Rabo AgriFinance Names John Steeves as Head of Rural Business Economics, North America

Rabo AgriFinance

Rabo AgriFinanceSeasoned financial services leader appointed to lead the Rural Management Team

CHESTERFIELD, MO (May 6, 2024) – Rabo AgriFinance, a subsidiary of the global food and agriculture bank Rabobank, today announced John Steeves as its new Head of Rural Business Economics, North America, effective May 1, 2024.

Steeves, a financial services veteran with more than thirty years of experience, will relocate from Edmonton, Canada, to Rabo AgriFinance’s headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

“John is a seasoned leader with a strong track record and drive to serve clients in the best possible way in financial services and has sharp instincts in business development that will propel the organization forward and nurture our valued culture,” said Willem Boezen, incoming Head and CEO for Rabobank North America. “His expertise in comprehensive agriculture banking business will drive sustainable growth for our customers to help feed the world.”

Steeves brings a hands-on approach and a wealth of experience to Rabo AgriFinance. Throughout his career, his entrepreneurial spirit and creative relationship-building skills have generated revenue growth. His focus on fostering engagement among employees and clients has helped him establish a proven track record in business development, strategic planning, change management, talent development and complex P&L management.

Most recently, Steeves served as the Executive Vice-President of Banking at Canadian Western Bank following his role as Senior Vice-President for Prairies / Northern Alberta Regions. He led the commercial, personal and cash management business for Northern Alberta and later oversaw all banking activities across Canada. His transformative leadership revamped the sales force and personal banking teams, launched a broad agriculture banking business and initiated revenue optimization strategies.

At the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Steeves supervised as the Vice-President and Region Head for Alberta and Northern Territories and held executive oversight for all commercial banking activities in the region and championed numerous strategic initiatives. Prior to this role, he held various roles at HSBC Bank Canada, including Manager and Assistant Vice President, Commercial Banking, and Account Manager, Commercial Banking.

“Over the years, I have been following Rabobank’s business development progression in agriculture banking. I’ve been impressed by their focus on client relationships, ability to deliver innovative financial products and extensive knowledge of the global food and ag industry,” Steeves said. “This approach and the commitment to serve agriculture attracted me to join the team.”

Steeves added, “I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues to support our clients’ sustainability journeys and meet critical global and local commitments. Rabo AgriFinance’s reputation of leadership across the entire food value chain starts with our people and I look forward to driving a differentiated employee experience while nurturing a pipeline of future talent.”

Steeves succeeds the current Head of Rural Banking, Shawn Smeins, who will retire on May 15. Smeins, who began his career with Rabobank in Cedar Falls, Iowa 31 years ago, has served in several North American roles since 1993. He’s held positions in operations, risk and business development. During his tenure, he spearheaded business development and growth initiatives to meet the agriculture industry’s evolving financial needs. He’s overseen multi-year technology transformations as well as long-term client relationships. His combination of leadership and dedication to clients has helped to grow Rabo AgriFinance into one of the largest independent commercial ag lender in the U.S.

“I am grateful for my experience and opportunity to lead at Rabo AgriFinance and will think fondly of this chapter of my career,” Smeins said. “I have been fortunate to work with passionate colleagues and forward-thinking clients who are transforming agribusiness. I am confident under John’s leadership the business will continue to deliver unrivaled value to ag producers.”

“John is a natural fit for our culture and brings a strategic vision to drive operational excellence, both of which are crucial for North America,” stated Stacy Brown, Chief Human Resources Officer, Rabobank North America. “We are thankful to Shawn for setting the direction for the rural business to continue providing client-focused solutions.”

Steeves holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS. He also attended the CIBC Executive Leadership Development Program at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, ON, and the Executive Training and Development Program from Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp, Hong Kong.

“In his new role, John will drive the implementation of our rural strategic framework to support the rural business designed around farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses in North America,” said David Bassett, interim CEO of Rabobank North America and Head of Wholesale Banking North America. “I look forward to working in partnership with John to move our rural business forward, ensure the business maintains control at all times and deliver on new growth opportunities.”


Melanie Bernds
Public Relations, Rabobank
(636) 331-3589

About Rabobank
Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 38 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the world’s largest banks with over $660 billion in assets. In the Americas, Rabobank Wholesale Banking North America is a premier corporate and investment bank to the food, agribusiness, commodities and energy industries.

Rabo AgriFinance, a subsidiary of Rabobank, is a leading financial services provider for farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses in the United States. Together, we provide sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire value chain.

Visit www.RabobankWholesaleBankingNA.com and www.RaboAg.com.