Category Banking

Business Grows on the Strength of Its Banking

12 April 2013 Graeme Auret, Nedbank

The ability to grow our banking presence in a client’s organisation rests heavily on the client/ banker relationship, says Nedbank Corporate Banking. Graeme Auret, Managing Executive – Corporate Banking at Nedbank, says there is a wealth of evidence to ba

Among the firms embarking on expansion projects with Nedbank support is Consol, with whom Nedbank in 2012 announced its participation as joint underwriter and funder, providing R2.5 billion of a total R5.85 billion funding package. Nampak also recently entered into a R1 billion funding agreement to support the company’s growth aspirations. Among Nedbank Corporate Banking’s other clients are AECI, Net 1, Harmony Gold, Total, Vodacom, Actom and Cashbuild – to name but a few.

As a major lender into the public sector, Nedbank also has the Western Cape Government and the Nuclear Energy Corporation Limited among its clients. The bank recently announced the successful conclusion of a funding agreement of just under R1 billion for the City of Johannesburg, which the city aims to use to fulfil its development objectives.

Auret says the two-way loyalty that develops between the bank and the client means that the bank commits itself to financing of a client to support a business’s growth – even during difficult times – and the bank seeks to help guide decisions that benefit the client in the provision of this funding.

He says Nedbank Corporate Banking takes the success of its clients’ business to heart – so much so that the bank advises clients on finance alternatives most appropriate to the client even if that means it is not beneficial for the bank in the short term.

“We take our risk-minded approach into our clients’ world. By doing this, sometimes we have to take a firm stance. For example, if the client is pursuing an acquisition, or intending to structure their balance sheet in a particular way, which we believe will not be beneficial, we will advise against it. It is imperative that we deliver advice to the client that is credible,” assures Auret.

This risk-minded approach saw Nedbank Corporate Banking clients faring exceptionally well during the 2008/09 downturn. “During the financial crisis, we realised that when liquidity is in short supply, we had to ensure we were able to support for our long-serving, loyal clients.” The bank did so, and its clients came through the downturn remarkably well,’ says Auret.

He notes: “If a company is dynamic and likely to be growing – if you want to weather a recession – you want to partner with a bank that is going to be there with you when the going gets a bit tougher.”
Because Nedbank believes businesses should focus on growth, and not have to devote its time to managing Banking matters, the bank strives to deliver solutions that facilitate this. It’s that kind of relationship we really do try and achieve on,” says Auret.

Auret says Nedbank Corporate Banking takes its relationships with clients seriously. “This business is at its core a relationship business. We do not seek to do a standalone piece of business and move on after the deal is done. We know and acknowledge that for us to be successful in the long term, we have to make sure that the on-going experience of the client is a good one,” he says.
As a result of this approach, Nedbank Corporate Banking has one of the largest customer bases made up of clients that have banked with Nedbank for 30 years or more.

Some have banked exclusively with Nedbank Corporate Banking for far longer, such as Eric Ellerine of the Ellerine Brothers, who has banked only with Nedbank for over 60 years.
Auret notes, “a good relationship isn’t just built on delivering a good price, it’s about honesty, integrity and transparency.”

Nedbank says business needs a Corporate Banking partner who, in providing products and services, manages the business’s risks while caring about the company’s success. This, says Auret, is Nedbank Corporate Banking’s guiding focus.

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