Blog   Tagged ‘forum’

Connecting the Dots: Commercial client forum

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You’ve probably attended industry or community events with time set aside for networking. But, have you ever met at your company’s bank for an event dedicated solely to networking and sharing ideas? Earlier this year, UMB’s commercial banking team brought together a group of our clients to share ideas and perspectives about everything from succession planning to product evolution and other leadership topics. We sat down with Brian Beaird, senior vice president in UMB’s Commercial Banking department, to discuss this informative client forum.

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What was your goal with the forum?

We wanted to bring in a handful of our clients so they could discuss leadership topics and expand their business networks. The goal was to create meaningful opportunities to develop relationships beyond traditional commercial banking interactions. We wanted to connect our clients to others like them so they could discuss real-life challenges and take away tangible ideas to consider for their businesses.

Who did you invite to this event?

We invited senior leadership from ten middle market clients across our eight-state footprint. The clients represented various industries, from construction to non-profits. They also represented various types of leadership within the company. Three of the businesses are family run, ranging from first to third generation leadership.

Specifically, what did the attendees discuss?

In addition to the general leadership topics, we utilized articles from the Harvard Business Review to guide our discussion. The articles created a framework for facilitated discussion that created unique perspectives based on the various styles of leadership in the room and industry-specific scenarios that enabled group members to think differently about their business.

What surprised you about their conversations?

The clients who attended provided a unique perspective that helps us to better understand how various industries are performing and how they are projected to perform. Additionally, it was interesting to watch the attendees make connections to similar issues they’ve experienced, even if they were in different industries. For example, one attendee was concerned with an aspect of his company’s succession plan. Another attendee had a very similar experience in his company and the two were able to talk after the forum and exchange ideas on how to help solve the problem.

What was the outcome of these meetings?

The companies we bring in for these forums are geographically separated, but they have begun to do business together and leverage the experiences of the group as an information source for decision-making. Two attendees have actually developed a business partnership as a direct result of this meeting.

Having done two of these forums since last fall, we continue to follow up with the attendees to ensure the conversation continues. In fact, one member requested that we help lead a strategic off-site meeting for their company.

The most important takeaway we’ve seen from these meetings is the company leaders have realized it’s important for them to branch outside of their networks like this on a regular basis. Communicating with other companies outside the standard, day-to-day business interactions can help you create partnerships you may never have developed otherwise. You may even be able to learn from the experiences of other companies and apply them to your own.

 

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. Beaird is a senior vice president in UMB’s Commercial Banking department. He is responsible for commercial banking strategy, which focuses on the development of growth through our people and various markets. He joined UMB in 2009 and has 14 years of experience in the financial services industry. He earned an MBA and a master’s degree in human resources from Webster University in Kansas City, MO. Mr. Beaird is also the co-founder of the Kids to Kings youth basketball organization.



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The business of doing good: How to manage your non-profit’s finances (Part 3)

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Recently, UMB hosted a group of almost 40 representatives from Colorado Springs non-profits to talk about a variety of financial management tips for non-profit organizations. In my previous blog posts I highlighted two topics that came up during the conversation: streamlined fundraising processes and supporter/employee enthusiasm. The third subject we discussed was the idea that non-profits need a bank that acts as an extension of the organization.

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Most people probably don’t automatically make the connection between a bank and a non-profit, but the two organizations can work together to create a productive partnership. An important part of the support non-profits need to thrive is the relationship they have with their bank. Since funding is the primary way to ensure that the non-profit can continue to operate, good financial management is key. A strong relationship between a non-profit and their bank may give the staff peace of mind and help them to focus on doing good things for their community and less about their financial management.

Some challenges that non-profits face include getting sufficient funding, board and associate development and staff retention. Your bank may be able to direct you to resources that can help you overcome these challenges:

A good relationship with your bank can also help your organization achieve a sound financial structure. In addition to keeping the organization up and running, a solid balance sheet could help attract new leadership to your organization. One of our non-profit clients came to us with a potential board member who was interested in joining the organization’s investment board. The potential board member was passionate about the organization but concerned about their investment risk management. After talking with UMB and the non-profit leadership about the investment risk, he was no longer worried and joined the board because he could focus on his passion for the organization.

Non-profits offer many invaluable services to their communities. While these organizations differ from for-profit businesses in their mission and goals, they have the same business principles. Treating the financial management of a non-profit like a business helps the organization in the long run because they’re able to focus on serving the needs of their community.

 

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. Doyle is community bank president for UMB’s Colorado Springs region. He is responsible for guiding strategic direction in the Colorado Springs region as a member of the Colorado management team. He joined UMB in 2011 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. and a master’s degree in business administration from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.



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