working relations Value-added solutions Arranging business How will the reallocation of RI's large Dutch corporate clients work in practice? We find out how the migration is progressing. Service agreements Serious partner 6 What's NewS Issue 2 March 2000 Acustomer-dedicated approach is nothing new to RI. Our goal of becoming strategie partner to clients by providing not just products but solutions is fundamental, and one that Pieter Zwart, team leader at RNCC, believes should be adapted for the middle rnarket as well. Zwart was a relationship manager at R1 in the logistics, transportation and construction sectors - expertise he now brings to RNCC. When it comes to being know-ledge-driven, Zwart and his team 'want to show mid to large-size clients in the Netherlands that Rabobank is not only an F&A bank, but has quite a bit of know-ledge in other sectors as well'. This is the thinking behind forming six sector teams, to be located in Utrecht: lo gistics, F&A, health care, industry, government and other corporates (trade). 'In a transparent market, margins on loans are quite obvious, allowing clients to just shop for the best deal. What ma kes us the best sparring partner is our sector knowledge, our ability to help a cont- pany realize their long range goals. If we under- stand a specific business and its objectives, we can build deeper relationships as well as assess risks more accurately.' At RI, Zwart managed accounts with multinationals and served as an advisor on logistics for Dutch middle market teams. About one-third of existing clients in that sector will stay with RI, the other two-thirds will migrate with him to RNCC, Zwart explains. Asked why he wanted to change his focus to the market for mid and large-size companies, he Zwart - transporting excellence replies: 'It's interesting because the Netherlands is very competitive in the logistics sector due to geographical position and a healthy economy and labour force. Logistics is the driving force behind the success of most companies, especially now that time-to-market is so important. We'd like to form long-term alliances with clients who are going in this direction, like the automotive industry.' The slogan here is clearly: Why not take what RI does well and apply it to mid and large-size companies? At the same time, Zwart does not discount the importance of teamwork in achieving this level of service for these clients. I Ie hopes joint marketing efforts with ntember banks will be successful, and that the new frame- work will allow local bankers to find their way and ntake the most of RNCC. Continued from page 4 ber bank taking responsibility for priori- tizing activities - in consultation with partners in true Rabobank fashion, of course. 'But where we are going with this concept is a step further,' Cramer explains. 'Basically, we're talking a virtual approach. Our ntember banks retain their local independence and we "cherish" that autonomy because it inspires entrepre neurship and supports long-standing and deep customer relationships. At the same time, both entrepreneurship and customer relationships must be backed by high levels of services and products which most member banks cannot support individu- ally, or even in clusters.' Cramer sees RNCC's role as 'building a mature range of products and services, making thent easily available and accessi- ble to the member banks., and of course to our own customers.' One example here is, say, mergers and acquisitions. 'M&A is a very specialized business,' Cramer says. 'So we have reached service level agreements with Rabo Securities to supply six Full Time Equivalents specifically for RNCC customers. It is agreements like this that ensure we get top service for our clients.' The same will apply for other products, such as treasury and structured finance. That is one part of the new RNCC. But there is, of course, also a large 'inhouse' operation which brings together sector expertise in relationship management, product knowhow and other indispens- able services to the domestic corporate market, such as the arrangers of franchise funding (see sidebar: Arranging business). 'We currently have around 800 clients,' Cramer confirms. 'They are served by a number of relationship managers with specific sector expertise. This is another key element in our virtual structure and we will be growing our business into the future. Basically, we have a real opportu- nity here to project RNCC as a very seri ous banking partner for corporate clients in the Dutch market. We are planning to take full advantage of that opportunity.' There are lots of unsung heroes in any organization, but thcre's one group which has been almost invisible - except, of course, when it comes to the substantial bottom line it generatcs every ycar. Many large retail chains in the Netherlands are franchised. Entrepreneurs who want to start up supermarkets, drug stores and the like take up a franchise with one of the top names. Finance is often handled by Rabobank's so-callcd arrangers who quietly organize funding via a local member bank for the entrepreneur. This structure must meet criteria established by both the bank and the retail chain to maintain image, quality and service. I.ikc many other activities that were formerly part of RN, the arrangers have now become part of RNCC.

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blad 'What's news' (EN) | 2000 | | pagina 6