There have been some encouraging signs for dairy farmers recently, says Rabobank national manager for food and agribusiness banking, Hamish Midgley.
The specialist rural lender says plans are underway to develop a new, purpose-built agri ‘centre of excellence’ in Hamilton’s CBD as the new base for the bank’s corporate head office roles, to be co-located with staff from Rabobank’s current Hamilton office.
Chief executive Todd Charteris says the move, from the bank’s current head office location in Wellington, is an opportunity for the business to support its growth strategy into the future as New Zealand’s only specialist food and agribusiness bank.
“With our strong network of food and agribusiness connections, several of our regional offices located nearby and the close proximity of other food-producing regions, we believe moving to the Waikato will set us up for a future of growth alongside our clients,” he said.
“Basing our corporate head office closer to food and fibre production in the centre of a major agricultural region is part of our commitment to the rural sector,” he says.
“Our team wants to embrace the food and farming mindset, so we can really understand the opportunities and challenges farmers face and further develop our offering to meet their future needs.”
Charteris says Rabobank will progressively relocate the corporate head office roles to Hamilton between early 2021 and January 2022, when it is expected around 80 roles will be based in Hamilton.
The bank will also retain significant operations in Wellington for the foreseeable future through its IT and operations teams, totalling some 70 people. All up, the bank currently employs more than 350 people across its network of 32 offices throughout New Zealand.
“We will make this move over the next two years, with the least impact possible on our people and clients and look forward to further introducing ourselves to the communities of Hamilton and the wider Waikato,” Charteris says.