Northern Ireland's largest agri-business banking team has appointed one of its experienced agri-business managers as its first deputy head of agri-business.

Rodney Brown will now support Danske Bank's head of agri-business, Robert McCullough, in developing and managing the bank’s industry relationships and sponsorships as part of the newly created role.

Brown will also continue to look after the needs of the bank’s main agricultural customers in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone and lead the team of agri-business managers in this area.

'Sound understanding'

Robert McCullough, Danske Bank's head of agri-business, said: “Rodney is a highly regarded and experienced agri manager, with a sound understanding of the financing needs of a variety of agri-business sectors. I am delighted that he has taken up this role.

This is a significant move which demonstrates our continued investment in the industry and commitment to long-term relationships, something we know our customers value.

“As the largest agri-business team in Northern Ireland, we recognise our responsibility for supporting the industry and the farming community - not just commercially, but through leadership and a wide range of local sponsorships," he said.

Times of uncertainty

Meanwhile, a viable and sustainable agricultural industry is vital to the economic success of Northern Ireland and to the prosperity of rural communities, McCullough added.

Focusing on the key aspects of business management is fundamental to the success of any business, including agribusiness. In times of change and uncertainty, as the saying goes, ‘focus on what you can control’.

“Broadly speaking, the industry is in a good place, despite some of the uncertainty and localised fodder issues which we all are aware of.

"The dairy industry - which is the engine room of NI agriculture - is enjoying a much better trading environment, as are the other sectors in general. This has a direct impact across rural Northern Ireland, both socially and economically," he said.

The bank’s senior agri-business managers, Mark Forsythe and Seamus McCormick, will continue to lead their teams in south and north regions respectively.

Brown, the new deputy head of agri-business, grew up in Fintona and now lives in Co. Fermanagh with his wife and two young children.