Michael Garner, president of UMB Bank Texas and Oklahoma, shares career experiences and lessons he’s learned after nearly 20 years with UMB.
What I learned in my move to Texas
I moved to Fort Worth, Texas in October 2017 to help UMB Bank grow its presence in the market. I was excited for this new opportunity after living in St. Louis, Missouri and working for UMB for 19 years. My career at UMB has always surprised me and taught me many lessons.
Persistence pays off
In my role, I direct the Texas team and build new relationships throughout our community. I hit the ground running in order to build trust and relationships throughout the rapidly growing metroplex.
I had to quickly learn to not be afraid to jump into a situation and push myself out of my comfort zone.
For me, listening and tenacity pay off when trying to build new relationships and produce outcomes that are beneficial for all parties.
Today, if you ask someone in Dallas-Fort Worth about UMB Bank, chances are they know what the organization is and what it does. I am proud to have helped grow that brand recognition in a city I now call home.
Make a bold move
When I moved to Texas, my predecessors had worked hard and achieved success at establishing UMB in the market. While UMB opened its doors in Fort Worth in 2014, three years later, the bank was ready to make a bold move. I strategically helped the team move the office to the historic 777 Main building, which significantly added to the bank’s prominence in the city.
This opportunity taught me to take risks and explore new opportunities. Over the years, a variety of banks came and went from the building and for the last five years UMB has claimed their stake in one of the most visible buildings in downtown Fort Worth.
Create real connections with your team
I create connections with my team by being intentional with my time and words. If a team member needs additional guidance on a project or has a new idea they’d like to present, I create time to give my undivided attention and provide thoughtful feedback. This leadership approach has cultivated a culture of open and honest discussion where team members know their voice will be heard.
I also show my team appreciation by celebrating their successes. Small and big wins alike are publicly acknowledged to the larger team and celebrated in the office or out on the town with team dinners. I prioritize recognizing the achievements of my team because I understand they play a key role in the company.
If it weren’t for my team’s hard-work and dedication, the Texas region would not have experienced the growth and success it has had in recent years.
Relationships are key to growth
As an active member of the community, I have cultivated strong relationships and built trust in the community as the face of UMB in Texas. Over the years, I have generated growth opportunities by leveraging those relationships to bring in new customers. In my time as president, the Texas region has grown from 7.5% to 10% of UMB’s loan portfolio, making it the bank’s fastest-growing region.
UMB’s growth has been rapid, yet steady in the region, driven by all the lines of business, including business banking, Asset based lending, commercial real estate and commercial and industrial loans. In 2021, Texas had an average loan balance of $1.7 billion, an increase of 11.7% compared to 2020 and an increase of 97.2% compared to 2017 when I moved to Texas.
Deposits have also seen large growth under my leadership and the efforts of our hardworking team. As of June 30, 2021, Texas had an average of $573 million in deposits, compared to $208.9 million in deposits as of June 30, 2017.
Get involved in the community
UMB has always instilled in me a passion to give back to the community. Once I moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I knew one of the best ways to meet new people and learn about the city would be to get involved in the community. Personally, I am passionate about supporting economic development and education.
In addition, I have been fortunate to work with Cristo Rey Fort Worth to help moderate- to low-income families support their tuition by working with corporate partners. As a member of the executive committee, I have enjoyed watching the growth of the students and see first-hand how education has impacted their lives. Working with Cristo Rey is important to me as I believe investing in our children’s futures will create adults who are excited to be active participants in their community, which ultimately builds a better future for us all.
Finally, Fort Worth Chamber has allowed me to help oversee how dollars are spent in our city, which is a rewarding role as we all work to foster growth in the area. I serve on the board of directors and investor council, where I use my financial expertise to provide support and guidance on community investment opportunities.
Working at UMB has taught me so many lessons and offered me some amazing opportunities. I can’t wait to see what is next for UMB Bank in Texas.