Blog

Meet the Veterans: Mark Murphy

Posted by

UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB.

Q&A with Mark Murphy, Captain, Field Artillery, United States Army

Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Lancaster, Ohio, a town of approximately 40,000 people located just south of Columbus, Ohio. As much as I enjoyed Lancaster while growing up, I always knew I wanted to leave and experience more dynamic settings. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the University of Southern California (USC) where I studied film.

My time at USC was entertaining, but by the end of my senior year, I had lost interest in working in Hollywood. With the assistance of one of my history professors, I secured a position teaching English for the Japanese government. I not only worked alongside Japanese, but other Americans, Canadians, Australians and Britons. When my teaching contract ended, I headed back to the United States, and immediately attempted to join the Navy, but ultimately ended up in the Army.

Why did you choose to join the military?
Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by history and international relations, so joining the military seemed like a natural extension of both these interests. Also, most of my relatives are veterans, so the military culture was never alien to me.

Give us some highlights about your military career.
After completing approximately 18 months of initial training in Georgia and Oklahoma, I was assigned to the Second Infantry Division in Camp Hovey, South Korea. I was there less than eight months when our entire brigade (approximately 4,000 personnel) was deployed to the Al-Anbar Province in western Iraq. We landed in Kuwait in August 2004, spent a few weeks training and acclimating to the oven-like temperatures, and then convoyed to neighboring Iraq.

Mark Murphy Iraq

Continue Reading

Our brigade operated out of the provincial capital Ramadi, which in the weeks after our arrival deteriorated into one of the most violent cities in the world. The artillery battery I belonged to was responsible for providing 24/7 security to a sector on the outskirts of the city. We spent several hours a day patrolling the streets and markets, frequently stopping to establish a temporary traffic checkpoint or interview locals about the situation. Some nights we would conduct raids on suspected insurgent hideouts.

The first month was relatively calm, but in October the insurgent activity spiked dramatically, and we started taking a number of casualties. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), snipers and suicide bombers were the main culprits. The latter were the scariest because there is very little you can do to deter someone who is already trying to kill themselves.

By the end of the tour our brigade had suffered 68 killed and several hundred wounded. Our artillery battery lost six soldiers to combat and another to suicide—plus five more that were so seriously wounded they had to be evacuated to a military hospital in Germany. It was eerie to return to our barracks after one of our people had been killed and find all of their possessions arranged exactly how they had left them only a few hours before.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hardships endured by the residents of Ramadi. To this day, I am not sure how they managed to go about their daily lives while thousands of strangers —American troops, Iraqi insurgents, and foreign jihadists—roamed the city streets trying to kill one another in increasingly creative and destructive ways.

After the tour, the Army didn’t return us to South Korea, but instead sent us to Fort Carson, located in Colorado Springs, Colo. This proved to be a much more agreeable setting than Ramadi. The following year I left the Army, and headed to Cusco, Peru to attend an intensive, Spanish language immersion school.

How did you come to be at UMB? What made you want to work here?
I was enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Washington University in St. Louis. One of my classmates, Steve Marin, had recently retired from the Air Force and secured a position at UMB. UMB had an excellent reputation in the community and the financial industry seemed to offer good opportunities. With Steve’s assistance I applied, and was lucky enough to be hired.

What about your past shaped who you are today?
My personality, behavior, beliefs and interests are largely a product of the following influences: the Midwest, East Asia, Catholic school, National Geographic, nature, libraries, Hollywood and the military. Put them all in a blender, hit “mix,” and the resulting concoction will resemble me.


Mark Murphy is the UDAAP Compliance Analyst for UMB. He is responsible for reviewing marketing materials, performing product reviews, and creating and maintaining UDAAP focused risk assessments. Mark joined UMB in 2015. He is a 2014 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis’ Executive MBA program, and also holds degrees from the University of Kansas and the University of Southern California.



Leave a Comment

Stay warm and save energy this winter

Posted by

Winter is coming, which means a change in temperature as well as your heating bills. Below are helpful tips on how to keep the chill out of your home and more dollars in your wallet.

Keep warm air in and cold air outFlake-thermometer_400x400

  • Make sure gutters are clean. Cluttered gutters can lead to water damage and foundation deterioration in your home, which allows outside air to seep into your home.
  • Update windows with air leaks. If you can’t afford to replace windows, consider installing storm windows or cover them with plastic to reduce heat loss.
  • Use weather stripping around doors, and caulk windows to prevent cold air from entering the house.
  • Ensure your attic is well insulated.
  • Reduce drafts by using spray foam or caulk to seal holes around penetrations, such as pipes, wiring, vents or recessed lights that go through the home to the outside, attic, crawlspace or an unfinished basement.
  • Protect basement window wells with plastic shields.
Continue Reading

Maintain equipment to save money year-round

  • Schedule yearly checkups for your HVAC system. Energy Star recommends you plan the checkups around the beginning and end of daylight-saving time each spring and fall.
  • Change your air filter every month. Dirty filters slow down air flow, making your system work harder to heat and cool your home.
  • Keep air registers and vents clear to allow air to flow freely throughout the room.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – proper use can save you about $180 a year.
  • Insulate old water heaters with a water heater blanket. When it’s time to upgrade, consider purchasing an electric or tankless water heater to save money and energy. Note: Energy Star certified water heaters can use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional water heaters.

And remember, dress for the weather, even when inside. As the cold weather sets in, instead of donning shorts and short sleeves, put on a sweater or cover up with a blanket in order to keep warm without having to crank up the thermostat.

For more energy-saving tips, visit ENERGYSTAR.gov.


Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



Leave a Comment

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

UMB Insights: Jim Boyle Dairy

Posted by

Jim’s passion is cows. He says the happier the cow, the tastier the milk. His family dairy in Arizona is one example of why we’re passionate about agribusiness.

Continue Reading

UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



Leave a Comment

Tagged: , ,

What you don’t know can scam you: 4 tips to help you be more cyber secure

Posted by

A UMB associate recently shared a story with me about his mother-in-law who joined Facebook to keep up with friends and family. She received a friend request from a widowed, retired serviceman around her age and the two developed a friendship. The gentleman asked if she could send money to help him come for a visit. What she didn’t know was that he was a social engineer‡. Her family and local law enforcement were eventually able to convince her that she had been part of a Facebook romance scam‡, but not before she lost nearly $60,000. Sadly, stories like this are more common‡ than you might imagine, and the threat is real. In this video, you’ll see how phishing scams and social engineering takes shape and what you can do to prevent being lured into one.

Continue Reading

Every year, cyber criminals become more sophisticated and harder to stop. We already know consumers globally lost $158 billion to cybercrime in the past year, and in the United States alone, the figure is nearly $30 billion. As technology continues to change, so does the way criminals try to get your personal information to commit fraud. While we are committed to providing helping customers stay secure year-round, we try to make special notice of it during October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)‡.

NCSAM is designed not only to bring online threats to the forefront, but also to help individuals take better care of their online information. So how can you protect yourself, your family and your electronic devices?
NCSAM
Keep a clean machine

  • Links that you have received that are still stored in emails, social media direct messages and other online communications may be used to try and phish your personal data. A compromised email gives access‡ to sent email conversations revealing detailed information on you including  attachments you may have forgotten to delete.  Make a plan to move suspicious message to your Junk Email folder and to check your disable links and warnings feature in your email settings.
  • Did you know memory sticks‡ and other external devices (like phones and tablets) can be corrupted and give your computer what they’ve been infected with? Use antivirus software to scan them too.

Protect your personal information

Get the kids involved – Online gaming

Online gaming can be a fun way for kids to connect with others, but it’s important for them to understand the risks, to know how to handle certain situations. My son was recently the victim of a social engineer while gaming online. He took the bait from someone he thought was a new friend and lost a bunch of virtual currency – that was purchased with real dollars, and while that was disheartening (especially since I thought I’d taught him plenty about social engineering), it could have been even worse. Talk with your kids about:

  • Malicious users posing as “site administrators”
  • Never sharing account names and passwords – which allow the fraudster access to mom or dad’s credit cards
  • Buying fake virtual goods
  • Always using the legitimate site for the game. Never engage in transactions outside of the site.

Know that your mobile devices are targets too

  • Most of your mobile devices (smartphone, wearable technology‡, tablet and even laptop) contain significant information like contact numbers, photos, location and more. It’s important you treat your personal information in these like its valued currency.
  • Connecting to public wifi hotspots‡ that are not secure could be harmful. Avoid using these especially when logging into email or financial accounts.

For more tips you can use to keep your home and office safe online, visit StaySafeOnline.org‡.  In addition, you can visit UMB’s Security and Privacy page to help you stay current on security best practices as well as see how we’re working to protect you.

security-resource-page

Remember, while you can’t prevent every attempt at cyber crime, you can take steps to prevent and respond quickly if it does happen.

 

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Flores serves as senior vice president and Chief Information Security Officer, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and more than 15 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).



Leave a Comment

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Riding the rational bubble

Posted by

Don Ho’s famous song “Tiny Bubbles” went something like this:

Tiny bubbles, in the wine

Make me happy, make me feel fine.

Tiny bubbles make we warm all over

With a feeling that I’m gonna love you till the end of time.

Don Ho’s lyrics perfectly capture the way we typically feel about asset bubbles. Asset bubbles are formed when assets become over-inflated and prices rise beyond any real sustainable value. As asset bubbles are developing and asset prices are increasing, we feel fine and warm all over, buoyed by hope the bubbles never end. Unfortunately, they are typically followed by a crash. They don’t last until the end of time. Many empirical examples exist going back to the 1600s when “tulip mania,” a speculative bubble in tulip bulbs in the Netherlands, resulted in a collapse. More recently, the Dot-com bubble of the late 1990s burst when shares of Internet-related companies soared to astronomically high prices.

I spoke to CNBC about my take on this recently:

I also sat down with Gregg Greenberg at The Street to discuss asset bubbles.

the-street

 

Continue Reading

How to spot an asset bubble

Identifying bubbles can be difficult. Bubbles have historically emerged in periods of productivity where structural change enhancements and/or a low interest rate environment were present. Examples include the railway boom, the electricity boom and the Internet boom. So the question of the day is: Are we experiencing an asset bubble? Clearly we are not experiencing a productivity boom similar to those that have promoted bubbles in the past. However, we are experiencing the other end of the equation—historically low interest rates. Quantitative easing (QE) has failed to promote economic activity as expected, but it has driven interest rates to virtually zero for six years. Given that backdrop, asset bubbles are to be expected.

So are we in an asset bubble or is a bubble developing? I believe that a bubble is developing, caused by aggressive monetary policy around the globe. Presently the valuation of the market is rational, with the current price earnings (PE) ratio 20 times the last 12 months earnings and the current yield on the 10-year Treasury at 1.5 percent. Looking back, we now know there was a bubble in the equity market in early 2000. At that time the PE ratio was 30 times trailing earnings and the yield on the 10-year Treasury was 6.8 percent. Keep in mind that low interest rates and low inflation should support a higher multiple, so today 20 times trailing earnings would be defined as rational.

Can we ride the bubble?

There is vast array of academic research that would suggest the answer is yes. As asset bubbles form, many attempt to profit from the irrational exuberance of others, in effect promoting further growth of the bubble. I labeled today’s bubble “rational” because we don’t know the counter-factual argument. What if Ben Bernanke didn’t execute on QE? Would we have fallen into a recession? I don’t know; no one does and more importantly, it never happened. It appears to be rational that The Federal Reserve (Fed) would lower interest rates and keep them low for quite some time. In addition, by analyzing the global economy, one could conclude that low interest rates are rational and the bubble will remain in place for some time

When does the rational bubble become irrational?

Again, history provides us some indication. For example, tulip mania manifested over four years and the “South Sea Bubble,” a British stock bubble centered on trading rights purchased by the South Sea Company in the year 1716, also lasted four years. Interestingly, Isaac Newton found himself caught up in this bubble and apparently lost money in the ensuing crash. His famous quote, “I can calculate the movement of stars, but not the madness of men,” sums up the irrational behavior in a bubble. Another famous example, Black Monday – or the stock market crash of 1987 – ended the bull market run that started in 1982. I always get a kick out of the November 1987 Time Magazine cover titled: “The Crash—After a wild week on Wall Street, the world is different.” I respectfully disagree. The world didn’t change because of a stock market debacle. Lastly, the Dot-com bubble I referenced earlier began in the late 1990s and developed over a five-year period. The bottom line is that history tells us most asset bubbles come and go within a three- to five-year period. Rational bubbles become irrational when valuations can’t be justified. I do not believe we are there yet.

Are we in an asset bubble?

Admittedly, the challenge in determining the duration of a bubble is defining the anchor points. When did the bubble actually begin and when did it end? Typically these anchor points are a bit fuzzy. Nevertheless, it appears that historically, bubbles have lasted three to five years.

I know what you’re thinking: interest rates have been low for six years and the stock market has gone up since mid-2009. Does this mean we are in a bubble and will it burst? As I mentioned, it is extremely difficult to determine when exactly a bubble begins to develop. One key indicator to consider is that bubbles typically begin when we see an economic recovery turn into an expansion phase.

After the Great Recession in 2008 to 2009, the Fed lowered interest rates to stabilize the economy and right the ship. However, GDP growth has looked tortoise-like from 2010 to 2013 rather than showing a more robust economic recovery that could then lead to the development of an asset bubble. I believe the rational bubble we are in today likely began around 2014 when GDP held steady at 2.4 percent, followed by 2.4 percent again in 2015.

Stock market valuations have increased but are nowhere near levels we have seen them prior to past crashes. Interest rates are low and are expected to remain low for quite some time, yet inflation remains in check. It all appears to be rational. This signals investors to stay invested, buy quality companies and monitor the situation carefully.

Will the bubble burst?

The previous examples I cited were situations where a bubble has become irrational and eventually burst, though not all asset bubbles end badly. We may experience the frequent development of asset bubbles over the years, but most remain rational and eventually dissipate as the markets correct. This may be precisely the situation we find ourselves in today.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

UMB Investment Management is a division within UMB Bank, n.a. that manages active portfolios for employee benefit plans, endowments and foundations, fiduciary accounts and individuals. UMB Financial Services, Inc.* is a subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation. UMB Financial Services, Inc is not a bank and is separate from UMB Bank, n.a.

This content is provided for informational purposes only and contains no investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any specific securities. Statements in this report are based on the opinions of UMB Investment Management and the information available at the time this report was published.

All opinions represent our judgments as of the date of this report and are subject to change at any time without notice. You should not use this report as a substitute for your own judgment, and you should consult professional advisors before making any tax, legal, financial planning or investment decisions. This report contains no investment recommendations and you should not interpret the statements in this report as investment, tax, legal, or financial planning advice. UMB Investment Management obtained information used in this report from third-party sources it believes to be reliable, but this information is not necessarily comprehensive and UMB Investment Management does not guarantee that it is accurate.

All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Neither UMB Investment Management nor its affiliates, directors, officers, employees or agents accepts any liability for any loss or damage arising out of your use of all or any part of this report.

“UMB” – Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Copyright © 2016. UMB Financial Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Securities offered through UMB Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC or the Investment Banking Division of UMB Bank, n.a.

*Insurance products offered through UMB Insurance Inc.

You may not have an account with all of these entities.

Contact your UMB Representative if you have any questions.

*Securities and Insurance products are:

Not FDIC Insured  *  No Bank Guarantee  *  Not a Deposit  *  Not Insured by any Government Agency  *  May Lose Value

 


K.C. Mathews joined UMB in 2002. As executive vice president and chief investment officer, Mr. Mathews is responsible for the development, execution and oversight of UMB’s investment strategy. He is chairman of the Trust Investment, Asset Allocation and Trust Policy Committees. Mr. Mathews has more than 20 years of diverse experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining UMB, he served as vice president and manager of the portfolio management group at Bank of Oklahoma for nine years. Mr. Mathews earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Mathews attended the ABA National Trust School at Northwestern University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and member of the CFA Institute. He is past president of the Kansas City CFA Society and a past president of the Oklahoma Society of Financial Analysts.



Leave a Comment

Tagged: , , , , ,

How health benefits might change in 2017 based on the election

Posted by

One of the most memorable achievements of the Obama administration is the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bitter debates about this legislation that started long before its passage continue to this day—becoming a focal point of the 2016 presidential campaign. With the election still a few months away, it’s unclear exactly how healthcare and the ACA will be affected. What is clear, though, is that each candidate believes he or she has the right solution to fix America’s ailing healthcare system.
how benefits might change in 2017
Our Healthcare Services Chairman, Dennis Triplett, explores how each presidential candidate’s health care platform could impact employee benefits and businesses.

  • How we’re still feeling the Bern as Bernie Sanders continues to influence the Democratic health care conversation.
  • How might Hillary Clinton’s healthcare ideas play out?
  • Can Donald Trump repeal the ACA?
  • How might HSAs be affected?
Continue Reading

Of course, we recognize that as with all things political, anything could change.

Still feeling the Bern

Will we still feel the Bern of free healthcare? Bernie Sanders may not have won the Democratic Party nomination, but he has shaped and influenced the party’s platform on several key issues—including health care.

For him, the ACA isn’t good enough because 29 million Americans are still uninsured. And many who are insured can’t afford their deductibles.

The Sanders’ plan would have expanded Medicare to all Americans.

This has the benefit of separating health insurance from employment, which gives employees the freedom to change jobs or start their own business without the worry of losing health insurance.

He also suggests that it also would be a benefit to employers who no longer have the need to administer benefits plans and can focus more time and resources on running their core businesses.
Bernie Sanders
Leave no one behind

  • Medicare for all.
  • Separate health insurance from employment.
    • Employees can change jobs without fear of losing health insurance.
  • Employers can focus on running their businesses—not administering benefit plans.

Pros

  • Coverage for all Americans.
  • Relieves employers of a huge expense.

Cons

  • No out-of-pocket maximums on Medicare, and other coverage gaps.
  • Benefits become less of an employment differentiator.

How might Hillary Clinton’s policy ideas play out?

Clinton believes her more progressive approach on health care could help her with her base in the matchup against Trump. Her primary focus is on making the ACA work, and following President Obama’s lead she’s pledged to defend it against GOP efforts to repeal it.

  • Stay the course and make incremental changes
  • Make premiums more affordable and lessen out-of-pocket expenses.
  • $5,000 tax credit for families with out-of-pocket costs over 5 percent of their income.
  • Enhance premium tax credits.
  • Block or modify unreasonable health insurance premium rate increases.
  • Support new incentives to encourage all states to expand Medicaid.
  • Expand Medicaid in every state.
  • Invest in navigators, advertising and other consumer outreach.
  • Expand access to ACA exchange to families, regardless of immigration status.
  • Continues to support a “public option” to reduce costs and broaden the coverage choices.
  • Establish a federally run public option
  • Allow people to enroll in Medicare earlier, at age 55
  • Increase federal funding for community based health centers by $40 billion over the next decade.
  • Proposed a package of additional reforms.
  • Lower out-of-pocket costs, such as co-pays and deductibles.
  • Reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Reward value and quality.
  • Expand access to rural Americans.
  • Provide women access to reproductive health care.

Can Trump repeal the ACA?

As just about everyone knows, Trump has branded himself as both the anti-establishment and the anti-ACA candidate. If elected, he promises his first order of business will be to ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

“No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.”—Donald Trump

Trump’s plan:

  • Replace ACA with free market reforms to the health care industry that will broaden access and improve affordability and the quality of care.
  • Allow the sale of health insurance across state lines.
  • Tax credit for families that don’t have employer coverage.
  • Make health insurance premium payments tax deductible.
  • Establish high-risk insurance pools.
  • Work with states to review Medicaid options.
  • Provide block grants to states.
  • Incentivize states to remove fraud and waste from the system.
  • Raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.
  • Price transparency and consumer tools.
  • Consumers could shop for health care like they do other products.
  • Allow cross-border prescription drug purchases.
  • Health savings accounts for all.
  • Tax-free contributions.
  • Appealing to younger people.
  • Account balance can be used by any family member without penalty.
  • Inheritable without a penalty.

Trump will most likely let Congress take the lead on these proposed reforms since healthcare is not one of his key platform issues.

Trump promises that his administration would require price transparency from all health care providers, especially doctors and health care organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals would be able to shop for health care like they do other products so that they can find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related service. On a related note, the lack of price transparency has been one of the biggest challenges for people with HSAs.

Future of ACA

Unlikely to be replaced because of political obstacles and devastating effect on covered individuals but…

Despite the pre-election banter, my view is that it’s unlikely that the ACA will be going away any time soon.

As you’ve heard, the political obstacles associated with repeal are tremendous.

While I think full or total repeal is unlikely, change is inevitable regardless of whom our next President will be. So following the election, I think I would characterize the degree of probable change as mild to wild. Mild if we have a Democrat in the oval office to wild if we have a Republican. And that change will likely come in the President’s first 12-18 months in office as he or she puts their election mandate to the test. Change will be tempered by the Senatorial elections and we should keep our eyes on those races.  The House will likely remain in the Republican camp and the Speaker Ryan will have an influential role in how healthcare is reshaped in our country.

 

The content above represents the author’s personal views and not those of UMB Bank or UMB Financial.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 


Dennis Triplett is chairman of UMB Healthcare Services. He has responsibility providing strategic direction and insights to the leadership team. Dennis has more than 29 years of experience in the banking industry. He currently serves as Chairman of American Health Insurance Plan’s (AHIP) HSA Leadership Council, Board Member and past Chairman of the Employer’s Council of Flexible Compensation (ECFC), and a Charter member of the American Bankers Association HSA Council.



Leave a Comment

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Meet the Leadership: Uma Wilson (Director of Bank Products)

Posted by

Q&A with Uma Wilson, Director of Bank Products

Get to know UMB’s leadership a little better.

Tell us about yourself.
I was born and grew up in India until my early teens. I am an only child and I suppose I got way too much attention. My mom, especially, was very keen on my studies (all the credit goes to her)! I was fortunate enough to graduate with honors and was offered an internship at 16 to come to the United States to work for a Fortune 100 company. I learned a ton in this journey, especially the meaning of humility. I was faced with a huge cultural change and like any teen, I struggled a bit. Luckily, though, I was surrounded by good mentors that taught me a ton more than any book did.
Uma Wilson, age 16

Continue Reading

What about your past shaped who you are today?
My parents taught me the value of hard work and at the same time the value of people. Growing up I had to work really hard to sustain my placement in a private school which was expensive for my parents. I’m thankful to my sponsors who believed in me and gave me every opportunity which in turn defined my future.

Tell us about your family.
John and I have been married for 10 years. We have a daughter, Arianna, 8, and a stepson, Aiden, 12. John works for a leading banking technology provider and travels around the world a ton. ‎The kids keep us busy with their activities. During down time we like to spend time together either heading to the park, riding bicycles or watching movies.
Uma Wilson and family in New York City

Why did you choose UMB?
‎Looking back, I’m glad UMB gave me an opportunity to join. The world we live in is a small community. Throughout my tenure in banking, I’ve always been impressed by the level of commitment, expertise and passion shown by those I’ve met at UMB. This is a primary driver for my commitment to our company.

How do you like to get involved with your industry and give back?
I’m involved in several associations where I hold board positions to represent UMB. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry associations where you are driving changes and introducing rules that drive payments growth and strategy. My next goal is to get involved in the civic side of the community to give back. Specifically, I would like to spend time with organizations focused on poverty and education to make a difference in our community.

Favorite hobbies?
Lately, my daughter is into Harry Potter and we have been binge reading together. ‎So, I like to read, and I’m a curious soul for most part. I constantly like to learn about a variety of topics.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
‎We have done a few family trips together from beaches to metropolitan cities. But, one of my bucket list items for the family is a trip to India. I would like to take my family to the places I grew up and share my memories with them.

What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?
John and I like to read, so reading a book with no interruption is a great way to spend a weekend. Needless to say, a day without an argument between the kids will be a Kodak moment!
uma-wilson-family-2

Tell us about your team—Bank Product Group
I’m honored to have a team that is hardworking and humble. I strive to be a good leader. All the credit goes to my team because we have a mutual goal in our mind—providing state-of-industry products and solutions to our internal and external clients. I have teammates that joined us less than a year ago, and I have associates that have been with us for more than 20 years.

What does your team do differently?
Teamwork is a large part of our success. We like to bring a high level of collaboration and build on each other strengths. Product managers typically work in silos given the nature of the product they own. However, our team makes time to learn from each other and assist one another to drive results. I’m a very open person, and there are many times that I’m very direct in explaining my vision and agenda for our team. At the same time, though, I value the opinion and feedback from my team. They make me a better leader every day.

What is the greatest challenge facing the industry right now?
Currently the world of banking is in a state of change, we are experiencing a wave of new regulations (e.g., Dodd-Frank, etc.) that are affecting the way we do business. Along with the new mix of technology (e.g., ApplePay, Samsung Pay, Paypal, etc.) and market players the current state of banking will continue to evolve to match the new market dynamics.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Uma Wilson is EVP/Director of Product Management for UMB. She is responsible for Product Management and Development for the Bank, which includes developing product strategy, road map, business plans and P&L management for the Depository, Digital, Payments and Card solutions. She joined UMB in 2006 and has 20+ years of experience in the financial services industry.



Leave a Comment

A vision for clean drinking water and the launch of a nonprofit

Posted by

In 2015, three UMB associates launched a nonprofit organization aimed at providing clean drinking water for families in Southern Nicaragua. 

Buena Agua is dedicated to improving the quality of life for families in Southern Nicaragua who do not have access to clean drinking water. We achieve this goal by providing portable water filters to the families of villages that need them.

The three founders of the organization, John Heddens (left in photo), Ryan Gardner (center in photo) and Sean Tokic (right in photo) all began their careers at UMB as part of the Emerging Leaders Program. Today, they work in Credit Underwriting & Administration (John), Corporate Risk Services (Ryan) and Corporate Strategy & Development (Sean).
Buena Agua founders

Continue Reading

Ryan lived in Nicaragua for 10 months during 2012 where he volunteered at an orphanage outside of the city of Jinotepe. During this time, he witnessed the extreme levels of poverty that impacts a large majority of Nicaragua’s population. To put into perspective, Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, in rural areas, 40 percent of the population earns only $1 a day. In addition to poverty, there is limited access to affordable clean water with only 68 percent of people in rural areas having access to safe drinking water.

Ryan’s wife, Stephany, actually grew up in one of these rural communities and knows first-hand the difficulties these families are faced with. In the following video Stephany talks about what it was like as a child without clean water. Through her experiences, it became very much apparent how dire the need is. That’s where Buena Agua steps in.

Buena Agua’s inaugural trip to Nicaragua kicked off on November 7, 2015 as our team of four (Ryan, Sean, Tim and Adam) headed down for a week with the goal of providing the most basic of necessities—clean water—to those needing it. With us, we had equipment to build 100 water filtrations systems which provide 100,000 gallons of clean water to each of the families.

Buena Agua

Upon arrival in the capital of Managua, we met up with Ryan’s father-in-law, Alfredo. Alfredo is a crucial component of Buena Agua’s operation. Not only did he help in procuring materials, he also identified the recipient families, set up various distribution times in the village of Cangrejal, and hosted us at his farm off Lake Nicaragua.

Buena Agua
The next morning, we immediately got to work, waking up early to prep the buckets for distribution. These buckets provide a family of six with enough clean water to last an entire day without having to refill. The communities we visited had no addresses, limited or no access to electricity and certainly no system for accessing safe drinking water. In fact, the families walk to gather their water from the same rivers and lakes in which they do their laundry and their animals cool off in.

This trip was one of mixed emotions. To experience the beautiful culture, landscape and tradition in the communities of Southern Nicaragua was truly a gift. However, to realize first-hand the extreme poverty many citizens of the world live in and the lack of resources so many children face wore heavy on our hearts. It takes just a short time to understand the courage and the grit these communities deploy to survive and remain hopeful on a daily basis.Throughout the course of a few days, our team had many meetings with the villagers to distribute the filtration systems. At these meetings our team would show the filter in action, demonstrate how to build the system, and most importantly, explain the benefit of the filters to encourage their use. To demonstrate just how effective the filter is, we would grab a big ball of mud and mix it into the dirty water to turn the water jet black. It was a powerful moment when the families saw crystal clear water come out the other end.

Our team’s first trip was a success, but this was just the beginning. There is much more that can be done for the people of Nicaragua. After taking a small break in 2016 for the arrival of our team’s newest member, Ryan and Stephany’s daughter, Mia, we are ramping back up and preparing for our next fundraising campaign for our 2017 trip.

We would love for you to be a part of our journey.  For even more information, photos or to support our cause please head to buenaagua.org. Also, follow us on Facebook for updates and events.

Buena Agua


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 


Mr. Gardner is a Vice President/Third-Party Monitoring Manager for UMB. He is responsible for support of UMB Financial Corporation’s Information Security Program through ongoing development, implementation and administration of the Company’s formal Fraud Risk Management Program. He joined UMB in 2014 and has six years of experience in risk management.



Leave a Comment

UMB: Insights – Financial technology (fintech) startups

Posted by

Fintech (financial technology) startups are a growing trend, but what challenges do these companies face? Find out from our business banking region manager, Dave Bauer, who is working with several of these entrepreneurs.

Don’t miss the other videos in our UMB: Insights series.

Continue Reading

Dave Bauer is a Vice President / Region Manager for UMB Business Banking. He is responsible for leading the Business Banking teams in the St. Louis and Oklahoma City regions. He joined UMB in 2011 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry.



Leave a Comment

Tagged: , ,

Meet the Veterans: Delores Chavez

Posted by

UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series.

Q&A with Delores Chavez, Supply Specialist, United States Army
Delores Chavez UMB (2)

Continue Reading

Tell us about yourself
I was born in Kansas City, Mo. in 1964. Straight out of high school, I joined the Army and remained with them for 6.5 years. My very first job was working at local bank in the lockbox department. I started working nights there, and when a daytime position opened up, I applied and got the job. Next, I worked in the return items department for 10 years.

I am a single mother of three children. My two oldest have already graduated high school, and I have a daughter in high school. I am very proud of my children and all of their accomplishments.
Delores familyMy parents were married for 45 years and gave me four brothers and four sisters. I am the youngest of nine children. Ten years ago, my dad passed away from cancer, but he will always be with me in spirit. Fortunately, my mom, who is 85, is still here.

What are your favorite ways to relax?
Some of my favorite things to do on the weekend include spending time with my family, going to the mall and relaxing at home. I also enjoy watching movies or sports.

Why did you join the military?
When I was in high school, I saw my parents struggling to make ends meet. It made me realize I needed to do something different when I graduated high school. That was when I decided I wanted to join the Army. In 1981 a recruiter came to my high school for career day and told me the benefits of joining and serving our country. After that day, I decided to join once I graduated from high school. I wanted to make my parents proud of me. I was only 17 years old, so they had to sign in order for me to enlist.

When I enlisted, my goal was to graduate from Basic Training. My training was in 1982 at Fort Jackson, S.C. It was extremely hard, but I still managed to graduate. My job (Military Occupation Specialty) was 76 Yankee, which is a supply specialist. After basic, I stayed at Fort Jackson and did my Advanced Individual Training.
Delores Chavez UMB
What are your most memorable moments from the Army?
A couple of my greatest accomplishments in the military include when I was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. I was the company armor/supply clerk for a basic training unit. There, I was in charge of 240 M-16’s and eight grenade launchers. I had to keep records and maintenance up-to-date and accurate. My job was to make sure the weapons worked properly at all times. There would be yearly inspections where I received a constant rating of 95 percent. Another accomplishment is when I completed a Primary Leadership Development Course in Fort Leonard Wood. It was challenging, but I graduated in 1986.

While I was in the military, I traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Virginia, South Carolina and Germany, where I had the chance to see where the 1972 Summer Olympics were held.

What challenges did you face after the military?
One of my greatest challenges after leaving the military was finding a job. I had no work experience except for the military. This is when I started working at a local bank in 1989 and remained there for the next 10 years. I wanted to stay in the banking profession, so after leaving, I started at UMB in 2000. I process a variety of payments for UMB customers, which is rewarding because I feel it’s important to the company. I view my co-workers as my second family and plan on staying at UMB.


Ms. Delores Chavez is a special payment handling coordinator for UMB. She is responsible for processing payments. Ms. Chavez joined UMB in 2000 and has 25 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry.



Leave a Comment

Tagged: ,

Page 1 of 3112345...102030...Last