organization DGRI - joining forces The integration of DG Bank's activities around the world with our own Rl global network is starting to take on concrete forms. the world. We need the product, we need it for structured finance, we need it to solve clients' problems. I'm in no doubt we can make money on activities like FARM, like credit structuring, securitiza- tion. That's what the policy paper is de- signed to facilitate. Soyou plan to actively knock Rl into goot) shape while pursuing the merger process? You better believe it. We went through a difficult stage with Rl due to overinvest- ment in investment banking products - we won't make that mistake again. We needed to right-size this product group. But my feeling is that we're actually too small now so we'll have to expand opera- tions. That's a priority for me and the management team (see announcement 1 September). You'11 hear people talk some- times as if nothing has been happening. That's not true. We're in process of right- sizing our back offices so that we hring them into line with the front end. A tremendous amount of work has been done there. Would you believe that our costs are going down for the first time in Rl's history? There's a heil of a lot to cele- brate in Rl. I'm a bit sick of people criti- cizing and complaining all the time. Let's get on with some work. But you must agree that the uncertainty - also around senior management - has been cause for concern Of course. And I also agree that mergers are by definition stressful and even trau matic experiences. The fact we are a coop- erative merging with another cooperative rnakes the process even tougher. When you're a listed company, you work with sales and exchanges of stocks and shares. It can be a rapid, painful and sometimes even painless process. As we all know, the few successful mergers that take place are usually signed, sealed and integrated within six months. For a cooperative, the process is different. Our legal structure is not designed for cross-border mergers. So we're asking people to bear with us on this one. It will take time, but there should be enough happening with, say, clients to keep us occupied while we work out the fine print. And you're absolutely in for the duration - there's no search ongoing for a new chairman? Yes to the first, no to the second. You were one of the prime movers behind the expan- sion ofRi untilyoujoinedthe Executive Board. Have you always feit responsibie? Very much so. But often when you've been involved from the early days and What's NewS Issue 5 August/September 2000 I I you've seen a lot happen, then you can't always be objective. I haven't been involved with you all for some time, so I'm coming in with a fresh perspective, es- pecially on the merger aspect. You've always had a lot ofcredibility within Rl. How would you rate it now? I think this is a very good company, too good to let a very hright future slip through our grasp. We aim to show peo ple the advantages of this merger as thcy happen. I talk a lot to Robeco - you know that RN will be acquiring full ownership of the Robeco Group in early 2001. Everyone there understands they have reached a marketing ceiling on the domes- tic front. They need a bigger marketplace. Working with DG opens up incredible op- portunities for Robeco. The same applies at Raho Securities. The placement power offered by DG's network is immense. No one doubts the credihility of these oppor- tunities. And in terms of my own, well, I'd say it was 50/50 at the moment. But once people start to see we're all about clarity, decision-making and action, rather than what seems like just a lot of talk, then I think you'11 see a wind change all round and we'll get this whole business right back on track. Anumber of key appointments at re- gional and national levels were an- nounced mid to late-August which go some way to clarifying who will be doing what. But while announcements and ap pointments give an indication of what is to come, you may be even more interested in a couple of concrete developments which could prove a blueprint for further DGRI integration. Under a Service Level Agreement (SLA) made late June, Rl's Hamburg office has retained the local branch of DG Band as an agent for the processing of Rl Germany's trade finance service business. Says head of trade and export finance at Rl Frankfurt, Juergen Buchfink, 'You could see this as a kind of pi lot for both parties. We started discus- sions back in February and have worked hard to put together a strong foundation on which we can now build enhance- ments. We had to tailor a solution within three months and we made it on time, not least due to the terrific support from An- nekathrein Metzendorf and Hans-Juergen Holtij's team which is responsibie for DG's trade finance processing capabilities at their head office.' In Asia we've seen a similar development in both China and Indonesia. Says re- gional chief Christian Mol, 'DG Bank opened its Shanghai and Jakarta offices in Rl premises on 14 August as part of the "one-roof-two-doors" policy.' The idea is for DG to continue to service its clients under its own banner. But at the same Cooperating team: back, from left - Harry van Eelen, Juergen Buchfink, Joachim Sorgenfrey; front - Vera Hüttman and Annegreet Höschel time proximity will facilitate further preparation for full integration. 'I'd say this was a first and very important step on the road to a successful completion of the DGRI concept in Asia,' Mol concludes. What's NewS will be following progress for you and will report back towards the end of the year on how the one- roof-two-doors concept is working.

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