REGION SPECIAL AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND Community banking cooperative group of people. We don't have any huge ambitions for growth in Australia and New Zealand - it's more about ensuring we continue to do what we do well. And when the financial system corrects itself, we want to be ready to seize those opportunities available to us," he says. Sitting at the core of Rabobank is the cooperative model, which itself is rooted in agriculture. It's clear that these same values are very much a part of the banking philosophy in Rabobank's operations in Australia and New Zealand. But to what extent are clients involved in the bank? And what do these values mean? From Neil Dobbin's perspective, Rabobank's cooperative values are about investing in clients to achieve future ambitions - for both the bank and the cliënt. "I view the cooperative values as being about our clients. Our organisational structure reflects that - our clients are at the centre of everything we do. Our rural managers live and work in the same communities as their clients and they have an in-depth knowledge and genuine understanding of the industries in those communities. We acknowledge that many of our clients are leaders in their industry According to Bruce Dick, the combination of local knowledge and the intelligence provided by FAR is a potent combination. "We are always providing information to clients and potential clients. For example, FAR carries out a large number of presentations, often face-to-face, which creates intimacy. We also offer education programmes such as the For William Gurry, the newly appointed chairman of the board of directors of Rabobank Australia New Zealand, the goal is about maintaining satisfied clients and Rabobank's position as the best F&A bank in the region. "I want my staff to feel proud that they're working for Rabobank, and feel proud to be working within the financial sector, which can be a tough proposition in the current climate of public opinion. Flowever, I want the staff to remain a cohesive and to the leading producers. It's that simple. Our specialist rural managers hold university degrees and work closely with clients to meet their unique and individual financial needs. They also need to have the personality that fits with Rabobank's banking philosophy-cliënt focused and no egos. We believe what's good for the cliënt is good for the bank, so we have people that will spend time with clients when needed. Add in the global knowledge they gain from the research carried out by Food Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR), and you have a highly effective package." Executive Development Programme for current farm owners and the Farm Managers Programme for the next generation of farm owners. These programmes are open to both clients and non clients and provide market leading insights into the F&A sector and assist them in developing and understanding the latest business practices. Additionally, all of our rural managers visit clients and provide them with advice. The long-term view of Rabobank, rather than the short-term view of many others active in the sector, is something that stands us in good stead with our clients. We look for the ways in which we can offer them the best service possible and stay with them in the long-term." Bruce Dick Rabobank Australia named foreign bank of the year Rabobank Australia was named foreign bank of the year at the Australian Banking and Finance (AB&F) Awards ceremony held in Sydney recently. Accepting the award on behalf of the bank, Bruce Dick, chief executive officer of Rabobank Australia New Zealand, said: "It is ironie perhaps that here at Rabobank in Australia we actually don't think of ourselves as a foreign bank. We feel very much that we are an Australian institution - with our focus very much on rural Australia, staffed by Australians and servicing Australian customers. Having said that, we are certainly more than happy to have the support ofan extremely solid international parent - the global Rabobank Group. In these times, I think you probably can't get much higher praise than a recent description of Rabobank in the Economist as a 'wonderfully dull cooperative bank from the Netherlands'." issue 20 i THE WORD

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

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