With the lowering of the farmgate milk price comes the squeezing of margins.
Van Selm commenced in the role – heading the bank’s wholesale banking business for large corporate clients in New Zealand and Australia - on August 1. She takes over from Els Kamphof, who has been appointed to head the regional wholesale banking operations for Rabobank in the Netherlands and Africa.
Rabobank New Zealand chief executive Todd Charteris said van Selm – who was previously the general manager of corporate banking for Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group – had a strong understanding of the corporate banking needs of major companies involved in New Zealand’s food and agribusiness sector.
“Karin brings extensive experience and a very solid track record working with food and agribusiness corporates in New Zealand, Australia and Europe,” he says.
Van Selm, who is based in Sydney, had been in her previous role with Rabobank since January 2016. Rabobank is one of New Zealand’s largest agricultural banks and a major provider of specialist corporate financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector.
Commencing her career as a tax lawyer at Ernst & Young in the Netherlands, van Selm worked in structured finance at ING Barings, before moving to Australia in 2005 and joining Westpac, where she worked in various roles in its institutional banking Consumer and Agribusiness team, responsible for a large portfolio of food and agribusiness clients. She holds a Master of Laws, specialising in international tax and economics.
Van Selm says the future opportunities for New Zealand and Australia’s corporate food and agri businesses were “exciting”, with both countries producing world-class agricultural produce and with rapidly-growing export markets in close proximity in the region.
“That said, businesses in the F&A sector are challenged to remain competitive in the various commodity markets, faced with increasing costs of labour, water, energy and insurance, as well as stricter regulatory environments,” she says.