In the virtual lead
Start of Obvion
Sponsoring: more than money alone
Main events 11
subscribing members and employees. At EUR 1.75 billion, this was
almost double the proceeds estimated initially.
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Rabobank is a market leader in virtual banking. Late in 2002, the one
millionth Internet savings account was opened. According to
Internet audience measurement service Nielsen Net Ratings,
Rabobank was also one of Europe's most frequented Internet banks
in 2002. In December, 1.3 million people visited www.rabobank.nl.
The success of www.rabobank.nl in the Netherlands has resulted in
virtual steps across the border. Since November 2002, people in
Belgium can go to www.rabobank.be for savings products and a
number of Robeco investment funds.
Near the end of 2002, an agreement was signed to acquire Internet
broker Alex and the telephone order line VEB-Bottomline from
Dexia Bank Nederland.
In 2002, Rabobank Group strengthened its international position in
private banking by means of a strategic alliance with the renowned
Swiss Bank Sarasin Cie. Rabobank Nederland took a 28% share in
Bank Sarasin Cie, while contributing its own International Private
Banking activities to Bank Sarasin Cie. Rabobank has a call option
enabling her to obtain a majority interest in Bank Sarasin Cie.
After Australia and New Zealand, Rabobank International is now also
actively pursuing its successful country-banking strategy in Ireland,
the United States and Canada. Country-banking involves taking
over smaller retail banks in developed countries. These banks mainly
operate in rural areas and have a strong position in the agricultural
sector. In the year under review, Rabobank International acquired
the Irish state-owned ACC bank. This Group entity also acquired
Valley Independent Bank, in California. In Canada, a strategic alliance
was made with ATB Financial.
In the year under review, Robeco acquired two hedge fund mana-
gers:Transtrend and Sage Capital Management. In addition, this
Rabobank subsidiary acquired a 60% share in Boston Partners Asset
Managers, in the United States, with an option to buy the remaining
share.These acquisitions fit into Robeco's strategy of expanding its
investment expertise and offering a broader product range to its
(institutional) clients. Assets managed by the parties acquired
amount to EUR 9 billion.
Obvion,the joint venture between Rabobank Group and ABP that
was announced in 2001, started business on 1 April 2002. Obvion
sells mortgages via intermediaries. Its market share in 2002 was 3%.
In the year under review, Rabobank Group, as a 'first foun
der; was the main sponsor of Floriade 2002, the world horti
cultural fair held in Haarlemmermeer. Rabobank Group's
central sponsoring policy focuses on the promotion of the
Rabobank brand.The Rabobank sponsors three major spor
ting activities in the Netherlands: hockey, cycling and
equestrian sport. In addition, the Rabobank has for many
years been working together with the Stichting
Museumjaarkaart. In January 2003, a five-year partnership
with the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum was added to the
programme.This partnership enhances the museum's ability
to publicise its existing collection among the Dutch audience
and to organise even more high-quality exhibitions. For
Rabobank, sponsoring is more than just supplying cash to
enhance brand recognition.The Bank sees sponsoring
primarily as a partnership that should benefit both parties
and that should generate a social dividend.