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Q&A Series with Ben Morris, President of UMB Healthcare Services

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Part Two: Ann Mond Johnson examines how employers can effectively maximize their employees’ health care benefits

Repeal and replacement of the ACA didn’t happen, now what? UMB Healthcare Services’ Strategic Advisory Council, made up of five leading industry experts in a variety of health care, benefits and research-related fields, will discuss the uncertainty surrounding health care and how to manage health care costs in our April 27th webinar. Gearing up for the webinar, we asked members of our Strategic Advisory Council questions about their outlook for the future of health care and tips for managing health care costs. 

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In this Q&A series, I talk with Ann Mond Johnson, health care innovator and executive, about how employers can effectively maximize employees’ health care benefits, make wellness a key aspect of company culture and the future of making health care easier to understand and access.

What should employers be doing to effectively maximize their employees’ health care benefits?

Employees can maximize their benefit dollars when they understand what they’re selecting and are able to choose benefits that are most appropriate for them and their families. After all, people don’t want to buy health insurance; they want security for themselves and their families. They need protection against a financial disaster. Employers can help employees make better health care selections by providing comprehensive education on benefits and how to use benefits year-round. By engaging in the health care conversation throughout the year, employers can help employees make informed, thoughtful decisions.

How can employers make wellness a part of their culture?

Everything we’ve seen and read indicates that the most effective organizations “practice what they preach,” starting at the top of the organization. It doesn’t have to be very involved or expensive. Given that there are five big contributors to good health (tobacco, food choices, BMI, physical activity and unmanaged stress) focusing on at least one of these can likely make an impact. Employers can encourage a culture of wellness for their employees by providing useful resources such as timely and educational communications, sponsoring teams of employees for local races and having healthy food choices in on premise facilities.

Is health care going to become more complicated or easier for consumers?

It is imperative to make it easier for people to access and understand health care. But what does that really mean? First off, it needs to be easier for consumers to make the right decisions about their benefits, starting with health insurance. Second, they should understand how to make decisions that impact their health. Employees also need to understand what constitutes reliable sources of information. Finally, since we’re consumers until we become patients, we need more insights and transparency about the choices we make when we become patients – about drugs, physicians, treatments and facilities.

Are there any other topics or points that you want to touch on?

There is a growing acknowledgement of a close link between physical, emotional and financial health. Employers have the opportunity to help guide and encourage employees to make informed decisions about their general wellness. Offering programs that look at overall wellness is a great way to encourage the happiness and health of employees.

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.pulation Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.




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Introducing our 2016 Annual Report

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We are pleased to share the UMB Financial Corporation 2016 Annual Report with you. In addition to the financial information, our report includes a message from our leadership teams and key data from other areas of our diverse business.

As we look to the future, we first want to thank our clients. We are proud of all that was accomplished during the past year, none of which would have been possible without their support and trust.

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2016 was a great year for UMB. We recorded record revenue, improved net income and renewed our commitment to operational efficiency and financial discipline.

We achieved several noteworthy milestones across many divisions of our company. For example, our UMB Private Wealth Management division expanded into Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas.

We also retained our number one Kansas City market share leader in deposits ranking for the sixth year in a row. We saw growth in commercial and industrial loans, average commercial deposits and commercial real estate loans, as well as growth in total commercial earning assets.

In Fund Services, we saw growth in both alternative investment funds and private equity funds serviced, as well as continued asset growth in the Investment Managers Series Trusts.

All that said, our greatest asset continues to our talented associates and their commitment to delivering the unparalleled customer experience.

Thank you for the trust and confidence you place in us.

-Mariner Kemper


Mr. Kemper is the chairman and chief executive officer of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a. He joined UMB in 1997. Mr. Kemper is active in both civic and philanthropic endeavors. One of the causes he is most passionate about is the arts. He currently serves as a trustee and executive committee member for the Denver Art Museum and is a past board member for The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City.



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Q&A with President of UMB Healthcare Services Ben Morris and Jen Benz, CEO of Benz Communication

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Part One: Q&A with President of UMB Healthcare Services Ben Morris and Jen Benz, CEO of Benz Communication

Healthcare is one of the most important benefits employees will take advantage of in their careers, but many employees don’t think about or fully understand their benefits until they have a situation where they need to use them.

President of UMB Healthcare Services Ben Morris recently asked Jen Benz, CEO of Benz Communication a few questions on how employers can help employees better understand their healthcare options and benefits.

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How should employers be talking to their employees about healthcare benefits?

Employers are uniquely positioned to help employees understand their healthcare benefits. A big part of that is helping them understand the different options that are available to them. This means not only helping them choose the program that will benefit them the most physically, but also financially and emotionally. In our experience, we’ve found this is best done by engaging employees in a concerted communication effort using three tried and true tactics:

  1. Get online.
    Providing a single website for healthcare related questions, and a streamlined benefits website gives employees and family members access to valuable content. Having a secure vendor website also makes it easy to take action and complete transactions. This way, employees can get the information they need and act by visiting just one website.
  2. Engage with employees and their families year-round.
    Employees need information year-round on how to use benefits effectively. Believe it or not, many companies still talk to employees about their benefits only once a year. However, as we’ve seen, healthcare laws can and do change, and providing constant communication about how new and evolving rules and regulations could affect employees becomes even more important.
  3. Measure and improve.
    How effective is your communication? Look at web traffic, email click-through and open rates and meeting attendance. What’s your program participation and use? Gain a clear picture of communication effectiveness and gaps by looking at:

    • Health and wellness plan enrollment and participation
    • Preventive care, financial wellness program and employee assistance program utilization
    • Health and financial outcomes—for instance, biometric and claims data as well as retirement plan and HSA balances show where employees are doing well and where they’re still getting stuck.

You mentioned engaging with employees and their families year-round. What sort of conversations and educational opportunities can be used to engage employees?

When it comes to employees, one size most definitely does not fit all. You’ll learn more about employees as individuals by asking the questions that matter. You will also gain greater insight into what drives your people when you view them as individuals and focus your information-gathering activities accordingly. Once you know what matters most to them, you can start to build messages and education opportunities that better resonate, helping to educate them about the things they care about, which is a win/win.

Should employers focus conversations on health rather than benefit selection?

They’re both equally important conversations to have with employees. During enrollment, it’s the employer’s job to make things easy and clear—and make sure employees and their families are focused on what they need to do at that time.

In reality, the most important questions employees have are also the most basic: What’s new? What will it cost me? What do I have to do? Make sure you answer these questions in a simple and direct manner. A one-page enrollment “tip sheet” that lists changes, includes brief enrollment instructions, and tells employees and families where to go for details will usually suffice. Some employees want just the top-line info, while others want all the details. This one-page overview will be helpful for both groups.




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Geared up to Bike to Work

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Geared up to Bike to Work

UMB recognizes the undeniable importance of sustainable business practices. We examine ways to reduce waste, promote recycling, decrease air pollution to improve air quality, conserve energy, and educate our associates about the benefits of environmental sustainability.

One way to make a positive environmental impact is to consider transportation options.

Whether your workplace is casual, business casual or strictly formal business attire, with a little pre-planning you can enjoy a smooth ride to the office.

Here are some tips to plan your commute.

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Map your route in advance

Free apps like Ride with GPS and MapMyRide can help you determine the best route to bike to work. In addition, they offer local bike route suggestions, bike challenges, mileage tracking and more.

Bike Necessities

  • Make sure your breaks, gears and chain are all in working order.
  • Adjust your bike saddle so that you are comfortable when you ride.
  • Be sure to have reflectors/lights in the back and a light in front.
  • Always check your tires before you ride to make sure they are inflated properly and don’t have leaks.
  • Remember your bike lock. Even if you are parking your bike in a secure company garage, it is still a good idea to lock it.

Transporting “your stuff”

There are many baggage options for bike commuting. If you have minimal items and only bike occasionally, consider a backpack, flipbelt or a small seat post bag. If you have greater baggage needs, try adding a bike rack that accommodates many bag styles, such as the Topeak MTX Trunkbag. It easily slides onto a bike rack and has expandable panniers.

What to wear

There are many options for stylish office-ready commute clothing, including items like this Columbia skort (see picture) or office ready technical trousers that are comfortable and stylish. You can also pack a change of clothes or have some standard pieces, such as a jacket and dress shoes, that you leave at the office. And last, but most important, don’t forget your bike helmet.

Transforming at the office – if you don’t have a shower at your workplace, or simply don’t have time, baby wipes make for a great quick clean up. There are also “adult” versions you can purchase, such as Paper Shower  dual wet and dry towelettes. Also, keep a deodorant handy in your desk drawer.

Additional accessories to consider:

  • A cellphone mount can be helpful if you need to check your GPS bike route map
  • A bike computer will keep track of your mileage, speed and the time
  • A bell is a great way to signal your presence if you are coming up behind pedestrians or other bikers
  • Fenders help keep water and mud from splashing onto your clothes

If you have a really long commute and can’t avoid highways, but are still interested in an alternative mode of transportation, consider the bus or carpooling. Many employers provide subsidies for bus riders – for instance UMB provides a subsidy that may cover 70% or more of an associate’s bus pass cost.

Also, if you live in Kansas City and are using alternative transportation, you may be eligible to compete in the 10th Annual Mid-America Regional Council’s (MARC) Green Commute Challenge, June 1- August 31. Our associates have competed over the last 10 years, learning about different modes of alternative transportation and the impacts on cost and environmental savings.bloog

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.pulation Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.


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.



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Dust off Your Finances: Spring Clean Your Financial House

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Spring is just around the corner, and with that comes the proverbial spring
cleaning. While most people recognize the value of scrubbing their homes, we recommend dusting off your finances as well.

Consider these tips to help ensure your financial house is cobweb-free.

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Settle In for a Review

  • Review the titling and ownership of all financial accounts. Make certain any accounts owned and titled in a trust, or have a Payable upon Death designation, will meet desired intentions if a transfer were to take place.
  • Review your credit report to make sure
    you’re in positive standing. You can request a free copy once every 12 months from annualcreditreport.com.
  • Review insurance policy and retirement account beneficiaries. This is particularly important if there has been a recent change in marital status. A spousal waiver will be needed if the beneficiary is not the spouse.

 Prepare for the Future

  • Execute a will and a living will. If these documents already exist, they should be reviewed on a regular basis. Circumstances and viewpoints change, which can heavily impact desired allocations and intentions.

Check Up on Your Cards

  • Check the interest rates that are being charged on all credit cards. For individuals who carry balances, consider consolidating to the card with the lowest interest rate or even contemplate a Home Equity Line of Credit as the interest may be tax-deductible.
  • Utilize a credit card that offers rewards. Many of these now carry no annual fee and offer cash back in addition to the travel and merchandise rebates.

Evaluate Your Employer Benefits

  • If financially possible, make the most of your 401(k) by contributing to the level that takes advantage of the full employer match.
  • Review your health insurance coverage options to ensure you are making the best selections for yourself and your family. If you are currently enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan coupled with a Health Savings Account, review your contributions to make sure you are maximizing your saving options.

Examine Your Life Insurance

  • Make certain existing coverage will meet the financial needs of your family if any member were to pass away, not just the primary income source for the family. Also, if the only secured life insurance is provided by an employer, consider pricing other term policies. Remember employer-provided insurance may not transfer if there is a change in jobs.
  • Research long-term care insurance. Ask your insurance provider about this coverage to ensure it offers home health care in addition to nursing home care. Life expectancy is much greater than it used to be, and in-home and community care continue to rise in price.

Freshen Up on Your Investments

  • Review or create an investment policy statement (IPS). This is an agreement with a financial advisor that states your investment purpose, time frame and risk tolerance. An IPS clearly states the investor’s goals and helps provide clear expectations, consistent communications and true accountability for both the advisor and the investor.
  • Conduct homework for obtaining professional services from investment consultants, estate planning attorneys and certified public accountants. Seek references from trusted friends and colleagues and stick with specialists. Professionals will be able to offer insights and guidance that will help individuals succeed in reaching their financial planning goals.

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.pulation Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.


As a Private Wealth Management regional manager, Brent is responsible for the growth and support of new customer relationships as well as supervision of regional sales associates. He is also responsible for oversight and delivery of the financial planning discipline within the region. With nearly 30 years of experience private wealth client relationship management, Brent is a seasoned banking professional with deep Texas roots. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance, and is a Candidate for CFP® certification. He serves as a board member of the Dallas Parks Foundation.



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Meet the Leadership, Begonya Klumb, CEO of UMB Healthcare Services

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Begonya Klumb is one of the most influential business women in Kansas City, and that’s not just our opinion. She has been recognized by KC Business Magazine, the KC Business Journal as well as American Banker Magazine‡ who named her one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking Top 25 Women to Watch.

We recently talked with Begonya to learn more about her background, inspiration, and passion for giving back to her community.

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Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in a very happy home in Spain, where my parents still live. I’m blessed to come from a close-knit and supportive family. My maternal grandmother was an important influence on me. She built the family business, a shoe manufacturing and export company. She was extremely business-minded, and had a strong personality. Until her last days, people in town called her “la Jefa,” “the Boss”!  I admire her deeply—she was the inspiration for me to study business and economics.

What was the most important business lesson your grandmother taught you?

People matter most. Her business was one of the largest employers in our small community. The way she treated individuals and their families affected her ability to run the business. She cared and it showed. Employees were eager to work hard for her, and they remained very loyal. To this day, more than 20 years after her passing, people in town will stop me to share stories about my grandmother.

How did you land in the U.S.?

Love! My husband was a student at the London School of Economics when we met. We married and lived in Europe for a few years before coming to the United States in 2001. I attended Yale University for an MBA, and we decided to make our home in Kansas City, where he was born.

We have two children, ages nine and eleven. We’re at that point in our lives where we run the circuit of school activities, soccer games and piano lessons. Weekends are busy, with family, which is perfect.

How has your career evolved at UMB, and what is your day to day like?

Prior to my current role, I served in a number of positions at UMB including Chief Strategy Officer, Director of Corporate Strategy and Development, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, Director of Mergers & Acquisitions and Director of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations.

Today, I am the CEO of UMB Healthcare Services. Day-to-day I’m responsible for managing all aspects of the business, which includes nearly $2 billion in assets and deposits.

When your daughter is grown and reflecting back like you are now, what would you hope she says about you to her children?

Your grandmother was part of a generation of business leaders who addressed biases that you will never even notice, because they no longer exist.

What advice would you give to future female business leaders?

Lead from the front.

 

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.pulation Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.


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.



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Market Minutes with KC Mathews

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Chief Investment Officer KC Mathews recently completed a two-day media briefing in New York City, where he shared his thoughts on current market conditions as well as information on his 2017 forecast with CNBC, CNN Money, and Bloomberg Radio. Listen to the brief podcast and read the articles below to learn more about what KC is expecting to see over the course of the year.

Also, read KC’s recent economic articles, which give more detailed information on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

Follow UMB and KC Mathews on LinkedIn to stay informed of the latest economic trends.

Interested in learning more about our Private Wealth Management division? See what we mean when we say, “Your story is our focus.

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.

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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.



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UMB Insights: How Will Senior Housing Look in 2037?

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Millennials may be all the rage these days, but Baby Boomers are still making an enormous impact on the U.S. economy, particularly in the senior housing market. By 2050, the population of individuals aged 65 or older will grow from 40 to 89 million, an increase of 120 percent.

And as Americans age, where and how they will live becomes a more pressing issue – an issue that will have a significant impact on the economy, construction industry and banking sector over the next 20 years.

Where will Boomers live?

Although staying in their homes is almost universally preferred among Baby Boomers, many aging Americans will transition to multi-housing developments that provide some assistance and allow them to live as independently as possible. Others, especially those with medical disabilities, will seek housing in environments that provide more intensive nursing support and other assistance.

The average age of a resident in a senior housing facility is in the ’80s. With the leading edge of Baby Boomers just now turning 70, the need for additional senior housing units is expected to accelerate over the next few decades. In fact, between 2015 and 2020, all 50 states forecast growth in the number of 75-year-old+ households. The increase in senior housing will come from sectors such as Alzheimer’s and Memory Care facilities, independent living centers, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, continuing care retirement communities, home health care and hospice care.

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What will their housing look like?

It is a common rule of thumb in the industry that Baby Boomers will typically choose a newer, more modern and home-like facility versus an older institutional facility. Therefore, the industry has moved from an institutional feel to a more home-like atmosphere, including eliminating long hallways and nursing stations and replacing them with single rooms, private baths, large rehab spaces, smaller cafeterias, snack bars, beauty salons, theater rooms and much more. As a result, when new competition hits the market and consumers choose with their feet, it becomes much harder for older facilities to maintain the occupancy levels needed to ensure financial success.

How will their preferences affect the economy?

So, what does this mean for the general economy? It means that there are significant opportunities for contractors, developers and lenders that are experienced in senior housing to help owners modernize existing facilities or build new housing options for seniors. Construction for many new facilities is already underway or in the approval phases and financing continues to be readily available for developers and operators in this sector.

What are the risks?

On the flip side of this successful outlook, there are concerns and challenges that need to be monitored and addressed. Even though the senior housing industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the U.S. economy and there are many desirable lending and development opportunities, builders, developers and lenders must effectively mitigate the risks inherent in the industry.

Characteristics of the long-term care business require that successful participants maintain industry-specific knowledge and utilize best practices for each project. For the benefit of all parties involved, it is important that everyone tied to senior housing projects remain prudent and evaluate all risk related to each project. Doing so will mean a stronger economy with more housing options available for Baby Boomers of all ages.


Richard Ziegner is executive vice president and director of healthcare banking at UMB Bank where he is responsible for leading the bank’s efforts in the healthcare sector and providing capital and financial solutions to healthcare providers. He graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.



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Inside UMB: A happy workplace is a healthy one

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In the second part of our Inside UMB series, we are pleased to share how UMB’s health and wellness initiatives have provided a positive outcome for associate Janessa Baake. Learn how one of our UMB wellness coaches has helped Janessa achieve her health goals, in her own words.

Janessa Baake UMBWhen I started participating in UMB’s wellness program, I was on the higher end of all my health totals, meaning I was dangerously close to being in the unhealthy range for my height and weight.

I had gained weight after I had my daughter, and I felt slow, foggy and unmotivated to do anything about it.

I had tried everything from joining a fitness program that came with healthy shakes, to competing in a Biggest Loser competition, with zero results. Then, I decided to meet with Will, a new wellness coach at UMB.

A new way of thinking

Will asked me questions about how I wanted to feel, rather than focusing on the numbers. He made me think outside of the box and enlightened me to new ideas and ways of thinking. Thanks to his help and guidance, I’ve now exceeded my goal with a 17-pound weight loss.

It’s had a true impact on my life in that I have more energy, I’m no longer constantly hungry, and I actually feel the need to work out! I also feel sharper when doing my work and many tasks aren’t stressful or overwhelming anymore.

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A brighter outlook

The impact of meeting Will and using UMB’s tools and encouragement has made my outlook of the company even brighter. Since this company cares enough to provide a professional to help me manage my weight, stress, and anything else health-related, it has shown that they care and that I am a valuable asset.

Being our best self

My high school health teacher used to say, “You can’t do anything in this life without good health,” and this journey has definitely proved that to me. When you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be the best you. I’m happy to say I feel like I’m now the best version of myself. And I believe that is contagious with the people we come in contact with, including our co-workers and clients. I feel very fortunate that I work for a company that is fully invested in helping us achieve our best selves.

For more information on UMB’s wellness initiatives and benefits, see our feature in the Kansas City Business Journal‡ or on umb.com.

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 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.



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Meet the Leadership: Rekha Patnaik, Executive Vice President and Director of Bank Strategy and Administration

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Q&A with Rekha Patnaik, Executive Vice President and Director of Bank Strategy and Administration

From India to New York to Missouri (and several other stops along the way) Rekha Patnaik executive vice president and director of bank strategy and administration, had a very full journey before landing in Kansas City with UMB.

See how her family, life experiences and lessons learned along the way have helped shape her outlook on career and life.

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Tell us about what your life was like growing up.
I was born and raised in India, and have one older sister. My mother was a homemaker and my father worked as a government official in India in a role that would be similar to a position in the U.S. Forestry Service.

Because of my father’s work, we lived a fairly mobile lifestyle and frequently moved around the country. Some of these places included three years in the Andaman Islands located on the Bay of Bengal, and Shillong, located in the Northeast of India for two years. I think in all, I lived in more than six different places as a child.

While this was great because I experienced the many diverse cultures found in India, some places were better than others, particularly from a safety standpoint. We lived in Kashmir when I was in the fifth grade, and after our winter break, we could not return to our home because the terrorism was so bad. My high school years were spent in a city named Jammu, which is around 30 miles east of the Pakistani border, so during that time in my life, we lived with the threat of terrorism on a regular basis.

When you were in school did you know that you wanted to work in banking?
No. After graduating from high-school, I attended university in Pune (near Mumbai) for my undergraduate degree. I took the Graduate Requisite Exam to attend Stony Brook University in New York because of its excellent computer science program. When I graduated, my first job was actually with a technology start-up company.

Why did you move from New York?
While studying in New York, I met my husband. I landed a job at a startup company in New Jersey, and he ended up getting a job in Peoria, Ill.

After months of us flying back and forth to see each other on the weekends, we decided that I was going to move to Peoria to be with him. This is where my business career began. The job I found in Peoria bridged the gap between my technology skills and business. I really enjoyed the business side of the work, so I decided to focus more on that.

Tell us about your career at UMB
I joined UMB in 2008. I started my career in the Management Rotation Program before joining the Corporate Strategy team. I was a founding member of the Merger and Acquisition department at UMB. In my current position of executive vice president, director bank strategy and administration, I am responsible for leading and managing projects initiated by the UMB Bank chief executive officer, in addition to prioritizing bank resources and commitments to ensure maximum efficiency and efficacy.

Are there lessons your parents taught that you regularly draw from?
To me, it’s all about humility, working hard, and being even-tempered. My father was my professional role model, and he used to say, “Work is Worship.” He loved his work very much, and each day he would come home and often spend time working on his files. He was a very good diplomat and believed in the power of diplomacy to accomplish goals and get things done.

My mother always had a very cool head and would be described as “even keeled.” She was a great role model for what mothers should be. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I often find myself drawing from examples I learned from her.

What advice would you give to aspiring female leaders of tomorrow?
Going back to what my father used to say, “Work is Worship.” The more you love what you’re doing the more rewards will come to you. When you begin your professional life, don’t focus on the rewards. Be humble, work hard, be sure to network, and don’t be afraid to toot your horn, when appropriate. It can be challenging, but don’t look at life or work as a place with a destination, but as a continuous journey of discovering what you love.

 

 


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.



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