Meet Cynthia Simpson, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Institutional Banking
Cynthia Simpson rejoined UMB Bank in 2012 after first working for the bank from 1993-1998 as a supervisor of wire transfer operations. Since becoming executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Institutional Banking in 2018, Cynthia has demonstrated leadership and fostered collaboration within the Institutional Banking business and across the entire bank.
Below, Cynthia describes her current position, work in the local community and how she approaches her role as a leader at UMB.
Describe your role with UMB Institutional Banking.
As executive vice president and chief administrative officer of UMB Institutional Banking, I wear many hats; I am responsible for overseeing a variety of functions across our rapidly growing business, including strategic planning for the division, sales support, and a variety of areas of support with growth and management of the division—including properties and the associate teams.
I lead a sales support team that works very closely with the numerous sales teams to ensure brand awareness, thought leadership and the value of UMB to the industry. I also direct strategic planning for the Institutional Banking business that generated a net income of more than $62 million in the 2020 fiscal year—while guiding efforts and administration of the Institutional Banking group’s 13 offices.
In my role, collaboration is critical. I liaise with UMB Bank’s commercial banking business and bank leadership to align our corporate strategy and improve collaboration of our institutional and commercial businesses during a time in which both businesses experience tremendous growth‡.
Beyond my daily responsibilities, I am a proud participant in UMB’s esteemed Accelerate program. The year-long program targets associates within the bank who have demonstrated the potential to continue elevating their careers at the C-suite level, with an emphasis on honing leadership skills. Internally, I am also part of UMB’s Women’s Business Resource Group (BRG), in which I offer leadership and guidance to women at the bank to help them reach their goals and feel empowered to progress in their careers.
In addition to UMB’s programs, are you involved with any community organizations?
I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City (BBBSKC), a role I have held for four years. As a member of the board, I help the agency support at-risk youth in the Kansas City metropolitan area through innovative brainstorming, fundraising and promotion. This year I also joined the nonprofit’s executive committee, which provides oversight for budgeting, financial and other administrative activities. I’ve always been extremely passionate about my work with BBBSKC.
I am also an advocate for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, and I participate in the organization’s regional events and fundraising activities. Within my local community, I have been an active member of Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, where I taught Sunday school courses for nearly a decade.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I have held a variety of roles throughout my career, and every step of the way I have developed leadership skills through unique experiences.
I love being directly involved with the entire Institutional Banking business. It allows me to act as a resource to a wide range of associates—not just those who are under my direct supervision. To be a great leader, I need to empower my team. That starts with making sure I am a mentor and not an authority figure; I strive to be viewed as an ally and a member of the team.
As a leader, my primary goal is to encourage associates to utilize their skills and follow their passions. I am dedicated to learning their personalities and preferences so I can uniquely support them as they elevate their careers. Through this, I am constantly learning how to be a better leader.
I have an open-door policy for anyone seeking mentorship or guidance at the bank. I remember the challenging times during my career and want to help others find success and love for their work.
Learn more about UMB Institutional Banking, which provides solutions for the entire institutional marketplace from community banks and municipalities, to some of the largest corporations, broker dealers and fund companies in the U.S.
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