Blog   2017

CEO Corner: UMBF Earnings Summary

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Earnings infographicOur recent earnings report reflected our financial performance in 2016’s fourth quarter and a snapshot of the full year. I’m pleased to share some high-level results, and call out a few important points.

Here are some key points that were particularly noteworthy for us:

  1. We had a great fourth quarter, with net income of $42.9 million, and $158.8 million for the full year. That reflects record annual net income, which increased nearly 37 percent from 2015, double-digit year-over-year loan growth, and perhaps most importantly, continued improvement in our profitability metrics.
  2. During 2016, we fully integrated our acquisition of Marquette and grew the combined customer base with average loans increasing 12.5 percent. The acquisition doubled our presence in the Arizona and Texas regions, driving a significant part of that loan growth.
  3. We continued our progress in optimizing our balance sheet by shifting earning assets into loans. The results can be seen in our improving net interest margin (NIM), which in the fourth quarter, increased 24 basis points from a year ago to 3.00 percent. This was driven by loan volumes and by a more optimal asset mix.
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Last year was certainly an interesting year for our industry, with the continued low-rate outlook turning to a more positive sentiment almost overnight following the election. While it’s too early to predict what a potentially new economic and regulatory environment could mean for UMB, some of the potential changes that have been suggested could prove beneficial.

Suffice it to say, we are listening to the discussions and different thoughts regarding what may or may not come to fruition, and we look forward to seeing what 2017 holds for the industry and the economy. That said, our path in the year ahead is to maintain focus on our key priorities.

I am very proud of the progress we made in 2016 and look forward to working with all our associates in providing our customers with another excellent year of service and partnership.

Read more in American Banker, UMB Financial profit rises on double-digit loan growth‡.

 

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. 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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Our Guiding Principles

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What is true today, was true 103 years ago when our organization was formed. Doing what is right, and serving the needs of those that choose our company, have always been our guiding principles. From 1887 when William T. Kemper started as an assistant cashier at the Rufus Crosby Valley Falls Bank of Deposit in Kansas, banking has been in our blood.

Five generations later we are still passionate about those founding principles, and every day we strive to deliver on our value of providing the unparalleled customer experience. Our journey started more than a century ago as the City National Bank. As we build on what came before, we honor our past as we shape our future.

Check out this video, and watch for more posts that share an inside look at our history, culture, people and business approach.

 

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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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The Anatomy of a Romance Scam

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It’s important to be wary of scammers looking to use emotion to get you out of your comfort zone and convince you to reveal personal information. Unlike other scams that happen solely online, romance scammers have also been known to call their victims. These types of scams are also known as catfishing.

Romance scammers will go to great lengths to gain your interest and trust, showering you with compliments, sharing what appears to be details about their life and emphasizing what you have in common. This process may take months as the scammer goes to great lengths to make the target fall in love.

Warning signs:

  • Their profile on the dating website or Facebook page is not consistent with what they tell you. For example, the images they use don’t match how they describe themselves, or they say they are university educated but their English is poor.
  • After gaining your trust, they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts or your bank account/credit card details.
  • They don’t keep their promises and always have an excuse for why they can’t travel to meet you and why they always need more money.
  • If you don’t send money straight away, their messages and calls become more desperate, persistent or direct. If you do send money, they continue to ask you to send more.
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Protecting yourself:

  • When you meet someone online, always consider the possibility that s/he could be a scammer – particularly if any of the warning signs are present.
  • Perform a Google image search‡ of the individual who contacted you to see if the images consistently match to the name and aren’t featured on unusual websites.
  • If you agree to meet with an individual in person, always tell family and friends where you are going and how long you’re going to be away. Meeting in a public place is another way to protect yourself.
  • Be wary of money requests. Never send personal information that could be used to open up credit cards or accounts in your name, and carefully consider the possibility of a scam before you agree to give anyone money.

For more tips, visit StaySafeOnline.org‡, or visit UMB’s Security and Privacy page to help you stay current on security best practices.

romance scam infogrpahic

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).



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Will the Rational Bubble Become Irrational?

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In my last article, “Riding the Rational Bubble,” I shared that given the economic conditions we have experienced over the last six years, financial bubbles could be developing. Alan Greenspan said, “Long-term economic stability with low inflation will result in a bubble.” If he is right, get ready for a financial bubble, because that is exactly what we have seen over the past seven years. Since 2010, the U.S. economy has been stable, with real GDP growing at an annual 2.2 percent average. Inflation during that period has been low, with the consumer price index growing at
1.7 percent on average over that same period.

However, bubbles alone aren’t necessarily damaging to an economy. Take the stock market debacle of 1987—late in the year the market tumbled 24 percent in one day, but fundamentally the economy didn’t change. Bubbles with leverage, on the other hand, can be dangerous.

Since the Great Recession, the U.S. economy has been stimulated by aggressive monetary policy, with little impact on growing the economy, yet perhaps with significant impact on stabilizing the economy. With the new administration, we will experience a paradigm shift moving from aggressive monetary policy and weak fiscal policy to the opposite—aggressive fiscal policy and diminishing monetary policy stimulus. Could this exacerbate financial bubbles and change rational bubbles to irrational ones?

At present, we see three potential bubbles worth watching: 1) sovereign debt, 2) the stock market, and 3) interest rates. At this time we think interest rates could be the first irrational bubble, with sovereign debt following suit if not dealt with over the longer-term.

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Sovereign Debt

The U.S. national debt is $19.8 trillion or 105 percent of our GDP. On the surface that looks like a bubble that will end badly. However, $5.4 trillion, or 27 percent, of that debt is intragovernmental holdings. Therefore, if evaluating debt held by the public, debt to GDP is only 75 percent.

This model has been the recent strategy to combat slowing economic growth around the world. Japan’s debt to GDP stands at 229 percent. Again, on the surface it seems like a bubble, yet 40 percent of their debt is held by the Bank of Japan. What matters is who owns the debt.

Professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff and economist Vincent Reinhart studied the debt- to-GDP ratios of advanced economies. Their conclusion was when countries have a debt to GDP ratio that exceeds 90 percent for at least five years, it has a negative effect on the economy. High levels of public debt are associated with lower growth. In total government debt, the U.S. passed the 90 percent debt- to-GDP ratio in 2010; but when we consider just the debt in the public’s hands, we still have a way to go.

The sovereign debt bubble has been developing over many years; I don’t think it will burst in the next few years, but do believe it will become more problematic. President Trump’s fiscal policy may deflate one bubble and exacerbate another. Lower taxes and regulation may jump-start corporate earnings and keep equity valuations in check. However, more than likely, it will increase the national debt. Sooner or later there may be a day of reckoning, but I have been in the investment business for 27 years, and over the years the common question has always been, “What about the debt?” In hindsight, perhaps the best response would have been, “So what about the debt?” The reality is that even though the economy grew and the debt levels increased, investors continued to make money.

The Stock Market

Since the beginning of 2009 to the end of 2016, the S&P 500 has moved up nicely—190 percent to be exact. But that alone doesn’t put it in bubble territory. When you analyze the valuation of the S&P 500, it is clearly not in bubble territory. In fact, I would argue that it is fairly valued. Today the market trades at 17.5 times forward earnings, far from the near 30 times earnings we saw in the tech bubble in the late 1990s.

Bubbles with debt are dangerous. Margin debt, or leverage in buying stocks, is now at previous peaks relative to GDP. If the market traded at a lofty valuation, along with this leverage, it would be a red flag, and an irrational bubble would be looming. That is not the case today as valuations remain rational.

Last year we were concerned with an earnings recession due to the contraction of oil prices and the U.S. dollar headwinds. In the first and second quarters of 2016, earnings contracted, putting the market’s valuation in question. However, earnings did rebound in the second half of the year, and we expect earnings growth for calendar year 2016 to be in the 2-4 percent range. This year, given the economy’s momentum, we anticipate corporate earnings to grow around 9 percent, not assuming any of President Trump’s growth initiatives. If President Trump is successful in implementing his proposed fiscal policy initiatives swiftly, the risk to our earnings forecast is to the upside. This should keep valuations in check and avoid an irrational bubble.

Interest Rates

The U.S. bond market has been in a bull market for more than 35 years. In 1981, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was 15.8 percent. Over the next 35 years, interest rates came down to virtually zero. In August of 2016, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.3 percent, partly due to loose monetary policy and quantitative easing. This has become an irrational bubble. Why have Fed Funds been at virtually zero with a stable economy growing at 2 percent? This is not solely a U.S. problem—global growth has slowed and the central bankers in Europe and Japan have pushed interest rates down to zero in an attempt to stimulate their economies, putting additional downward pressure on interest rates in the United States.

President Trump has suggested the economy will grow faster than 3 percent. We think 2.5-3 percent is more realistic. If the president’s forecast comes to fruition, inflation expectations will move higher, ending the longest bull market I have seen in my career. As long as we don’t experience a surprise inflation spike or runaway inflation, the Federal Open Market Committee will be able to manage this bubble deflation by moving short-term interest rates higher on a moderate glide path.

Conclusion

As economies and markets ebb and flow, financial bubbles come and go; they’re just part of the cycle. Many times it is difficult to identify bubbles until they pop. As a friend once told me, “All peaks aren’t bubbles, yet all bubbles have peaks.”

Conditions are conducive for bubbles to develop; we have to be mindful of that. Risk-based assets may perform well this year, and we remain cautiously optimistic. Yet, as always, we never lose sight of the risk that is present.

 

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 © 2017. 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.



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Inside UMB: Focusing on Abilities

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As a part of our “Inside UMB” series, we’ll be sharing stories about our people, culture and all the things, big and small, that make us who we are.

This story focuses on “Associate Spirit.” One of UMB’s key shared values, we rely heavily on our people and their collective attitude and skills to differentiate us as a company.

Following is a Q&A session with Director of Talent Acquisition Mary Beth Majors that gives an inside look at how our diversity practices are helping us hire top talent.

When did you first meet Jennifer?
I met Jennifer Hertha over the phone in 2007 when recruiting her for a teller position with UMB. Impressed by Jennifer’s phone interview, I invited her to interview in person. When she arrived, I noticed that due to her being in a wheelchair, she had some form of disability.
Admittedly, I was hesitant at first because I wanted to ensure she was treated like any other candidate, but was also afraid of saying the wrong thing. However, what struck me most about Jennifer was that she was determined and didn’t let her disability impact her confidence in fulfilling her responsibilities. Jennifer interviewed wonderfully and was hired for the position.

Jennifer Hertha_Mary Beth Majors_UMB_diverse hiring

How has Jennifer contributed to the organization?
Jennifer didn’t waste any time in showing us what she was capable of. She consistently impressed her managers, received multiple promotions, and is now one of my top performers on the Talent Acquisition team.

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How has she uniquely added to the team?
Working with Jennifer has been such a good thing for me personally. While UMB has always had a focus on having diverse workforce, she has challenged me to take an even closer look at our hiring practices. Now, Jennifer and I advocate together for people with disabilities in the community and work to help other companies evaluate their own hiring efforts‡.

Jennifer Hertha_UMB_Diversity

How does UMB view diversity?
At UMB, diversity is examined not just through gender, race, ethnicity, etc., but also through the breadth of experiences, ideas and beliefs that our associates bring to the table. Diversity and inclusion is not merely a statement on a website; it means that all are encouraged to contribute fresh ideas and to embrace differences.

When each of our associates feels like a valued member of UMB, we are doing our job. Our philosophy is to hire great—and different—talent and to give people the tools to succeed and utilize their strengths.

Recently, we shared some of these efforts with the Kansas City Star, including being at the forefront of supporting a new job board to match candidates with disabilities with employers‡.

Learn more about UMB’s culture and career opportunities.

 

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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Focus Items for Small Business Owners

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In December, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index‡ had its highest reading in 12 years. In the report seven of the 10 index components rose, including small business owners expecting better business conditions and higher sales.

Optimism is currently at a high point allowing for owners to focus on their next big idea, their bottom line and how they can make things better for their employees. Their bankers should be thinking about those things, too.

If you’re a small business owner, make sure you’re talking with your financial partner about these business-critical items as you venture into 2017 and beyond.

Top Talent Identification and Retention
Companies requiring vocational talent can face challenges finding the right type of employee. As businesses look to expand, growth can be difficult without a sound workforce and could potentially force companies to outsource to other cities or move operations entirely.

As part of their talent acquisition and retention efforts, small businesses should ensure they are offering solid compensation and benefits to build and retain a strong workforce.

Business Growth
With an ultimate goal of growing their company, small businesses need to evaluate what other potential clients exist and if there are new segments where they can introduce their product or service.

Companies that did not survive the 2008 economic downturn left behind certain voids that need to be filled. Existing companies should evaluate this as an opportunity to expand to a new business target.

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Employee compensation and benefits
Currently, there are two big issues that could pose a threat to small businesses: the minimum wage discussion and health care. If minimum wage increases, many businesses will face challenges with revenue and cash flow, particularly if they employ lower-wage workers. With no offsetting revenue increase, this would affect a company’s cash flow and could create unprecedented challenges within the business.

The other topic of note for business owners is healthcare. The rules and regulations of the Affordable Care Act may change with the current administration discussing extensive healthcare reform. This could mean an extra expense without incurring any additional revenue for small businesses.

Fraud and Protection
Fraud continues to be a top concern among business owners, and the latest statistics prove it is a legitimate fear. In the 2016 Association for Financial Professionals Payments Fraud and Control survey, 62 percent of companies were subject to fraud during the survey period, and wire fraud has nearly doubled from 14 percent to 27 percent.

The truth is, businesses can plug one gap and another one opens up somewhere else. The key is to stay vigilant with your employees, train them and understand the latest tactics that are being used to commit fraud.

 

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.


Dominic is a executive vice president for the Business Banking division at UMB. He joined UMB in 2013 and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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