Chris Steuterman joined UMB in 2020 with more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. We spoke with him about his goals for the beverage finance business and how this offering can help customers across the bank and its service area.

What is your role as director of beverage?

As the director of beverage, I’m responsible for developing and overseeing food and beverage clients across UMB’s nationwide footprint. This includes addressing any operational and financial services they need such as wholesale distribution, territory and brand acquisition, working capital, generational transfers, trust and estate planning, real estate construction/acquisition  and payables solutions.

I also work with credit underwriters to approve new transactions using industry-specific metrics and standards.

How long have you been working in the beverage finance industry?

I started in the beverage finance industry 14 years ago when I worked for a financial institution that tasked me with growing the beverage finance vertical. I found the work extremely interesting, so I studied and immersed myself into the business and found my passion. I also really enjoy the clients. Most of them are family-owned businesses who value my opinion and guidance and make me feel like I have a “seat at their table”.

 What sparked UMB’s interest into entering the beverage finance world?

The beverage finance business aligns very closely with UMB’s core business—lending to privately held, multigenerational, family-owned companies. While the industry isn’t new, there is a gap with banks our size.

We’re unique because we have a strong balance sheet, scalability and our size is attractive to families who own these businesses—as is our 100+-year history as a respected financial institution.

With my industry knowledge and UMB’s expertise in growing businesses through mergers and acquisitions and strong private wealth and commercial lending offerings—this new vertical will be compelling to clients and prospects in this space.

Additionally, Mariner Kemper, chairman, president and CEO of UMB Financial Corporation, has a background in beverage distribution. As such, he is also able to provide unique insight and knowledge to the conversations we’re having with our clients, which has been exciting to see.

Are there deals we have won in the short time we’ve been in this space?

Yes, since I joined the team in 2020, we are off to a really strong start. We have secured $134 million in credit loans and are in the process of onboarding new clients.

What is the bank’s future goals for the beverage finance vertical?

This year we’d like to further establish the vertical and start building relationships with our current and prospective clients in both St. Louis and across our footprint. We have since added Jake Johnson to our team as beverage lending relationship manager, and we’re excited to continue to grow our beverage finance offerings

What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

You can never go wrong with a perfectly poured lager.

If you are interested in learning more about how UMB can help your beverage business as a financial partner, visit our website