Now entering our fourth year in Utah, we have added some new faces to our team. Both with deep industry experience and local ties, Nick Hintze, senior vice president, commercial banking, and Ben Johnson, senior vice president, commercial banking joined UMB in the last year. We sat down with the pair to learn more about their journeys to UMB, trends they are seeing in the Utah market and how UMB is meeting customer needs.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you made your way to UMB?
Nick Hintze: I have spent most of my life in Utah and began my career in banking almost 20 years ago at U.S. Bank. I built great relationships and gained invaluable experience in my previous role but knew I wanted a change. You can be a banker anywhere, that is not the problem; it is about who you are doing it with, who you are seeing nine hours a day and after connecting with David Andersen (UMB Utah president), I knew I wanted to embark on this new chapter with UMB and the Utah team. UMB is a well-established bank and the opportunity to help it grow in the Utah market really excited me—and still does. Also, it’s been fun to now have Ben as a colleague rather than a competitor.
Ben Johnson: Like Nick, I am a Utah native and came from a decades-long career at a larger bank. I was really looking for a fresh start with a bank that had more flexibility in deal-making and an entrepreneurial focus. I first heard about UMB about five years ago from some of my industry friends who had moved to UMB’s Corporate Trust group. So, while UMB had been on my radar, it was people I talked to like David Andersen, Paul Williamson and Jon Robinson who really showed me UMB’s culture and community commitment—and ultimately sealed the decision for me. So far, UMB has been such a breath of fresh air, and I am constantly impressed by my colleagues’ experience and innovative ideas.
What makes UMB different than other banks?
Ben Johnson: UMB’s 110-year history and strong family ties creates a unique culture of cooperation and collaboration. Everyone here is always willing to jump in and provide expertise and insight to get things across the finish line together. Collaboration is really at the core of UMB’s culture, and this does not go unnoticed by fellow associates, customers and clients. It has also been exciting to work with my team to tell a different story than the other banks in the Utah market.
Nick Hintze: Ben is absolutely correct, UMB has a family feel and connection that larger banks without a history like UMB’s cannot replicate. In my first year here, I have seen just how accessible top leadership is; Mariner Kemper is only a phone call away, and he is routinely in Utah, willing to help with deals, which is something I haven’t seen from larger banks.
Also, UMB has this fantastic culture that allows me and my colleagues to grow and do what we need to do to serve this fast-growing market. We have the autonomy and trust from leadership to be creative and tactical in meeting the varying needs of our customers and clients in a timely manner, which adds to the entrepreneurship of this role.
What trends are you seeing in the Utah market?
Nick Hintze: Utah is a very fast-growing market, and there are a lot of opportunities to help companies expand. We have seen a lot of new business in the market, which pushes us to provide unique solutions and offerings to help business leaders not only succeed, but also thrive in the community. Utah has also been the most entrepreneurial state in the country. The highly skilled workforce, low unemployment rates and business friendly environment allows companies to grow. The need for debt capital continues and UMB is in a perfect place to provide banking services.
Ben Johnson: More people are moving in and demographics are changing. Historically, a lower cost of living and desirable outdoor life has attracted people from the coasts. That cost of living is going up, leading to a major focus on multi-family housing, adequate transportation and continuous infrastructure build-out to accommodate the growth. We have seen an influx of private equity firms and family offices in this market. Also, there continues to be a rise in capital in this side of business, and we have been able to step in and provide our expertise in this space. As our team continues to grow in Utah, so does our skillset and ability to stay ahead of the market’s needs.
Over the past couple years, how have you seen the industries in Utah evolve?
Ben Johnson: There are many vibrant industries in Utah, led by healthcare, technology, education and construction, among others. Over the last few years, each of these have continued to expand despite soft economic conditions nationally. Utah remains robust by maintaining a low unemployment rate, a young/skilled workforce and favorable tax rates. Larger companies in all industries are attracted to these resources and are increasingly looking to have a presence here. UMB is well-positioned to capitalize on these opportunities and is entering the Utah middle market at a great time.
Nick Hintze: In the past Utah was known for creating new business and products. For example, not a lot of people know that Word Perfect (the predecessor to Microsoft Office) was founded in Provo Utah. Most of these new businesses would eventually be bought out by large national companies and move their headquarters out of the state. However, over the last decade, more and more companies have decided to not sell to larger national firms and remain headquartered in Utah. These larger companies in Utah, especially in the technology space, have created a workforce draw from many neighboring states. There is an exponential growth factor and I see this continuing over the next decade.
How is UMB helping to meet clients and customers’ changing needs?
Nick Hintze: At UMB, we are focused on being able meet the various lending needs of our customers and clients. We have a fully entrenched credit and lending group that have been working together for more than 20 years. This allows us to provide a breadth of options seamlessly and effectively, ranging from alternative to traditional to complex deal-making. Our access to leadership also aids in our ability to provide timely solutions through company-wide collaboration.
Ben Johnson: To build off what Nick said, UMB is small enough to be flexible yet large enough to compete on a national level, and we are not afraid to be creative to find a solution for our customers and clients. We are uniquely positioned to offer both an enjoyable customer experience and quick delivery. Our Utah team is eager to expand and grow in this market, while also showing the community our agility, consistency and strength throughout any economic cycle.
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