s m Sis o "ts 8 1 r city business l. 7 1 O) WHAT'S NewS Issue 2 February 1996 LONDON BRANCH'S FAMOUS FIVE FOX HILLS Cross-selling Return on solvency Sector specialization Adding higher value products Sense of urgency the five key concepts on their sereens every time they switch on their computer terminals. We have had a tremendous year in 1995. Financially, we are up 70 percent over 1994 and equally important, we have grown in terms of skills and teamwork. Our excellent results reflect the quality of our professionals and how we have implemented the Five Foxhills.' TREASURY SOPHISTICATION One result of this refocussed approach was the transformation of London Branch's treasury. 'When I arrived here in early 1993, we had a treasury with about 18 positions led by John Brown. He'd been doing a tremendous job on basic products for seven or eight years. We decided it was time to move into more sophisticated areas, such as derivatives. John was a few years from retirement age at the time and he suggested we bring in someone who could move us into the next phase. So the two of us went looking for a new treasurer with the skills we needed. Finally, we found Mark Blundell who now heads up our new treasury. But let him teil you about that himself. John moved over to lead our risk management department.' GIANT DEAL The branch has also seen a broadening of its activities into other focussed areas. 'Just take corporate finance,' Van der Schrieck says. 'We have a team in place now that has just done the most profitable deal ever by one of Rabobank's international offices. In addition to doing this extremely complex deal, they have also arranged key transactions for a number of UK clients. There are two reasons for this success. The first is that we have the people, the second is the intense effort we have all put into marketing.' WORD OF MOUTH ICI is a case in point. Although the giant deal closed by structured finance was for the bank's own funding, the team has also presented it to corporates. 'It's very much applicable to them,' says Van der Schrieck. 'We got a call from ICI out of the blue. It turned out they had a new man in their treasury who had come from a company where we'd proposed this particular structure. Now, we're selling this and other structures left, right and centre.' DEPTH OF EXPERTISE If structured finance is seen as typically a locally-oriented though specialized activity, Van der Schrieck believes it makes sense to centralize certain cross-border activities and products in locations where there is a depth and range of expertise. Forfaiting [see What's NewS, 2/95] is a prime example. 'But so is securitization,' he says. 'This is Europe's securitization centre. This is where the know-how is. In fact, Brian James, who's in charge of securitization here, did a great deal with Larry Sidwell of the Chicago office last year. We also did a deal in Spain and we're working in Italy at the moment.' ESSENTIAL COOPERATION Syndication is another area where London Branch feels it can play a strong role in the network on a European level. CBS has already decided to centralize syndication activities in London because almost all deals in this area are done in The City. 'We've also got into asset packaging,' says Van der Schrieck. 'Mark Blundell's team is already working closely with Singapore and they're delighted we've got into this. It's in areas like this that you see just how essential cooperation is for the success of the bank as a whole.' F&A FOCUS Many of London Branch's not inconsiderable efforts are focussed on providing service to other operations in the network. But the bank's core business, F&A, remains also a major element in London Branch and also the Edinburgh office's activities. 'What we want,' Van der Schrieck explains, 'is to be in a position over the coming years to offer our F&A clients all possible and available financial products. And by all products we mean everything from equity to senior debt, from sophisticated derivative products to structured finance. That is our philosophy. In other key areas, such as health-care, pharmaceuticals, and so on, we think we should offer those products that are suitable for each individual sectors. And not to try and do everything immediately. If we are to achieve that, then we have to work very closely together so that our commercial people are equipped with all the know how they need to show corporates what we have to offer.' MORNING PRAYERS Van der Schrieck sees his team m as a single, coherent group of expert professionals, rather than numerous separate sections or departments. 'And that is how they work together. It's one of the main reasons I think we have been and will continue to be successful,' he says. 'We don't want to be an enormous player in the market. What we do want is to work together and focus on cliënt needs. I'd say my biggest activity is making sure our people remain motivated. The days when the third floor had 1985 - Henk Gentis does the honours in London. no idea what the second floor was doing are long gone. We have a very new management team. We start every morning by having a cup of coffee together. In typical British fashion, these meetings soon came to he known as "Morning Prayers". At some point, we decided to meet only twice a week. But after a while, people said: Can't we go back to every day? If we are to continue to bring in the results we've achieved together, then we need this communication - at all levels in the Branch, and throughout the network. Let's just say it's another of our areas of focus...' Kantoor Londen werkt niet alleen samen met andere kantoren, ook intern is de samenwerking optimaal. Van der Schrieck ziet zijn team meer als één grote groep professionals dan een verzameling aparte afdelingen. Men weet waar collega's van andere afdelingei mee bezig zijn. Iedere morgen begint het managementteam de dag gezamenlijk met een kop koffie, de zogenaamde 'Morning Prayers'. Dat komt de communicatie binnen het kantoor ten goede.

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'What's news' (EN) | 1996 | | pagina 8