Former Fonterra chairman to head Rabobank Australia

A year after being named chairman of Rabobank New Zealand, Henry van der Heyden will succeed Bill Gury to head the bank’s Australia board.

Agribusiness lender Rabobank Australia has tapped Henry van der Heyden to succeed Bill Gurry, who will retire as chairman but continue to serve as a member of the board.

The appointment, which comes a year after van der Heyden was named chairman of Rabobank New Zealand, will be effective November 29, the bank said. Van der Heyden, who has served as a director on the bank’s Australia board since 2012, has extensive knowledge of the agribusiness sector, including playing a key role in establishing New Zealand dairy co-operative Fonterra in 2001, and serving as its chairman from 2002 to 2012 when he retired.

“Henry’s skills and experience as a business leader, along with his passion for agriculture and his deep knowledge and understanding of Rabobank and our unique co-operative banking model, will allow for a smooth transition at the helm of the board from Bill Gurry,” said Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the global Rabobank Group, which has been serving the food and agribusiness sectors for more than a century.

Van der Heyden also sits on the boards of Foodstuffs North Island and Pascaro Investments. In addition, he serves as chairman of Auckland International Airport and the commercial arm of tribal organization Waikato-Tainui.

A career dairy farmer, he runs – along with his family – substantial dairy operations in New Zealand’s Central North Island, according to Rabobank.