We catch up with vice president and senior client manager Matthew Keeth in this Q&A and learn about his recent recognition as a Trusted Advisor by the Springfield Business Journal and what this means to both his clients and himself.

First, congratulations on your recent honor. Tell us about your role as a trusted advisor and what that means for your clients.

Personally, I’m driven by learning and understanding my customers’ businesses and then utilizing that knowledge to help them achieve their goals through providing lending and treasury solutions, education on items like fraud prevention, and expanding their professional networks by connecting them with other internal and external advisers to support their unique business and personal needs.

Being a trusted adviser is about much more than the financial products and services we offer; at the core of the partnership should be a strong relationship. I take that very seriously. I want to learn each of my clients’ businesses to shape our relationship and introduce ideas that can build long-term success and strengthen the Springfield community.

What has your work with clients looked like the past year?

Through understanding and supporting my clients, I can support their businesses in ways that go beyond the traditional banking relationship. Since the beginning of 2020, this has been more important than ever, as many faced immediate, unexpected disruptions to their businesses—including their operations, revenue streams, and short- and long-term financial projections.

During the pandemic, I quickly and tirelessly secured Paycheck Protection Program loans for clients—and local businesses who weren’t in our portfolio but required critical relief—so we could remain committed to their long-term vision and future growth. I also increased my already strong communication with clients to ensure they knew they had a trusted adviser in their corner during unprecedented times. This included actively educating clients on additional emerging threats and trends that could impact their business—but all the while reassuring clients of our support.

From a communication standpoint, although meeting settings may have shifted over the past 18 months, I believe my customers are now more aware than ever that I am here for them at any time of day and any day of the week.

How would your clients describe your relationship?

Over the last year, I believe I have demonstrated to my clients that their needs are my main priority and that I am a steady hand and reliable partner. My intent, as well as UMB’s intent as a financial partner, is to make all customers feel valued and supported. Therefore, I want to be viewed as an extension of my clients’ businesses rather than a third party. I’d hope they would describe our relationship as a partnership and my role as a trusted adviser.

You are also involved in the Springfield community through your volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity. Can you tell us more about that?

As a resident of the Springfield community for nearly 25 years, I have been involved in many community organizations. I currently sit on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, Mo.‡ and am a member of the nonprofit’s Finance and ReStore committees.

Through my work on the committees, I advise on the organization’s finances and budgeting to ensure success for its mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our work has led to dozens of interest-free loans to low-income families throughout the community who are now achieving their goal of home ownership.

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