Rabobank appoints new Armidale branch manager to head up New England business


Leading agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank has appointed Scott Neilson to head up its business in the New England region.

Based out of the Armidale branch, Mr Neilson brings extensive banking experience to the role, notching up more than three decades in financial markets in Australia and abroad.

Announcing the appointment, regional manager for northern New South Wales and southern Queensland Brad James said Mr Neilson brought a wealth of experience to the role and as “no stranger to the local area” he had a good understanding of the wool, sheep, beef and sugar sectors in which his clients operated.

“With Rabobank well established as a leading ag bank in rural Australia, Scott’s skill set is ideal for our operating model as he is passionate about agriculture and working with clients to assist them in building and expanding their farming enterprises,” he said.

Mr Neilson – who moved from Sydney, where he headed up a spot trading desk with a major retail bank, to Armidale in 2012 – said he loved the area with its genuine community.

“I was not home much in Sydney so we moved our young family up here so I could work with farmers to help manage their FX, interest rate and commodity price risk,” he said.

Melbourne-educated, Mr Neilson has had a long connection to agriculture with his father “off the land down near Hay” and close ties to the land through friends over the years, particularly at Dungog where he ran his horses.

Mr Neilson says after finishing up in the financial markets last year, he was initially hesitant to get back into banking but it was Rabobank’s global cooperative structure that drew him to the role.

“I took some time off to help a mate out with harvest by driving a chaser out at Moree, as well as a stint helping out other friends with lambmarking and cattle work,” he said.

“But I was drawn to Rabobank’s principles and values, which align with my own, as their metrics are not solely revenue generated but focussed on ensuring we have a genuine relationship with our clients, which leads to a far greater banking relationship and mutual long-term goals.”

The team-working environment was also important, he said, with Mr Neilson heading up a team of 10 agri bankers – that collectively have 173 years of experience between them – and a remit covering the cane fields on the north coast down to fine wool-breeding country at Walcha.

“The region is looking magnificent at the moment,” he said, “with full water profiles and grass up to your knees. The only thing lacking is the number of sheep and cattle on hand, and to that end we are working closely with our clients assisting them in their efforts to rebuild stock numbers.”

Mr Neilson takes on the role from previous long-standing branch manager Mike Stace who has moved with the bank to Perth.

Mr Neilson joins head of relationship manager for northern New South Wales and southern Queensland Nick Pearce in the Armidale branch as well as rural managers Kyle McDonald (based in Inverell), Duncan Whan, Ben Muirhead, Charles Hope (based in Lismore), Donna Matheson and Michael Clark and analysts Megan Kliendienst, Jenny Brown, George Sedgwick and Anna Hoy.

To contact Scott Neilson or Rabobank Armidale please call 02 6738 7300 or 0418 902 743.

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