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Rising rental rates encourage homeownership

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The 2015 Rental Market Report conducted by Rent.com showed that rates for apartment units are likely going to continue to increase.

The 2015 Rental Market Report conducted by Rent.com showed that rates for apartment units are likely going to continue to increase. The survey gathered responses from more than 500 property managers in the U.S. to determine the current and forecast state of the rental market.

Rising rent encourages home buying

Rent will rise
According to the survey, 53 percent of property managers indicated they would prefer bringing in a new tenant and charging a higher rate over negotiating a lease renewal with a current tenant.

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In addition, the survey showed 88 percent of managers raised rent in the last year, and 68 percent of participants believe rates will continue to rise into the next year. Many expect rent to rise by an average of 8 percent, which is a 2 percent increase from the expected rent rise predicted in 2014.

The increasing cost of renting an apartment is turning many renters into interested homeowners, according to a recent survey done by TD Bank.

“Rising rents are motivating Americans to purchase a home,” said Scott Haymore, Head of Pricing and Secondary Markets. “With an improving job market and economy, renters are gaining more confidence in the housing market and starting to explore homeownership as a feasible option.”

Mortgages may be more appealing
Many current renters are seeing substantial increases in the rent they regularly pay, which is making them more interested in becoming a homeowner. The survey indicated the breaking point for many consumers deciding to transition from renting to buying is when their rent reaches $1,100 per month. The average monthly rent currently sits at $1,000 making the breaking point for many individuals very close.

Many renters have already experienced substantial increases in the rent they pay each month. More than 50 percent of respondents indicated their rents increased by nearly $300 in the past two years.

Rising rent was 47 percent of survey participants’ biggest motivators for purchasing new homes.

The American Dream
Owning a home is still a critical component to the American Dream. Almost 60 percent of consumers and 76 percent of millennials indicated it was “extremely” or “very important” to own a home in the TD Bank survey.

While 51 percent of respondents indicated money is the primary concern when it comes to purchasing a new home, the average surveyed renter was able to save more than $50,000 for a down payment, and 24 percent of millennials have saved $100,000. The ability to save is the true key to homeownership.

“We can see from our data that rents are rising, and while many renters feel that saving for a home is out of reach, there are other options they should consider,” said Haymore. “Today, potential buyers can take advantage of state and government affordability programs, which offer options outside the traditional 20 percent down payment. This enables them to pursue homeownership, build equity and still feel comfortable with their monthly payments.”

Saving for a down payment
Gathering the funds to save for a down payment on a new home requires dedication. According to Zillow, hopeful homeowners will want to first establish exactly how much money is needed to pay for the perfect house. Reaching out to a real estate professional will help to get a better idea of what the current local market looks like and whether buyers or sellers have the advantage.

In addition, contacting a mortgage lender can help an interested buyer figure out what can be expected from the entire lending process. If a consumer wants to secure a lower interest rate, he or she may want to provide a larger down payment.

Once it’s been decided how much is needed to invest in a new home, interested borrowers should examine their current spending habits. Budgeting downfalls can lead to issues when saving for a down payment, but fixing these issues will help hopeful homeowners reach their financial goals even faster.

Another way for interested buyers to build their savings for a new home quickly is by earning more cash to contribute to funds. Individuals can get a second job for a certain amount of time, or they can figure out a way to turn a favorite hobby into a profitable one using websites like Etsy or Facebook as a marketing platform.

Holding a garage sale is another way to increase savings and build a down payment fund. Decreasing the number of items that must be moved will also be beneficial when it’s time to pack everything up and relocate.

 

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Planning last minute holiday travel

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Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming.

Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming. Sometimes a vacation to help forget the ice, snow and wind is the most welcome gift anyone can receive.

If you are considering booking last minute holiday travel, prices will likely be very high due to demand. However, there are ways to reduce costs and book a budget-friendly vacation.

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Plan a holiday vacation


Find the best deals
According to The New York Times, one of the best times of the year to travel to Europe is during the holidays. While airfare might be pricier than other seasons, hotels tend to be far more affordable, making a holiday trip to Europe more plausible.” Europeans tend to stay at home for the Christmas holiday,” said Gabe Saglie, a senior editor at Travelzoo. “That means there are hotel deals to be had in popular destinations.” Traveling parties can enjoy upgrades and discounts during the slower season, which provides a little more wiggle room when working with a fixed budget.

Even domestic hotels are more affordable during the holiday season. “Thanksgiving to Christmas can be a bargain proposition because the business traveler is not booking those hotels,” said Saglie.

Consider booking a cruise
When it comes to kicking back and relaxing during the holiday season, there is no better way than on a cruise. These trips are especially beneficial because they often include the price of everything from food to entertainment. This package deal eliminates some of the pressure accompanying planning a trip and saves you money. U.S. News & World Report suggested using the help of a travel agent. These professionals can help you find deals that aren’t available to the general public – ultimately saving you money. Last minute booking can also save you a bit of money when paying for a cruise, noted U.S. News & World Report. However, you’ll need to be flexible with dates to get better deals.

Determine a plan for saving
When planning last minute holiday travel, gather as much money as possible to use toward the trip. Independent Traveler suggested opening a savings account designated specifically for travel expenses. Contribute to the fund regularly to build a nice stash of spending money you can use while on your vacation.

Since the holidays are approaching so quickly, consider setting up automatic deposits to ensure you regularly contribute a certain amount of each pay check to your savings account.

In addition to having a savings account, a change jar is another easy way to build additional funds for the trip. While it may not initially seem like very much, change can add up quickly and really bolster the growth of vacation savings.

Enlist the help of others
When you are bringing the whole family on a vacation, it provides a unique opportunity to teach your children a little bit about saving money for something special. Ask your young ones to help make their very own contributions to the family vacation savings account. Whether they have an allowance they want to deposit into the fund, or if they decide to give up weekend outings to cut costs, kids can help make a substantial impact on your savings for a holiday getaway.

Even though flight prices can be higher in the holiday season, a vacation shouldn’t be written off as out of the budget just yet. With a little planning and dedication, you and your family can enjoy some time away.

 

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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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Meet the Leadership Series: Phil Klevorn (Private Wealth Management)

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Q&A with Phil Klevorn, Senior Vice President, Private Wealth Regional Manager

Get to know UMB’s leadership a little better.
Phil Klevorn marathon

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Tell us about yourself.
I am from St. Louis and feel rooted in this community. I am very much involved in the rebirth and rebuilding of the urban landscape of St. Louis. I went away for school to Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. Few people know that in a previous life I was a Minor League Baseball umpire in the Appalachian League and the Florida State League. I even had spring training with the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. When it became apparent I was not Major League material, I had to move on.

I am the youngest of six boys (no girls) and so my growing up was a unique experience to who I am. Currently I have three kids ranging in age from 11 to 16-years-old and all are progressing in a manner that I expect will lead to mature and productive adults. My wife is a godsend who keeps me grounded and is the best partnership I could ever be part of. 

What about your past shaped who you are today?
I would like to think that the times I have failed to achieve a goal or been unsuccessful in a pursuit has shaped me today. I am a firm believer that we learn from our failures and mistakes and those difficult times make us stronger.

Why did you choose UMB?
From day one I was impressed with UMB as I saw early on the value system here matches up with mine. Essentially, I am attracted to the way we value clients and treat them in a manner that focuses on their success and them as the core of what we do each day. 

What have you found successful in your role within UMB Private Wealth Management?
I think a great Private Wealth manager recognizes the strength of the team around them and works to that strength. The success we have had here in St. Louis is because we have come together as a team and have employed a disciplined strategy that challenges our clients and enters into a process that is focused on our clients rather than on us.

What are your favorite ways spend your free time?
I serve on the board of the International Institute which is an organization that deals with refugee resettlement and immigrant assimilation. Seeing individuals come into our country with nothing but the clothes they are wearing and in a matter of time sharing in the American dream is something to behold.

I run marathons (I’m not very fast) and enjoy the intensity and push to go beyond what I am capable of. And, I serve on the City of St. Louis Tax Increment Finance Commission as a way to promote the growth of our urban core.

On the weekends, I like to go on a long run in training for a marathon and then spend time with my wife and kids. Good food and good drink can make a special weekend very special.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
Phil Klevorn family at Liberty Bell
I really like historical places of interest. This past summer, my family and I went to Pennsylvania. To stand in the spot where the Declaration of Independence was debated and signed is a moving experience. Likewise, standing on the Battlefield of Gettysburg and reliving that watershed moment in U.S. history helps put my life in 2015 in perspective.

Tell us about your team.
The St. Louis Private Wealth team is really a great group who has diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. This team does not need to be told what to do. I fill out the lineup card, and they do the hitting.

I am happy to report that we have brought in as much in assets under management for the first 6 months of 2015 as we did in all of 2014. This is a testament to the focus we have applied around our process. The talent and abilities are there, we are just doing a better job of bringing it together.

What is the greatest challenge facing the industry right now?
How we engage clients going forward will be the key to our success. For our industry, if we focus on clients goals and objectives and understand their priorities, we will be successful—and I think we are ahead of the curve on this. I am not sure the industry understands this, but it is repeatedly what our clients tell us. Our clients are not interested in how great at wealth management a firm is. They want to know we are listening and providing solutions that meet the client’s needs and not what is in our own self interest. To me, this is the defining issue of the day and that separates the good firms from the not so good firms. I am happy that we are going down the path of being a good firm.

 

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. Phillip Klevorn is a Regional Manager for UMB Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for Private Wealth Management in the St. Louis Region. He joined UMB in 2015 and has 22 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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The Overlooked Cleaner Energy Source for Home and Office: Ground Source Heat Pumps

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Everyone has heard the energy saving benefits of solar and wind power but did you know ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) can save you up to 45 percent on your energy consumption compared to conventional HVAC systems. How do we know this? Experience.  In 2004, UMB installed a vertical ground source heat pump system consisting of 12 wells at our branch location in Grandview, Mo. According to Roy Allen, who is part of the UMB maintenance team, the Grandview location saves approximately 21,000 kWh per month over similar sized banking center locations. With such great savings on energy UMB has decided to install a second system at another banking center as well. Construction for this new center should begin in February 2016.

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In addition to saving energy and money GSHPs are good for the environment since they are a cleaner source of energy using mostly ambient heat from the ground while using very little electricity.

How Ground Source Heat Pumps Work
So how do these systems provide cleaner energy and help you save on your utility bills? Air temperature can fluctuate greatly with the seasons and even daily, with daytime highs and night time lows, but surprisingly ground temperature remains relatively constant. Conventional air-source HVAC systems attempt to capture heat from frigid winter air as well as disburse heat into the baking hot summer air – which is no easy task.  However ground source heat pumps work by capturing the neutral heat absorbed at the surface of the Earth, it then heats the air in the winter and then extracts the heat from inside air in the summer. This is done through a water solution that flows through pipes (wells) buried in the ground that circulates the heated water to the home/office in the winter and then it is reversed in the summer whereby the heat is extracted from the air and transfers it via water through the pipes removing the heat from the building and transferring it to the ground.

Types of Systems
There are four basic types of GSHPs including horizontal, vertical, pond/lake which are all closed loop systems. The fourth type is the open loop system. The option you choose is dependent on the climate, soil conditions and the available land. UMB banking centers utilize the vertical option. This option is used when soil is too shallow for trenching, it also does not require a lot of space. Roy explained the system only takes up a 70 ft. x 100 ft. space and contains 12 wells at a depth 500 ft. It is located under the drive through teller lanes. He said both the current and new systems, designed by Lankford Fendler and Associates, have life time warranties on the wells. Another benefit of the system is that it is very low maintenance.

So the next time you are looking for a cleaner energy source for your new home or office you may want to consider ground source heat pumps.

Sources:
http://energy.gov/energysaver/geothermal-heat-pumps
http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/17/10-myths-about-geothermal-heating-and-cooling/

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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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How to save for a down payment on a home: part I

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Purchasing a home marks a significant milestone in your life. We’ve already shared with you the 5 steps to buying a home, but what about before you even begin that process? While searching for the perfect property and finally finding the dream home you’ve been looking for is exciting, saving up the money for a down payment can be a bit daunting.

If you’re interested in purchasing a home, there are a few details to consider. Understanding the process can help immensely when deciding to purchase a home and set aside money for this substantial investment. As an interested buyer, you can become more focused when you know what to expect and how much money to contribute toward ownership of a home. Consider speaking to your trusted mortgage consultant to provide guidance early to help determine what kind of down payment you will need to provide.
saving for a down payment on a home

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The purpose of providing a down payment 
Buying a home often involves acquiring a home loan to afford the purchase. This translates into monthly mortgage payments over the course of a set amount of time, during which you pay and become a full owner of your property. Because it is a loan from a mortgage broker, bank or lender, interest is also applied to the amount of money borrowed. So if you purchased a $100,000 home, you would actually pay more because of the interest rate affixed to the mortgage.

A loan serves a fantastic purpose in allowing homeownership to be more attainable for everyone, but fluctuating interest rates may drive individuals to refinance or put off purchasing a home to save more money.

This is the primary purpose of giving the seller a larger down payment when buying a house. If you can supply a larger down payment, you are more likely to be approved for a home loan. You will not have as much to pay off and may even increase chances of obtaining a lower interest rate.

Low down payment options 
There are programs available that allow individuals to qualify for a home loan despite only being able to provide a small down payment. Government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac, can provide an interested homebuyer with a 3 percent down payment option. However, higher interest rates and other requirements are put in place to help protect the lender. Gifts from family members are also allowed, but check with your loan officer to see what guidelines may apply.

Another agency that makes homeownership more attainable is the Federal Housing Administration. An FHA loan can help offer financial assistance when purchasing a home through a variety of programs such as fixed-rate FHA loans for people purchasing their first home. There is an option for everyone that will make navigating through the real estate industry easier.

An FHA-backed loan protects a lender in case a borrower is unable to continue with his or her mortgage payments. By providing this insurance, qualified buyers who have a difficult time providing a larger down payment or have a lower credit score due to debt accumulated during his or her education can still become homeowners.

Another way the amount of your down payment can affect your total monthly payment is when mortgage insurance is added, often referred to as PMI (private mortgage insurance). For example with conventional loans, PMI may be required if you don’t put down at least 20 percent. This protects the lender if the borrower should default on the loan. Even if you put less than 20 percent down, the mortgage insurance cost is lower if you put down 5 percent rather than 3 percent or even lower with a 10 percent down payment rather than just 5 percent.

Additional costs to consider 
Before someone decides to start saving up money, knowing how much to save is a crucial factor one must contemplate. Working with a trusted lender can help guide you and provide information to help determine what loan will be best for you and how much of a down payment will be required.  According to U.S. News & World Report, a buyer will not pay merely the agreed selling price, but also will need to designate funds for additional expenses such as:

  • Closing costs
  • A home inspection
  • Taxes
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report fee

In addition, some purchases may require a homeowner’s association fee to be paid as well as private mortgage insurance. Buyers should account for these expenses when creating a budget and starting a basic savings account for this exciting purchase.

 

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.


Jackie Ahumada is a mortgage loan officer with UMB Bank. She has more than 10 years experience in the mortgage industry and more than 18 years in management of customer service delivery and operations.



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Choosing the Right Mortgage Partner

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The housing market continues to show signs of improvement. If you’re looking to buy or move to your next house in life, it’s important to choose the right mortgage partner. Here are some tips to help you as you navigate this long-term financial plan.

 

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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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World Kindness Day

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Pack a lunch this week and use your savings to help a neighbor in need. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate World Kindness Day.ideas for giving back

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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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reStart, Inc. supports veterans

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Veterans Day – Only in America

We live in the greatest country on the planet. Why? Because we were founded by strong-willed dreamers who were tired of persecution and being told by decree that they had to stay in the class they were born into for the rest of their days.

The U.S. was founded on the principals of freedom, opportunity and the rights of individuals. And over the years, these values and principals have been hard fought, more so than most of us can truly understand or comprehend. Many of us don’t know or don’t reflect enough on just how lucky we are and how sacred these values are to our core. Over the years, much blood, sweat and tears have been shed to protect this great land of ours.

And for those reasons and so many more, we salute the very people — our veterans — who risk the most and understand at the deepest level just how great the country really is and what it takes to keep it this way for the rest of us dreamers.

So tomorrow, Veterans Day 2015, is for you — our veterans and military families — dream keepers and flag bearers of this great nation.

We salute you.

Mariner Kemper

 

reStart Kansas City

UMB strives to honor veterans every day, but November 11 is the day that our country sets aside to recognize the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom. We’re particularly excited about the work that an organization in Kansas City is doing right now. reStart was one of the 2015 UMB Big Bash beneficiaries, using the funds for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. UMB’s Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) is also involved with reStart’s veteran mentorship program.

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“One of the biggest helps they were able to give me has been a mentor, and it’s been through their help that I’ve been able to have a better life today and a brighter future for tomorrow.”

Below, read more from one of the mentors, James Carlile, who is a financial analyst at UMB and also a veteran. He shares what compelled him to become a mentor and the results he’s seen from the program.

At one of our VET meetings, Robin Johnson, head of reStart’s SSVF, mentioned that she had several veteran clients in her program that were really wanting to turn the corner and make a sustainable transition away from the homelessness cycle and into self stability. What they needed, and what reStart’s limited staffing and resources could not always provide, was personal encouragement. Our VET group jumped all over this and began to work on a plan in which our additional contribution would be the love, guidance and support of UMB veteran associates.

Robert Durham - veteran and reStart clientI really had little idea what to expect when I initially met with Robert Durham. All I knew was that he wanted and needed someone who would take the time to listen, help him think through his issues and concerns, and offer encouragement and motivation in the face of very real and very persistent adversity. I could tell he genuinely wanted to improve himself, and he didn’t have anyone else to help him with a strategy on doing so. I was fortunate in my transition from the military to have a loving and supportive family that was there for me unconditionally through some very choppy times. Robert did not have that family support, and although I knew I could not solve his issues for him, I could provide him a level of consistency, positivity and encouragement.

Robert and I meet every six weeks at his subsidized one room efficiency apartment. We eat sandwiches, and talk intensely about how he is feeling, what he is working on, the status of his distant relationships with his family, and keeping him focused on his goals. I’ve learned just how difficult it is for those caught in the crisis cycle to make that change, even when the will is present and pure. Even though we do spend ample time discussing basic professional and life skills, our primary goal together is deliberate emotional support. Robert is currently working on his insurance licensing through the financial support of reStart. His ultimate goal through the vehicle of self sustainability is to mend his fractured relationship with his children and to be the father and example he knows he should be. My role in this is nothing compared to what Robert will have to overcome to get there, but whatever bit of guidance or encouragement I can impart on him I consider a humbling privilege when it impacts the outcome of his quality of life.

 

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 Veterans: Bert Oster

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UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team and are proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series—Steve MarinRyan GardnerLynda McWhirter and Stacey Huddleston.
Bert Oster_kitchen

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Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a very small town in North Dakota. My first real job was at 13 picking rock for a local farmer. The job is exactly what it sounds like, pick up large rocks laying on the ground, put them in the front end loader and dump them on the edge of the field. It makes for a long day. When I got a bit older, the farmer I worked for gave me more responsibilities such as operating the machinery to plant and harvest the various crops, which was still very hard work. During my high school summers, I would actually live on the farm.

I’m married to Heidi, a transplanted Minneapolis girl. We currently live in Phoenix with our senior German Shepherd dog and one cat—both rescues.

What about your past shaped who you are today?
I think growing up in a small rural community helped me develop an appreciation for hard work. Most farmers develop a very strong work ethic. The hours are long, and most of the time, their success or failure is determined by outside forces that can’t be controlled, mainly weather. North Dakota is dryland farming; there are very few fields that are irrigated, which means the crops grow only if it rains and rains at the right times.

Tell us about your family.
I have one older sister and two younger sisters. I was the only one of the four children to venture out of North Dakota. The three sisters all live within 20 miles of each other and have no desire to move. The main reason for me moving was career advancement, but weather was a factor too!  North Dakota is known for long winters. Most years, winter arrives in late October and stays until early May.

Why did you choose to join the military?
Bert Oster_United States Marine Corps
I’d like to say I joined the military to serve my country, which is partly true. The rest of the story is that in 1969, I was in my second year of college and like a lot of young men, I was lacking in discipline and direction. In my sophomore year, I became friends with a former Marine who was attending college on the GI Bill. I admired the way he handled himself. He was mature, confident and knew what he wanted to do with his life. When the school year ended, I went back to North Dakota to work for the summer with plans to continue my education in the fall. In June, I received disappointing grades. I remember thinking “this is not good.” Not good, because our country at that time had implemented the draft system to fill ranks of the military. All young men were considered eligible for the draft, although deferments were issued for those attending school like me.

The first national lottery was televised in December of 1969. I still remember sitting in front of the television as the lottery was held. My birthday was the 22nd number drawn which guaranteed I would be drafted once my school deferment ended. With this in mind, my poor grades and a total lack of direction, I decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. I went to the recruiter’s office the middle of June, signed up for a two-year enlistment and left for boot camp on July 7, 1970.

Give us some highlights about your military career.
As I look back on my time in the military, I believe the two years I spent in the Marine Corps was, without a doubt, the single most important decision I ever made. It truly shaped my life. The military has a way of instilling a strong sense of discipline and purpose in your life. When I was discharged in July 1972, I had matured and was much better prepared for the next stage in my life. Upon discharge, I moved back to North Dakota and went back to college on the GI Bill. College for me this time was a different experience. I applied myself, achieved much better grades and even made the Dean’s list once. I graduated with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Criminal Justice.

What are the greatest challenges that someone leaving the military and entering a new career faces?
I believe the challenges someone leaving the military in 1972 are much different than today. My experience was, for the most part, positive. I adjusted well to civilian life; attending college was an experience I enjoyed and more importantly, helped me decide on a career path. Attending college after being discharged from the military was much different. I worked part time which resulted in establishing valuable business contacts within the community. These contacts ultimately led me to securing my first banking job when I graduated college.

How did you come to be at Meridian Bank, recently acquired by UMB? What made you want to work there?
One of my friends worked for Meridian Bank and asked if I would be interested in an opportunity with the bank. At first I was reluctant, but ultimately made the decision to come on board in January 2009.  Not a good time in Phoenix as we were in the middle of a serious real estate recession with no relief in sight. The first two and half years was devoted to dealing with challenging real estate loans. While the work was stressful and demanding, it was rewarding. The ownership was very supportive of our efforts, and in 2011 we achieved our goal of resolving our problem loans.

What are your favorite hobbies?
My favorite hobby is riding and restoring motorcycles. I’ve been an avid motorcyclist since I was 14. The past several years my riding time has diminished as I sold my newer road bike. To fill this void, I began restoring older vintage motorcycles in 2009. I find old BMWs (generally 1974 to 1978 model years) that have been out of service for an extended period of time or the previous owner took them apart and then lost interest in completing the restoration. At any given time, I will have one or two old BMWs sitting in the garage either in the process of dismantling or rebuilding. I consider the time I spend in the garage as therapeutic.

Over the past 20 years, I have taken numerous motorcycle trips in all of the western states. The summers in Phoenix are brutal, so the best way to beat the heat is get out of town. My favorite places to travel are in the mountains of Colorado, the coastline of California and Oregon and the high deserts of New Mexico.
Bert & Heidi OsterMy wife and I are dedicated pet owners. Our passion is German Shepherd Dogs. We’ve had four now; the last two have been senior rescues. Currently, we have a very large, old German Shepherd Dog named Czar and a younger, rescued cat named Toby. Czar has brought such a good feeling to our house. We rescued him from a shelter in San Diego in March 2014. He was originally abandoned in Mexico and then transported to the shelter in San Diego. He had a skin infection, an ear infection, an eye infection and had lost most of his hair on his legs and belly. My wife said, “He is a mess.” I agreed, but we decided he would be perfect for us! Rescuing a senior dog is not about the rescuers, it’s about the dogs and being able to give them a quality of life, for however long they are with us. The next weekend, we drove back to San Diego to get Czar, and he has been a member of our family since. His eye, ear and skin infections are under control, and he is a very active, healthy old dog. My wife and I still joke about her comment that “he is a mess.” We also are unsure if we rescued him or he rescued us. He is such a good dog.
motorcycles and German Shepherd - Bert Oster


Mr. Bert Oster is a Senior Vice President for UMB Arizona. He is responsible for Commericial Real Estate Loan Production. He joined UMB on May 29th, 2015 as part of the Meridian Bank acquisition. Bert has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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Third quarter 2015 earnings explained

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We released our third quarter 2015 earnings  recently, and our Chief Financial Officer is here to share the highlights.

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Mr. Walker is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer at UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in 2007. He earned a Business Administration (Accounting) degree at Kansas State University and his Masters of Business Administration degree at Rockhurst University. In addition to his involvement with several community and charitable organizations, he is also the treasurer for the Big Bash Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation focused on providing financial assistance and increasing visibility for local not-for-profit organizations.



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