by Henk Visser of our executive board, it comprises top managers (and even a former government minister) from every major F&A sector in Australia.The board will meet twice a year. lts main objective is to advise the Rabo Australia group on strategie planning. RABO AUSTRALIA GROUP Precies een jaar geleden heeft de Rabobank de Primary Industry Bank of Australia (PIBA) overgenomen. Met deze acquisitie heeft de Rabobank haar corporate activiteiten in de aantrekkelijke food en agribusiness van Australië en Nieuw Zeeland fors uitgebouwd. Onder de naam Rabo Australia Group (RAG) bedienen PIBA en Rabo Australia ieder hun eigen doelgroepen. PIBA richt zich op de primaire landbouw en Rabo Australia op de corporate markt. De gecombineerde aanpak van de hele markt heeft geresulteerd in sterke groei. Dat geldt zowel voor de inkomsten als voor de bezetting. Cor Broekhuyse geeft een overzicht van dit voor RAG bijzondere eerste jaar.

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