WHAT'S NewS Issue 9 October 1997 customer value 5 jorae people thought we didn't really ^Pnean it. But we are deadly serious. We have to be. It is the only way to enable us to create customer value based on knowledge. The thinking behind the customer focus strategy, and there has been a very thorough thought process, led us to make the choices we have made.' Another crucial element in this process is personal commitment. Asked if he thinks people would have believed sooner if the strategy had been imposed upon them, he rejects that idea as 'not our culture. I don't believe in imposing things on people. 1 believe everybody should go through a personal process of recognizing the issues, accepting the consequences and subsequently committing themselves to the future. Everybody should make a very conscious choice to join us, embracing our •oals for the future, or get out. Our ustomers need total commitment from our people.' RAPID ACCELERATION The future has been very much on the minds of international Rabobankers as business plans were finalized and a new approach to budget setting has been introduced to tackle our target markets. One area where RI has been concentrating attention is the Euro. 'When we first began to set out development frameworks for the strategy almost two years ago,' Arnold recalls, 'we were aware that trends, such as globalization, deregulation, desintermediation, securitization, the rise of equities etcetera, were ongoing and we needed a viable, long-term response. Today, we see those trends have actually ^fcccelerated even more rapidly than we ^^orecast only two years ago. So, you will understand why it is so important to have made our choices, and to build a strong knowledge basis for serving our customers, creating customer value, actually making the difference. By the way, securitization is going to enable us to continue to serve our customers in the future.' BIG INVESTMENT If the past 18 months have been a period of choices, changes and concentration, then look out for there is more to come. At least, there will be some pretty big decisions on the agenda at the forthcoming RI conference in November. 'All general managers, members of policy committees and management teams who ^^re not GMs and all heads of head office functions - around 85 people in all - will be gathering here. The business plans for each particular area of focus as approved by the managing board have already been sent out to these people and we hope the meeting will be an opportunity to provide a platform for exchanging more information on them. But we will also be putting forward all the financial implications ensuing from them - and they will look rather different for 1998. We foresee very big investments, by that I mean additional investments to those already earmarked for the customer focus strategy, in particular in the areas of corporate finance and investment banking capabilities in order to comply with the demands of our target customers. Last but not least we will discuss our new human resources framework.' FROM CREDIT TO KNOWLEDGE DRIVEN One area where significant investment is already being made is in improved training and know-how transfer to personnel. The new F&A training program (see page 14) is just one example of how we are investing in our people. 'Our people represent our knowledge. If you teil customers you are knowledge driven, then you have to put a lot of effort in to building that knowledge. We are doing that.' There is a very clear reason why we believe in this knowledge driven strategy. If we are to generate the kind of customer value that will equal bottom-line value, then we need a shift from credit- driven to knowledge-driven. Obviously, this is a change in mentality and people have to undergo that process themselves. But the bank can and will help through training because this shift will be crucial for our long-term survival. CHANGE TAKES TIME 'Let me put it this way,' says Arnold. 'What we are doing now is going through a change process, from being an investor for our customers to becoming more a financial services intermediary. What has to be clear to our customers is that we will organize ourselves in such a way that the customer can achieve his ambitions for future growth and that we will use whatever capabilities that are needed to do so, including other banks, other investors, outside resources. That is the essence of the change process we have to go through. No one believes you can change overnight. To me "enabling" is the key word. So that is what we will be investing in, making sure that we can continue to serve our customers in the future. And as the first half of 1997 shows us, it works. I have a lot of respect for the way everybody is handling the change process. It is very encouraging, very motivating for all of us, and a reason for great comfort to see the way in which our people of Rabobank International are facing the challenge of being a Global Niche Player.' INTERIM NUMBERS This is how the customer focus strategy and enhanced networking looks in figures (xNLG million). Balance sheet figures Lending on balance Lending off balance Balance sheet total Derivatives (notionals) Funds entrusted Equity (tier 1) ROS ROE (tier 1) First half 1997 54,475 31,877 180,620 1,037,450 6,277 4,775 8.5 10.6 First half 1996 46,077 56,218 158,470 796,165 7,446 4,500 8.6 8.6 Growth 18.2 -43.3 13.9 30.3 -15.7 6.1 -1.1 23.2 P/L figures Interest Fee and other revenue Total income Total expenses Pre-tax results 517 443 960 574 286 498 233 731 418 188 3.8 90.1 31.3 37.3 52.1 Net profit Capital growth Number of staff 215 248 3,252 153 205 2,712 40.5 20.9 19.9 The managing board has decided to create an additional provision of NLG 80 million (as of 30/6/97) for future investments in our financial administration and IT systems.

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blad 'What's news' (EN) | 1997 | | pagina 5