Long-term Rabobank staffer and Dutch national Mark Wiessing has been named the agribusiness bank’s new chief executive for Australia, taking the reins from Peter Knoblanche after seven years in the role. Mr Wiessing — who will make the move to Australia early next year — will also hold the role of regional manager for Australia and New Zealand. He will start both roles in May 1 when Mr Knoblanche will retire from the company after 27 years. Mr Wiessing has served as regional manager for South America and the chief executive for Brazil for the past seven years after first joining the bank in 2006. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial sector, including postings in South America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. A Dutch national, Mr Wiessing graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands and with an MBA from the University of Georgia in the USA. He said it was “an immense honour” to be selected for the role. “I am looking forward to relocating to Australia in the new year,” Mr Wiessing said. “I’m also looking forward to continuing to support our clients in the region on their journey to sustainably build their businesses and also to build upon the strong culture across Rabobank’s Australia and New Zealand operations.” Before working at Rabobank, Mr Wiessing served with other financial institutions, including Standard Bank of South Africa, Citibank and ING. Rabobank Australia chair Henry van der Heyden paid tribute to the “outstanding contribution” of Mr Knoblanche. Rabobank is actively expanding its footprint in the Australian and New Zealand region as one of the biggest agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. “We’re delighted to have an international banking executive of Mark’s calibre and experience to oversee the bank’s operations in the region following Peter Knoblanche’s retirement next year,” Mr van der Heyden said. “Mark’s experience in leading one of Rabobank’s key international franchises, serving the top food and agri-corporates and farmers in South America, will also help provide a seamless transition at the helm of Rabobank Australia.” Mr Knoblanche said it had been “an enormous privilege” to work with the company. “I have spent a significant part of my career working at such an outstanding values-based organisation whose greatest asset is its people and their unwavering focus on our clients and their commitment to making a lasting contribution to the region, and the global food and agriculture industry,” he said.