What has been the secret to UMB’s success over the past year?
The key to our success has been continuing to focus on doing what we do best, which is supporting and counseling our clients in all environments. Many of our clients did well over the past year even with so many unknowns and now feel cautiously optimistic as we move further into 2021.
We feel that same optimism about our own business. In recent years, we continued to focus on expanding the depth and breadth of our offerings, including commercial and institutional banking. Our uniquely diversified model gives us the ability and the liquidity we need to be able to lend in all environments.
One of those unique areas is our Capital Corporation, part of our Capital Finance division. Since 2015, UMB Capital Corporation has assisted more than 45 companies with growth, acquisition, change of control, and recapitalization via debt and equity investments. This is an area of our business that we are excited to see grow.
We’ve also recently launched our Family Office within our Private Wealth Management division, where we offer strategic planning and investment advisory services for families of significant wealth. The new offering will also address the prevalent generational wealth transfer needs many of these clients have.
Finally, we’ve seen nice growth across our markets, particularly in Colorado‡, Arizona‡ and Texas‡.
How did COVID-19 impact UMB and its clients?
Whether we’re talking about client support or business operations, the pandemic certainly led to one of the most challenging years in our bank’s and nation’s history. We focused on remaining nimble, flexible and responsive to our customers each day while successfully navigating a remote work environment for many of our associates.
I have to recognize the effort put forth to navigate this past year by all of our associates. I am extremely proud of the commitment and resilience our associates have shown throughout all of this. They are the lifeblood of our organization and key to our success.
Relationships always matter in banking, but the past year really shined a spotlight on how a strong partnership can help clients endure unprecedented obstacles. Since the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) launched in 2020, we have worked tirelessly—sometimes around the clock during the peak of the PPP—to make sure our customers, associates and the communities we serve are receiving what they need from us. As of May 31, 2021, we have processed more than 8,000 loans and funded nearly $1.9 billion through the program.
How has UMB continued to strengthen its connection to communities over the past year?
We feel a responsibility to all the communities we operate in and this was especially the case in 2020 as so many struggled. In addition to encouraging our associates to help the causes they care about through our matching gift program and paid time off for volunteering, our workplace giving campaign allows associates to support nonprofits of their choice through recurring payroll deductions. In 2020, more than 1,000 participating UMB associates donated more than $550,000.
Beyond our associates’ impact within their communities, we continue to strengthen our partnerships with organizations throughout our footprint, such as our renewed sponsorship with Sporting KC‡, which we have extended through the 2028 season. We value our sponsorship with Sporting KC, which offers a fun, family experience and gives us an opportunity to connect with families and youth throughout Kansas City. Sporting KC has been a tremendous partner that always adds value to UMB and helps our associates provide special client experiences.
Looking ahead, what opportunities are there for UMB to continue its growth?
In addition to widening the breadth of our service offerings, we continue to see ourselves as entrepreneurs. This entrepreneurialism gives us the push we need to continue to grow, face new challenges and seek out opportunities. Just last year we expanded our commercial presence in Minnesota and Utah; this year our specialty trust group also opened its first office in Dublin, Ireland enabling the bank to offer trust services in one of the international economic centers for structured finance.
Our technology investments have really helped to bolster our consumer offering as well, which has already helped customers more easily and readily bank during the pandemic and remains an area of emphasis for us moving forward. In particular, we have recently enhanced our mobile app, online banking platform and teller portal. We recognize that banking convenience partnered with a stable and trusted bank is a top consideration for many consumers.
As UMB chairman and CEO Mariner Kemper likes to say, “We’re a 100-year-old startup company.” We will continue to operate with that mindset and do whatever we can to support clients, associates and the communities we serve.
For more insight about UMB’s growth and commitment to the communities it serves, read Jim Rine’s interview in the Kansas City Business Journal‡.
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