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Leader Q&A: Solving Problems by Managing Risk

Christine Graham, executive vice president, director trust administration and chief fiduciary officer, loves to solve complex problems. Discover how she manages risk for clients by using her unique legal background to see situations from a different perspective.

Protect and Streamline

My job, simply put, is to protect our clients and our business. I work with UMB’s Private Wealth Management clients and teams to ensure our clients’ plans are administered in a manner consistent with the clients’ wishes and in accordance with the law. I’m here to make sure our teams have all the tools they need to guide and care for our clients.

My day-to-day consists of working with my team to solve challenges for our clients and ensure our business is sound and functioning to its highest ability. I review our policies and processes along with the other functional elements of our department to safeguard against potential risk. For me, it is all about discovering creative solutions to make our client experience even better.

Solve and Evolve

One of my favorite things about my job is being able to solve problems for UMB’s clients and the department. After spending the first 15 years of my career as a practicing estate planner and litigator, I try to bring my unique set of skills to the job. In my role as chief fiduciary officer, I like to help my team guide our clients and identify different opportunities available to them, so they can achieve their goals. An important part of this involves streamlining our processes so we can make sure the client has a positive experience with UMB.

For me, making the jump from litigation to banking was all about embracing opportunities and taking a chance. I try to be the person who always strives to get to the answer, which allows me to be a resource for our clients and our teams.

In my role now, I get to develop and expand our technology and processes to address our clients’ needs and expectations. My goal is to make our business more efficient, so clients have a great experience with us – whether through new technology for our teams, by rethinking the way we do things, or by offering advice to a client who is struggling with an issue. In making the transition from lawyer to business leader, I’ve had to switch from my legal brain focused just on fixing problems to determining how we create a successful business and better serve our clients as they achieve their goals.

Listen and Communicate

The cornerstone of our relationships at UMB and how we ensure we are executing our clients’ wishes is through clear and consistent communication. My team communicates regularly with internal partners to review client goals and objectives, documents and assets, and ultimately confirm that we are executing the client’s plan correctly. Through regular communication, we can more quickly identify and solve problems and anticipate the needs of our clients.

This year, in particular, we saw many clients experience the ups and downs of the pandemic. By working closely with them, we’ve been able to help them keep their risk down and help them stay on course to achieve their goals. We strive to share our knowledge and expertise with our clients as the laws are constantly changing, impacting their estate plans and retirement accounts. Part of my job is to stay on top of this ever-evolving legislation so our teams can distill the information and share it with our clients in a way that is easy to understand and act upon.

At UMB, we always have our clients’ best interest at heart, but by listening and communicating regularly, we can help their dreams become a reality.

Interested in learning more about our Private Wealth Management division? With UMB, you have a guiding partner from financial advising and wealth building strategies, to retirement and legacy preservation plans.

 

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