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Rabobank to Replace Head of Food and Agriculture M&A Unit

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Rabobank Groep plans to replace Emmanuel Durand, the head of its global mergers and acquisitions team focused on the food and agricultural industries, which are at the core of its international business.

Jacqueline Pieters, 45, will head the lender’s global mergers and acquisitions food and agricultural practice starting Sept. 1, Rabobank spokeswoman Fransce Verdeuzeldonk said in an e-mailed statement today. Durand, based in New York, will continue to lead the unit’s Americas region.

Rabobank, based in the Dutch city of Utrecht, currently has food and agricultural banking operations in more than 30 countries and seeks to expand its mergers and acquisitions practice, Verdeuzeldonk said. In 2008, the bank entered into an agreement with Rothschild on deals and equity capital markets advisory in food and agriculture, under which Rabobank obtained a 7.5 percent stake in Rothschilds Continuation Holdings.

Pieters, who joined Rabobank in 1992, is currently managing director at Rabobank International, where she built strategic relationships with corporate clients in the food and agricultural sectors, Verdeuzeldonk said.

Pieters and Durand, 49, will both serve on the executive committee of the Rabobank-Rothschild tie-up, to which the two banks remain “fully committed,” the spokeswoman said.

Durand, a Harvard-educated banker who previously led the financial institutions group in Latin America for Salomon Smith Barney, will help Rabobank strengthen its presence in markets including the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, as well as “explore opportunities to expand the bank’s regional footprint.”

Rabobank was formed in 1898 as a cooperative lender serving Dutch farmers, and has since become one of the world’s biggest agricultural lenders. Rabobank International had 50.9 billion euros ($62.3 billion) in loans to the food and agricultural sector at the end of last year, accounting for 48 percent of of the unit’s total lending, according to its annual report.

Pieters declined to comment on the job changes, and Durand did not respond to requests for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net; Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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