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Inside UMB: The benefits of yoga at work

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This post is part of our “Inside UMB” series, offering a look at our company’s culture and stories about our people.  

Cathy Tadlock is an Executive Assistant at UMB and the instructor for the company’s onsite yoga classes for associates, which offer modifications to postures to be inclusive of all attendees.

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The benefits of yoga

Cathy started her yoga journey a few years ago, searching for a way to add physical exercise into her busy schedule without having to go to a gym. Through her yoga practice, Cathy has discovered more than she anticipated and is now sharing this passion with her colleagues, in hopes they gain the same benefits.

“I used to suffer from terrible migraines multiple times a week. This has been greatly reduced and is now easily managed. I’m in better shape now than I was at age 20 and have a greater sense of community through teaching,” Cathy said.

“Associates can gain better concentration and focus through practicing yoga at work. A happy person feels better, is more relaxed and can counteract some of the effects of sitting at a desk.”

Onsite yoga classes at UMB

UMB’s onsite yoga classes are offered twice per week for associates during the lunch hour in the downtown Kansas City office. With a UMB’s focus on associate health and wellness in mind, these classes provide a break in the workday routine and exposure to co-workers who might share similar interests.

At UMB, Cathy teaches Vinyasa Flow, a form of yoga for any skill level, which focuses on breathing and posture techniques. Cathy explained, “We don’t do the complex postures you see on social media—we focus on linking movement with your breath.”

“I love that yoga can be adapted for anyone, and it is a very personal journey. Each day is different when you step on your mat. I have learned to set aside my ego and competitive self while practicing yoga,” Cathy shared.

“I was so excited when I learned I would be able to share yoga with fellow UMB associates. I have the best of both worlds: I work with a great group of people and get to meet new faces from across the company through yoga.”

Learn more about UMB’s associate benefits at umb.com/careers.


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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Reality TV vs. reality — America is watching

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Reality TV has become popular, to say the least. Apparently we enjoy watching people be voted off islands, on the hunt for love and get fired on national television. Included in this group is our new president, who was the host of The Apprentice for a number of years.

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However, since the January inauguration, President Donald Trump is now faced with reality, which does not include retakes, professional editing and an audience who enjoys both failure and success.

But, his new job does include balancing an active audience’s perceptions and actual reality, particularly as it relates to the economy and some of his key initiatives.

Paradigm Shift

Trump has suggested a paradigm shift by stimulating economic growth through fiscal policy and government spending, rather than relying on monetary policy and lower interest rates. While economic fundamentals have been improving for several quarters, contributing to positive public perception, Trump’s proposed fiscal policy stimulus will have a relatively minor impact on long-term economic growth.

The empirical evidence suggests that when the economy is at full employment, any fiscal policy stimulus will have a temporary impact on growth, four to six quarters at best. In reality, fiscal policy stimulus does one thing on a long-term basis – it increases the national debt.

Tax Cuts

The president, along with others such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, has suggested tax cuts will pay for themselves by boosting economic growth. Yet, there is no evidence to support this idea. Rather, historical reality suggests cutting taxes will increase the federal debt burden.

Former President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s and former President George W. Bush in the early 2000s both cut taxes, yet there is little evidence that economic activity improved.  However, we do know the national debt mushroomed in both cases.

Repatriation of Foreign Profits

Believe it or not we have been here before. In 2004, the American Jobs Creation Act was passed. Part of the plan covered the repatriation of overseas profits at a reduced rate of 5.25 percent. In 2004, five companies, primarily pharmaceutical, dominated the almost $1 trillion foreign profit stockpile.

Only one-third of the total cash came back to the U.S. Most of the money went to repairing corporate balance sheets and rewarding shareholders with share repurchases. $18 billion did go into the U.S. Treasury’s coffer. The Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan think tank, said the program was an ineffective means of increasing economic growth.

Today, the reality is that a small number of technology companies dominate the $2.5 trillion cash balances overseas. If offered a tax reprieve on repatriating foreign profits, history tells us the same behaviors will result—higher dividends and more share repurchases, which, I believe, will not materially impact the economy.

Multiplier Effect

The multiplier effect is a phenomenon where given a change in a particular input, such as government spending, a larger change in an output occurs, such as gross domestic product (GDP).

We are about to see a paradigm shift in the U.S.—moving from monetary policy stimulus (interest rates) to fiscal policy stimulus (government spending).

The million dollar question is, “Will it promote economic growth?” The Congressional Budget Office provides historical analysis on the efficacy of fiscal spending. The multipliers show that any form of increased government spending would have a higher multiplier effect than any form of tax cuts.

Economic Reality

There are two primary drivers of long-term economic growth, labor force growth rate and productive gains. Labor force growth rate in the U.S. is approximately 1.2 percent. Non-farm productivity year-over-year growth is 1.1 percent. Add them together, and you have a 2.3 percent trend GDP over the next few years. We could realize one or two quarters of 3.0 percent or greater GDP, but it’s not sustainable.

However, this is not a doomsday conclusion. If we do experience trend GDP between 2.0 and 2.5 percent, it will allow companies to grow revenues and earnings. This in turn will support higher stock prices.

Political Process Reality

Trump’s term has really just begun. And what many reality television enthusiasts, and the president himself, may be finding out is that reality TV can be fun to watch, but the reality of the political process may not be.

Follow UMB‡ and KC Mathews‡ on LinkedIn to stay informed of the latest economic trends. Read other recent commentary on umb.com.

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


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: A Benefit for New Parents

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This post is part of our “Inside UMB” series, offering a look at our company’s culture and stories about our people.

While paid leave for new mothers is a common associate benefit among employers, paid parental leave (in addition to maternity leave) that can be used by both parents is harder to find. UMB is proud to offer this extra benefit to new mothers and fathers, believing that the time spent with a newborn is invaluable for both parents.

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UMB associates and brothers Andrew and Matthew Null have both welcomed new additions to their families in the past few years. As they each prepared for the arrival of their little ones, they were pleasantly surprised to learn about parental leave offered at UMB.

“I had never heard of paid leave for new fathers before! I have always valued everything UMB does for associates, but this benefit really proves that UMB values a work/life balance,” said Matthew (pictured at the bottom with his family).

Both brothers explained that being able to spend dedicated time at home made a big difference in their families’ adjustment to life with a newborn.

“It allows the family to operate as such by learning, growing, sharing duties and bonding during this time. Because of UMB’s parental leave, I was able to take over when my wife returned to work, giving me plenty of time to bond with my son,” Andrew shared (pictured above with his family and on the left at a Kansas City Royals game).

Matthew Null reiterated his brother’s sentiment, saying “It was really a once in a lifetime experience to share that time with my new daughter, along with being able to be a help to my wife. As many parents know, the first several weeks are taxing. Being able to work together as a team made the process much easier and created memories I will never forget.”

After utilizing this benefit, Andrew and Matthew Null are proponents of parental leave and how it can benefit both associates and employers. Matthew explains, “This benefit improves an associate’s balance between work and home, which in turn leads to better performance. As a first time father, I had a lot to learn in those first several weeks, and this time helped reduce my stress and share in a special time that many new fathers might miss.”

Learn more about UMB associate benefits on the Careers page and see quotes from more associates like Matthew and Andrew.


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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A Look at a Historic US Flag

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In celebration of the adoption of the official US flag, on June 14, 1777, we’d like to share one of the historic flags found in UMB’s collection. This flag, featured right (a museum replica), was used by General Washington and his men when advancing on the British in Boston, and is known as the Grand Union flag.

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It replaced a variety of regimental flags, most notably a solid red flag that the British considered an emblem of American defiance. Because of the “Union Jack” design included in this flag, the British interpreted the flag as a gesture of conciliation, however it was not.

The Grand Union flag was the first US flag recognized as American by a foreign power. As a British spy who was witness to the event reported to London: As an American ship left the port at the Caribbean island of St. Croix, then possessed by the Danish, the ship fired the customary cannon salute to the fort protecting the harbor.


“The vessel went out under American colours, saluted the fort, and the compliment was returned the same as if she had been an English or Danish ship!”


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 Ranked No. 20 in ABA Top Farm Lender List

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When UMB opened its doors in 1913, Kansas City was at the heart of agriculture productivity in the Midwest. Many of our original loans and relationships were with farmers and ranchers. During the past 100 years, that deep connection with the land and those who work it has only grown.

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A testimonial to that growth recently came in the form of recognition as a Top 20 farm lender in the U.S. when the American Bankers Association released its latest Top Farm Lenders list. This ranking is a significant milestone for our Agribusiness Division as we have moved up 29 spots on the list from No. 49 in 2012 to No. 20 today. During that time, our farm loan balances have grown from $281.1 million at year-end 2012 to $708.9 million at March 31, 2017.

“To move up the list this much over the last four years is a remarkable testament to our clients’ success and our relationship-based approach to helping them with their financial needs,” said Bill Watson, president of UMB Bank’s Agribusiness Division. “UMB has always been in the agriculture lending business, given that our footprint contains some of the most concentrated areas of ag resources in the U.S., but in late 2012 we invested more resources into our agricultural division and the results speak for themselves.”

Our Agribusiness Division serves all areas of agriculture, including producers, processors, suppliers and manufacturers of equipment and goods, throughout a 12-state area.

Learn more about what ag means to UMB and see some of our clients in action.

 


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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Monthly Media Update – May

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Insight into the changing healthcare landscape in Washington, the introduction of a new market president and a unique perspective on trends in the bond market are just a few media coverage highlights from our associates this past month.

Stay informed on industry trends and noteworthy company news by visiting our UMB in the News section on umb.com, which is updated weekly for timely viewing.

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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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Remembering World War II

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During World War II, UMB (then known as City National Bank) corresponded with and supported employees who were enlisted in the armed services. In remembrance and in honor of the 73rd anniversary of the Normandy invasion we’d like to share one of the letters that the bank has preserved.

 

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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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Inside UMB: Easing the transition for veterans in the workplace

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As part of our Inside UMB series, we’re excited to share a story about how our associates are helping U.S. military veterans transition into civilian careers. Leading this partnership on behalf of UMB is Larry Seward. Larry transitioned to our Corporate Audit team after a 21-year Army career and working with a professional mentor.

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UMB partners with American Corporate Partners (ACP), an organization that aims to ease the transition from the military to civilian workplace by connecting transitioning service members with corporate professionals for one-year mentorships.

UMB has participated in ACP since 2014 and has 26 active mentors in the program.*

Larry’s experience with American Corporate Partners started when he was a mentee, which led to him being hired at UMB.

“Although I had some great mentors in my Army career, I was looking for insight from a seasoned corporate professional to help prepare me for my transition, challenge my assumptions, fill in any knowledge gaps, and strategize on how to best market my skills and experience.

My mentor was easy to talk to and great to work with. We set goals, identified possible career fields, worked on personal branding and interview preparation. I was hired at UMB in May 2015. My mentor’s input and insights were helpful to my getting hired and we still keep in touch to this day.”

After serving in leadership positions in the Army for many years, Larry wanted to take on a leadership role through his career at UMB by becoming an ACP mentor.

“I found through my experiences as a mentee and mentor that there are strong parallels between the Army’s values and UMB’s.

UMB looks for leadership, team players and critical thinkers to improve performance, drive change and achieve objectives. I think that recruiting from the Armed Forces adds value to UMB, because we have a mindset that any mission, however challenging, can be achieved.

In my experience, veterans are loyal to an organization from Day One and want to make an impact quickly. They also care about the people in the organization and want both their coworkers and the organization to succeed.

The combination of a proactive mentee who is hungry for a new challenge and a seasoned mentor who is able to provide critical insights is a recipe for success for mentees, mentors and companies looking for diverse talent. Mentors have the opportunity to directly impact someone who has put their own life on the line.”

*The UMB Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) mission is to provide corporate opportunity to those who sacrificed so much, providing veterans with career and purpose … not just a job. The VET is focused on three pillars: recruitment, engagement and community service.

Visit our Diversity and Inclusion page for more details.


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: Fine Art Services

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Are you an art collector? Or do you have one piece in your home you take great pride in? Find out from the managing director of UMB Fine Art Services how this company focus began more than 100 years ago with our CEO’s great grandmother, Charlotte Kemper, and her passion for culture and art. Jan also offers advice on how to protect and utilize your art and collectibles.

Read more about the art of fine art management.

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Jan Leonard is senior vice president and managing director for charitable trusts, private foundations and fine art services. She joined UMB in 2003 and has more than 25 years of experience in the management of private and public organizations. Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan. She is also a graduate of the Cannon School of Foundation Management.



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Is the Bond Market Wrong?

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After the surprise election results in 2016, domestic markets experienced the “Trump Bump,” which entailed a traditional risk-on shift—investors bought stocks and sold bonds to prepare for the presumed good times ahead. Stock values and interest rates both shot higher in anticipation of a boost to both economic activity and inflation.

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Trump Bump to Trump Slump

However, after a few months of treading water early in the New Year, interest rates began a steady decline. The 10-year Treasury note dropped from 2.60 percent to 2.25 percent in just a few weeks.

This occurred despite an early increase in overnight rates by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and clear messaging that they are prepared to continue the upward march in rates as part of a gradual “normalization.” All the while, stock prices remained resilient and repeatedly bumped up against all-time highs.

Debates and Head-Scratching

The drop in long-term rates created a flattening of the treasury yield curve, something that typically occurs near the end of a Fed tightening cycle, as the economy begins to slow down.

This rate drop and curve flattening has triggered a healthy debate throughout the

investment industry. It appears the bond market is signaling that the economy isn’t going to be nearly as strong as the equity market is discounting.

Historically, a flattening yield curve has been a strong, early indicator of economic deceleration—so the divergence between stock prices and interest rates has unleashed some serious head-scratching.

Disagreement Abounds

As a further complication, the Fed Funds futures market—the bond market’s estimate of where overnight rates are headed—is substantially below the FOMC’s estimates for where they’re planning to move rates. The FOMC expects overnight rates (and money market rates) to head to 1.50 percent in 2017 and rise to 2.20 percent in 2018, which is good news for savers. However, the futures market is placing overnight rates at only 1.25 percent and 1.50 percent in 2017 and 2018.

It appears that the bond market currently disagrees with both the FOMC and the stock market on the strength of the economy and the path of rates, raising the question, “Is the bond market wrong?”

Countering the Contrarian View

At this point, our answer is “yes, we believe the bond market is wrong.”  While it’s usually not fruitful to bet against the bond market, we believe several factors are causing it to paint a contrarian (versus the stock market) picture at this time:

  1. Assumption that the new administration will not get any stimulus plans enacted
    The bond market appears to be responding to the president’s early challenges with enacting campaign promises.
  2. Global interest rates
    Global interest rates are still well below the U.S. The glut of excess savings from around the world is still chasing U.S. rates whenever they rise, making it difficult for our rates to rise as much as they might otherwise.
  3. Normalization cycle
    Bond investors around the world are assuming the current Fed normalization cycle will play out in a similar manner to how the entire global financial crisis cycle has unwound—much slower than anyone anticipated. They are betting against any “upside surprises” for the economy or inflation, and it’s been a very long time since we’ve had either.
  4. Extreme caution in rising rates
    The bond market believes the FOMC will exhibit extreme caution in edging rates higher because it fears rising rates will tip the economy back toward a slowdown.The bond markets are not signaling that an economic slowdown is eminent, but rather that rate normalization will not be possible at the pace indicated by the Fed and most forecasters.

Why we believe the bond markets are wrong:

  1. We believe the new administration will succeed in enacting tax cuts and infrastructure programs—both will involve compromise and delays, but they will ultimately be accomplished, and both should point toward higher rates.
  2. We believe the global savings glut is in the very early stages of abating, so the artificial “lid” on interest rates may be slowly dissipating.
  3. While the last decade has been one of extremely slow movements from the Fed, it appears wage pressure is building throughout our economy—a precursor to inflation. Economic momentum is turning upward in Europe as well. These trends will allow the Fed to push forward with rate normalization at the pace reflected in most forecasts.
  4. Interest rates are exceptionally and unsustainably low, particularly given that we are experiencing a modest global upturn. Even after the Fed’s projected upward adjustments, interest rates will still be exceptionally low—modestly higher rates are not a threat to the economy or a barrier to normalization. For these reasons, we believe the bond markets are not properly reflecting the most likely path for interest rates over the next two years. There are risks to this outlook, but the most likely outcome is an upward shift of roughly 1.00-1.50 percent over the next two years.

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


Mr. Kelley is managing director of fixed income at UMB and is responsible for overseeing the product development and management of the fixed income holdings for the Wealth Management division. Mr. Kelley earned a Master’s of Business Administration from Baker University in Kansas City.



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