4 lts the can-do mentality change that we re after. lts about rubbing shoulders with the experts and learning how we can really help our elients RE GION SPECIAL AS IA Sander Pruijs: Shifting focus 16 ISSUE 19 APRIL 2009 THE WORD closer to the M&A business, or looking at opportunities to create farmland funds. That's how we'll make a difference. We need to work across boundaries - be that regional boundaries or product boundaries. If we look at the M&A opportunities that will arise in the next three to five years, for example, it will be very much cross-border focused. Company A buying Company B, from Country C into Country D." One recent example of cross border activity involves a deal carried out by the bank's Food Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) unit, Rabobank's global F&A knowledge provider. "FAR has a very strong global reach," says Pruijs. "It recently obtained a mandate from a corporate cliënt in China to advise them on a business deal within the juice-producing industry, after the company acquired a largejuice producing company there. Interestingly, the company is an important cliënt of our Atlanta office in the United States, so FAR's ability to successfully provide a key corporate cliënt with advice on one side of the world could lead to real opportunities opening up in other parts of the world. It's this ability to provide what is often unique business services globally that we really need to capture going forward." Sander Pruijs believes that the F&A sector in Asia is ripe with openings for an expert player like Rabobank. "If you look at our Asian business today, you see that we serve a variety of cliënt sectors, but the F&A sector is really our core business. Yet still people say to me 'If you only focus on F&A, will that really be enough? Isn't that too narrow?' And my answer is typically: 'Let's try it'. I don't think we've ever really gone after the sector in a fully-fledged way. Have we really unleashed the full potential? The answer is no. By concentrating on the right products, and by creating little incubators for innovation - be that on the F&A research side or in areas such as the cooperation agreement with Rothschild on the M&A side - we'll make a difference." As part of the revised strategy, business locations in Asia are being asked to provide evidence of how they will increase their F&A market share. "As an organisation, we will do everything to increase that market share," ■SgHHH says Pruijs. "However, that also means that anything and everything that is non-core will have to be reduced over time. Now, clearly, in this particular market where there's very little liquidity on existing assets that will be difficult, so we will have to keep our eye on the ball with respect to our legacy portfolio, while still developing new business activity within the F&A space." As that non-core business is reduced and the core business is built up, cliënt focus will take on even greater significance. "When we talk about back to basics, and back to the roots of the bank, cliënt focus is the number one priority. One of the bank's co-operative principles is that we work and operate in the interest of our elients, which means that cliënt leadership is called for." For staff in the region, this will mean a re-positioning of priorities and ambitions. Pruijs: "We're going to have to be creative and innovative when it comes to utilising the diverse skill sets available within the bank. Perhaps this will mean puiling F&A research

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