Barbara Baarsma appointed Director of Knowledge Development at Rabobank

Barbara Baarsma will take up the position of Director of Knowledge Development at Rabobank on 1 April 2016. She will be responsible for improving the bank’s knowledge development in the context of the new strategy, which will be finalised at the General Members Council on 9 December 2015. Barbara Baarsma will look into how Rabobank can put its substantial knowledge offering to even better use to support the bank’s customers. Barbara Baarsma will also take over line management responsibility for the Economic Research Department which is now lead by Rabobank Chief Economist Wim Boonstra.

Barbara Baarsma has over 20 years’ experience in the field of applied economic research and has been a board member of SEO Economic Research for a decade. Barbara Baarsma will report directly to Rabobank’s Chairman of the Executive Board Wiebe Draijer. Although Wim Boonstra is stepping down from the leadership role, he will continue his connection to the Economic Research team and to the Rabobank and will report in to Barbara Baarsma as of 1 April 2016.
Barbara Baarsma: ‘Rabobank has a rich knowledge base. I’m looking forward enormously to working with the different research groups to find ways to deploy this knowledge as effectively as we can for the benefit of Rabobank’s customers. That’s my way of making a contribution to the Rabobank and its role in society. The cooperative nature of the bank is a wonderful starting point: ‘Banking for the Netherlands’ and ‘Banking for Food’ are two challenging and inspiring strategic programmes at Rabobank which deserve powerful support. We can achieve this by further developing the knowledge and expertise already available in the bank.’
Chairman of the Executive Board Wiebe Draijer: ‘I’m tremendously pleased that Barbara Baarsma is taking up this role at Rabobank. There is a rich seam of knowledge running through the bank provided by talented researchers. But knowledge development at the bank is currently spread across different business units. Barbara Baarsma will lead the drive towards improving coordination and coherence in leadership, implementation and in communication with customers. Knowledge development must fit seamlessly with our mission to make a substantial contribution to welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands and to feeding the world sustainably. I am convinced that Rabobank will benefit greatly from Barbara’s broad base of knowledge and experience and I wish her every success.’
Barbara Baarsma will continue to hold a number of ancillary positions including: Professor of Market Forces and Competition Issues at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Amsterdam; Crown member of the SER (The Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands); and member of the Corporate Governance Code Monitoring Commission. She will resign as Managing Director of SEO Economic Research and as a result of her new appointment will also give up a number of ancillary roles including those at Loyalis nv, Aon Groep Nederland bv, and the Espria foundation.

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