Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank has announced the appointment of Stephen Kelly to the role of Regional Manager Western Australia.
Mr Kelly – who has worked with Rabobank’s WA business since 1991, most recently as Head of Relationship Management for Western Australia – has taken over the role from Crawford Taylor, who has moved to a new national position with the bank.
Announcing the appointment, Rabobank Group Executive for Country Banking Australia Marcel van Doremaele said the bank was fortunate to have a senior rural banker of Mr Kelly’s capabilities and experience to take on the WA leadership position.
“Steve is a highly-capable and experienced member of our team, who has enormous knowledge and understanding of Western Australian agriculture and agribusiness. He is very well-regarded in the Western Australian agricultural sector and among our clients and the Rabobank team,” he said. “In his past 25-plus years with the bank, Steve has played an integral role in supporting the growth of our clients in the region and helping to develop Rabobank’s presence in the state to the strong position it holds today.”
Originating from a mixed grain and sheep property near Narembeen in the WA wheatbelt, Mr Kelly holds a Bachelor of Agribusiness and a Graduate Diploma in Banking and Finance from Curtin University.
Since joining what was originally the Primary Industry Bank of Australia (PIBA) in 1991 – later acquired by Rabobank – Mr Kelly has held a number of client-facing and leadership roles with the bank throughout Western Australia, and has acted in the position of interim regional manager for extended periods during 2013 and 2016.
Mr Kelly said it was a “great honour” to take on management of Rabobank in WA, after being involved in the “incredible growth trajectory” of the bank and its clients since the “early humble beginnings” when it was established as the (originally federal government-owned) Primary Industry Bank of Australia, to provide long-term finance to the farm sector.
“It has been a truly amazing journey to be part of such a positive growth story in the state, supporting our agricultural clients as they have developed,” he said. “We have seen enormous growth in our client base and in the bank’s business from those early days to our current position as one of the leading agricultural lenders in Western Australia.”
After commencing operation in 1978, PIBA was subsequently purchased by the Rural & Industries Bank of WA (later BankWest) in 1987 before being acquired by global agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank in 1994.
Mr Kelly said “in the early days the bank was a real game-changer in the market, providing a genuine alternative to the traditional banks because it took a long-term view and employed staff who were connected to agriculture and who understood the cyclical nature of farming. And this is something we continue to do to the present day”.
Mr Kelly said the bank had “continued to go from strength to strength in WA, with Rabobank demonstrating its commitment to rural regions and steadily growing our branch network through the state, with locations strategically chosen to best support our clients and provide the best personalised on-farm service.”
The bank now has a network of 10 locations across the state, Albany, Bunbury, Dalwallinu, Esperance, Geraldton, Lake Grace, Merredin, Moora, Narrogin and Perth.
“I very much look forward to overseeing the continued growth in WA, supporting our clients in the WA agricultural sector into the future,” he said.
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 38 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.4 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 93 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.