Niels Jacobs has been named Rabobank’s head of trade and commodity finance agribusiness team for North America, as the lender looks to expand its business in the sector.

Based in New York, Jacobs will report to Rabobank’s head of trade and commodity finance Americas, Christine Pelletier, who previously had oversight of the North American business while she built the region’s overall trade and commodity finance business.

Jacobs joined Rabobank in 2010 and has been a senior banker on the trade and commodity finance agri Europe team since 2015, where he helped secure new business in the agri and energy sectors.

The appointment is part of the bank’s efforts to overhaul its offering in the food and agriculture space.

“The North America team has a clear mandate to grow the business and I am really looking forward to driving this growth plan,” says Jacobs.

Rabobank closed its trade and commodity finance operations in London, Shanghai and Sydney in 2021 in a bid to streamline its offering.

It joined other lenders in scaling back operations in the wake of the pandemic, including ABN Amro, which announced it was leaving the trade and commodity finance sector entirely after suffering significant losses when Singapore oil trader Hin Leong collapsed.

Rabobank’s North American agri clients include commodity merchants selling grains, oilseeds, coffee, cotton, sugar and rice for domestic and international markets.

“Creating a separate trade and commodity finance agri head in this region adds a renewed depth and focus to the team that will support our continued growth in the sector,” says Christine Dirringer, Rabobank’s global head of trade and commodity finance.

“We are committed to the trade and commodity finance sector and Niels will make us even stronger in this area,” adds David Bassett, head of wholesale banking for North America.