Our Stories: The History of UMB
Welcome to Our Stories: The History of UMB
Browse the history of UMB by clicking on the arrows above or jump to a specific year by selecting it from the timeline below.
UMB is born as City Center Bank
The story of UMB has modest beginnings inside a small property on the southern edge of Kansas City's business district. First organized just before the start of World War I by a handful of business men - grocer, a bottler, a car dealer and an attorney - the bank charter was granted to City Center Bank in April 1913 by the State of Missouri.
The name City Center Bank was chosen because it was descriptive of the institution's customers, primary purpose and geographic location. City Center Bank optimistically had aspirations that it would eventually be in the center of the Kansas City financial hub - though that area was slow to flourish.
The bank's earnings had been weak for the first few years, and influential banker W. T. Kemper saw an opportunity. Kemper purchased controlling stock of City Center Bank for cents on the dollar in 1918. And so begins the rest of the UMB story.
W.T. Kemper leadership principles set the tone for generations to come
William T. Kemper once shared these words of wisdom to one of his associates: "Find out what a man's made of. A person's character means more than his financial statement."
Kemper understood the immeasurable value of spending time with people and making personal connections with customers. He led by example, getting to the bank early to get his own work out of the way so he could be on the floor greeting customers when the doors opened. He strived to make bank customers genuinely feel they were important, whether they were depositing money or seeking a loan. He took time to talk with everyone and rarely turned down requests for a few minutes of his time.
In those earliest years, Kemper shaped the company's values and operating principles on his own personality traits - traits that were not typical of traditional bankers in his day. His characteristic leadership style was expressed in this guidance he offered bank associates during the earliest years which he called, "10 Things to Remember":
1. The value of time
2. The success of perseverance
3. The pleasure of working
4. The dignity of simplicity
5. The worth of character
6. The influence of example
7. The obligation of duty
8. The wisdom of economy
9. The virtue of patience
10. The improvement of talent
William T. Kemper's influence holds steady at UMB even today. These founding principles are inherent in UMB's brand promise, Count on more and are the basis for the company's vision to deliver the unparalleled customer experience. UMB always has, and always will be, an institution that values relationships, integrity and high standards of quality.
Charlotte Crosby Kemper - lifelong love for art
Charlotte Crosby (often called "Lottie") was born into a family unusual for its time in regard to education for women. Her parents, Rufus and Nettie Crosby, valued education and insisted on giving her a quality education, unknown to most women of the late Victorian era. Educated from kindergarten through college level, Lottie attended The College of Sisters of Bethany, a school in Topeka, Kansas, known for its strong art and music programs. Trading an education on the plains of Kansas for a very proper school for well-to-do young women in the East, Lottie attended Vassar College's School of Music and Painting in Poughkeepsie, New York.
A promising young woman with a, "bright mind and a strong will," Vassar fostered a great lifelong love for art in Lottie, and upon returning to Valley Falls, Kansas, she met young William T. Kemper, an encounter that fostered yet another great lifelong love.
Lottie Crosby and William T. Kemper were married on June 10, 1890.
As Mrs. Kemper, Lottie became a great art and antiques collector, building a large addition to her home to serve as a gallery for her impressive collection. Interested all her life, one of the few posts in which she was willing to serve was as director of the Kansas City Art Institute.
Truly an "enlightened daughter of the ninetieth century," Lottie was a forceful woman with a sharp intellect who enthusiastically and infectiously shared her great love of art with her children and her grandchildren. Lottie died in 1956, but her influence on art lives on today. The Kemper Family Foundations continue her legacy with their many contributions supporting the arts around the region.
A new name, new location
City Center Bank was named on the pretense that it resided within the expected center of the city's business district. However, as time passed, a change was necessary. In 1919, the board of directors voted to change the bank's name to City Bank of Kansas City - more relevant name - and move to a leased building at the corner of 18th and Grand.
R. Crosby Kemper, Sr. takes reins as Bank President
In March 1919, just weeks back from World War I military service, 27-year-old Rufus Crosby Kemper, Sr. was elected to City Bank's board of directors and bank president.
Reminiscent of his father William T. Kemper's banking style, Crosby Kemper's great energy and outgoing personality provided the momentum for the bank's rapid growth. In 1920, the bank expanded next door to another storefront at 1807 Grand Avenue.
UMB Art Collection: American Realism
Albert Bierstadt's landscapes depict the "Golden Age" of expansion and discovery of the limitless American wilderness, as George Caleb Bingham's portraits remind us of the vast transformation that took place in the country in the 1860s.
George Caleb Bingham 1811-1879
Bingham was a child of the Western frontier. Mostly a self-taught artist, he was known for classically rendered western genre, especially Missouri and Mississippi River scenes of boatmen bringing cargo to the American West and politicians seeking to influence frontier life. He provided glimpses of that life in his portraits of settlers and river men. He is best known for his deft brushwork and clear, pure light and colors. In later years his work took a political tone, showing the entire rural election process and tackling thorny issues which arose from the U.S. Civil War. He ended his days as a professor of art at the University of Missouri.
Captain Joseph Kinney and Mrs. Joseph Kinney portraits: Captain Joseph Kinney was the best known Boonslick (Boonville, Missouri) steamboat captain of his time. He owned several steamboats and named many after his daughters. In 1869 he built "Rivercene," his mansion across the river from Boonville in Howard Co. Missouri, which still stands today. Captain Kinney was married to Matilda Clarke and had 12 children.
UMB Art Collection: Early American Portraiture
America's past is reflected in the faces of its people. Our collected works of American portrait artists is a cross section of the finest and most celebrated portrait painters identified with early American history.
Represented in the UMB Financial Corporation Fine Art Collection are Henry Benbridge, Samuel F.B. Morse, Rembrandt Peale, Charles Wilson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Jeremiah Theus and Benjamin West.
Rembrandt Peale 1778 -1860
Rembrandt Peale was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the second son of Charles Willson Peale. He painted his first portrait at the age of thirteen, and at seventeen he painted the last portrait of George Washington to be done from life. He became a student at classes organized by his father and other Philadelphia artists and also studied the chemistry of pigments at the University of Pennsylvania's new medical school. In 1796, together with his brother Raphaelle, he established a museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and assisted his father in unearthing and assembling the first complex skeleton of a mastodon ever found. In 1802 he visited London, studied under Benjamin West and exhibited at the Royal Academy. Rembrandt continued to paint until his death, turning out occasional portraits and making copies of his original Washington. He served as President of the American Academy of Art.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse 1791-1872
Samuel Finley Breese Morse, artist and telegraph inventor, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He persuaded his father to allow him to pursue a career in art and sailed with Washington Allston to study in London in 1811. In Europe he won a gold medal at the Society of Arts in 1812, and his paintings won acclaim. However, when he exhibited in Boston upon his return in 1815, he found little public interest. A final disappointment came when he learned that he had not been chosen to paint one of the four panels in the ceiling of the rotunda in the Capitol in Washington, a commission he had long coveted. Frustrated, Morse turned to the field of invention. In 1835, he had constructed a crude but workable telegraph instrument. This first telegraph was capable of sending messages only a few feet. The basic problem was the small number of turns of wire around the electromagnet. In 1838, he had conceived the marks that represented individual letters in a form that would become known as the Morse code. He was the electrician for the Atlantic cable in 1857-1858 and was a co-founder of Vassar College in 1861. He made some attempts to paint--mainly landscapes--but found that his talent had left him.
Bank makes a strategic segue into the auto industry
UMB has a long track record of recognizing breakthrough opportunities and modeling a business to go after them. The early years were no exception.
By the 1920s, the automobile was drastically changing the lives of Americans and American society, and Crosby Kemper, Sr. seemed to understand this better than anyone.
Only one in 13 families owned a car in 1918. But by 1928, four out of five families owned a car, increasing the number of cars on the road from 8 million to 23 million in 1929. The industry grew so fast that in 1925 more than 10% of American workers had something to do with production, sales, service or fueling of automobiles.
Crosby Kemper, Sr. recognized the automobile industry's tremendous potential and aligned City Bank (located along Kansas City's Motor Row) with this new industry. By 1920, 75% of all car buyers were entering into credit purchase agreements, but most banks were unwilling to lend money for automobiles - they were difficult to seize if the borrower stopped making payments.
Henry Ford personally called William T. Kemper asking him to make loans on his automobiles. Crosby Kemper, Sr. then bought Interstate Securities, which later became a nationwide finance company and continued to make loans on Mr. Ford's cars and others. With Kemper's foresight about the influence of the automobile industry, City Bank became an early leader in car loans.
City Bank adds trust business to its growing portfolio
Benefiting from steady growth, City Bank became authorized in 1927 by the state of Missouri to conduct a trust business.
On July 18, 1927, City Bank & Trust Company opened the doors of its new $1 million, seven-story building at 18th and Grand in Kansas City. In true form, the bank welcomed customers to its new space in first-class fashion. Opening to a profusion of flowers and an orchestra playing in the lobby, each guest was given a red carnation. Roughly 1,500 people visited the impressive building before the bank closed its doors that evening at 10 p.m. The bank's creation of the new trust department, bond department and correspondent banking services would be instrumental in the bank's tremendous growth.
UMB Art Collection: American Southwest and American Realism
Frederic Remington's bronze sculptures capture the intrigue of the "Wild West" and early twentieth century American Southwest pioneer artists Victor Higgins and Henrietta Wyeth entice settlers west, inspired by the regions inhabitants and "unsullied landscapes."
Victor Higgins 1884-1949
A key member of the Taos, New Mexico Society of Artists, Higgins seemed much more influenced by modernist, abstract art than the other members, although much of his work seemed realistic. From 1920, he was combining Impressionism with Cubism. In his painting, he depicted the seemingly unchanging culture of the Pueblo Indians and their inherent dignity as they went about their daily life. He was known as a formal, business-minded man who painted in a three-piece suit.
Cyrus Dallin 1861-1944
Cyrus Dallin was born in a log cabin in Springville, Utah, the son of Mormon pioneers. He grew up near Paiute and Ute Indians, which set the course of his career. He became a sculptor of Indian figures and portraits, creating work that showed Indians as having noble bearing, simplicity and dignity, which was a departure from earlier depictions "as a pitiful but appealing remnant of a once-proud and noble race." He was a careful student of anatomy and costume, and his highly realistic figures made them seem natural, interesting and worth knowing as human beings. He studied in Paris in 1880 at the Academie Julian and was further inspired to depict western subjects when he saw Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Paris. He sculpted Signal of Peace, the figure of an Indian, which won honorable mention as his entry in the Paris Salon. Much encouraged by this success, he did a series of sculptures on related subjects.
Frederic Sackrider Remington 1861- 1909
Remington was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians and the U.S. Calvary. He made many trips to the West and Plains States and worked as a cowboy, ranch hand, lumberjack and gold miner. He sent illustrations back to "Outing Magazine" and "Harper's Weekly,‚Äú and publishers used everything he sent them, because his experiences were so fascinating to easterners. He also illustrated articles by Theodore Roosevelt. During the Spanish American War, he was an artist-correspondent.
Introducing the "Automobile Deposit Window"
Innovation has always been central to the company's pursuit of delivering the unparalleled customer experience. In 1931, in a pioneering move that would foreshadow innovations to come, the bank offered a new modern banking service: City Bank & Trust's "Automobile Deposit Window."
Thought to be one of the first in the nation, customers drove up to the window in the back of the bank building, rang a bell that summoned a bank teller and the customer's transaction was handled through the -- outdoor cashier's window.
The bank adopts a Kansas City icon "The Scout" as its trademark
"An Indian scout was alert and, through experience and skill, was ahead of the rest of his people in knowledge of the country. The Scout is a symbol of the kind bank I want to run." - R. Crosby Kemper, Sr.
That statement became the principle by which City Bank & Trust adopted the locally famous "scout" symbol as its trademark in 1933. It was inspired by "The Scout" sculpture in Penn Valley Park, a Kansas City icon created by sculptor Cyrus Dallin. The Scout was a larger-than-life American Indian sitting bareback on a horse peering toward the horizon.
Over the years, The Scout has represented City Bank & Trust, City National Bank & Trust, and later, UMB Bank and UMB Financial Corporation.
Bank remains stable through Great Depression bank crisis
The bank has historically positioned itself to stand solid against even the most aggressive outside challenges and pressures. The Great Depression era was one such period of company history when the bank emerged strong despite economic crisis in the country.
On Sunday March 4, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced a national bank holiday and closed all banks for five days to handle a national bank crisis and economic disaster.
One week later, Crosby Kemper, Sr. called a special board of directors meeting for City Bank. After much discussion, the directors agreed the bank would join The Federal Reserve Bank System at a cost of $42,000.00.
On March 12, 1933, at the conclusion of the government-declared holiday, City Bank of Kansas City received a telegram from the government saying the bank was licensed to reopen the next day.
When the bank reopened for business, Crosby Kemper, Sr. stood in the City Bank lobby greeting customers who came in with a week's worth of deposits that they had been unable to deposit during the national bank closure.
This kind of personal touch -- typical of the customer service-oriented nature of the organization -- not only enhanced the customer experience, it also reassured customers of the strength of the institution they'd chosen for their banking needs.
UMB Art Collection: American Regionalist Painters
John Steuart Curry 1897-1946
John Curry became the youngest member of the famed "Benton-Wood-Curry trio" of Regional Painters of the early 20th-century American Scene movement. He gained national reputation for his Kansas rural scenes of people terrorized by natural phenomena such as tornadoes, drab farmhouse living conditions, religious gatherings, such as prayer meetings and baptisms, and spirited animals who got out of control. He was especially focused on people who were down-to-earth, plain spoken and who were self-reliantly making a living through hard physical labor challenged by harsh weather. In many of his paintings, he showed his disdain for racial discrimination and hatred, something he believed was psychologically poisonous. He did many murals dealing with land settlement and these themes of racial justice. Reflecting these themes is the mural in the Capitol Building in Kansas, Department of the Interior, and Department of Justice in Washington D.C.
Emerging from the Great Depression with self-reliance and stability
In October 1933, Crosby Kemper, Sr. wrote the Missouri Banking Commissioner: "If we were to liquidate this bank today, we could pay our depositors one hundred cents on the dollar and collect our entire Surplus and Capital Account of $700,000 and a large part of the Undivided Profits Account."
Other banks were not so fortunate. No part of the United States escaped the ravages of the Great Depression. Roosevelt and Congress enacted The New Deal in 1934‚ a series of economic programs in response to the Great Depression focused on the "3 Rs": Relief for the unemployed and poor (the Social Security Act); Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and Reform of the financial system. The third "R" was called The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), created to restore confidence in the banking system.
RFC's powers were significant, providing banks liquidity if they sold preferred stock to the government through the program. In a special meeting on March 20, 1934, the City Bank & Trust Company board of directors voted to give bank stockholders the opportunity to purchase bank stock rather than selling preferred stock to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). This was an early example of the strong and independent nature of the bank, and this would precede many more instances where sticking to tried and true principles ensured the bank did not have to rely on government assistance to survive.
Bank receives national charter
By the end of 1934, City Bank & Trust Company was fundamentally a different entity. The state-charted bank had joined the Federal Reserve System and also became a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The bank's national charter was approved that year by the United States Comptroller of the Currency.
On August 13, 1935, City Bank & Trust of Kansas City added National to its name.
Celebrating agricultural roots with American Royal sponsorship
UMB is proud to be one of the top corporate supporters of the American Royal. Each year, hundreds of UMB associates get involved with the organization's volunteer and sponsorship programs. Corporate leaders have been involved with this agricultural and educational organization since its founding and continue to be active supporters and volunteers. As the official presenting sponsor of the American Royal Barbecue, there is substantial UMB involvement in American Royal activities and events. The company also hosts an associate barbecue fundraiser for which proceeds benefit the American Royal's education programs. The winner of the UMB associate barbecue earns a competition entry into the American Royal Barbecue competition, the World Series of Barbecue.
Women take on new roles at the bank during war times
During World War II, more than 16.3 million people served in the United States armed forces, 10 million of whom were drafted. At home, jobs normally filled by men opened to women. Women moved into traditionally male dominated occupations, including banking.
In 1942, for the first time in its history City National Bank placed a woman in the bookkeeping department. Up until then all of the bookkeepers, tellers and most of the associates working in the transit department were men.
Today, women serve in various management and leadership roles inside every business line and department within UMB.
Dozens of bank associates serve in World War II and write to the bank
In 1944, six City National officers and 56 other bank associates were serving in the armed forces. Inside the bank, associates' support for those serving in the war was overflowing. The bank posted addresses of the "boys in the service" and began a correspondence campaign sending letters and "Bank News Letters" to the men serving in the armed forces. In return, the bank received hundreds of letters dating 1942-1945 from these "boys in the service", and they have been kept for more than 70 years.
Relocation to the heart of Kansas City's financial district
After more than 20 years of steady financial growth, City National Bank & Trust was ready to move to the heart of Kansas City's downtown financial district. In 1945, the ideal location became the historic R.A. Long building at 10th & Grand. Built in 1906, it was Kansas City's first skyscraper.
Innovative Motor Bank opens
City National unveiled its dazzling new $2 million dollar facility in November 1947. Marble, glass and aluminum in art deco style beautifully transformed the 1906 building, but it was Crosby Kemper, Sr.'s novel idea of a Motor Bank inside the indoor parking garage that gained City National Bank & Trust national recognition as "America's Most Up to Date Bank."
R. Crosby Kemper, Jr., begins banking career with entry-level position
As business grew steadily, the bank was continually hiring new associates. One such new staffer was Rufus Crosby Kemper, Jr. Fresh out of the Navy, he began his banking career in 1950 in City National's Transit department. For months, the young Kemper met trains and sorted checks from 7:00 at night until 3:00 in the morning. At 6-foot, 7-inches tall, this dark-haired man in his mid-twenties attracted attention in any role he held.
After months of meeting trains and sorting checks by hand, the outgoing and hard-working R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. moved out of the operations side of the bank to become an assistant cashier.
Having worked in nearly every one of the bank's departments, he acquired a hands-on practical understanding of the polices and personnel of City National Bank, and by 1955, young Crosby was promoted to executive vice president and then elected to the bank's board of directors in 1956.
In January 1959, Crosby Kemper, Sr. relinquished the post of president of City National Bank and retained the office of chairman of the board. At age 31, Crosby Kemper, Jr. was elected president of City National Bank & Trust Company.
What time is it?
In October 1951, a "Time of Day" machine manufactured especially for City National Bank and Trust Company was installed in the bank's lobby.
Anyone in Kansas City dialing "JE 1-7200" would hear about a featured banking product accompanied by "City National Bank Time and City National Bank Temperature."
Customers in the lobby were invited to use the direct phone on the machine and watch the digital counter count the number of calls received, an average of 36,500 incoming calls monthly. By 1977, a monthly average of 5 million callers in Kansas City dialed the United Missouri Bank number, "844-1212", and the same recognizable voice now responded.
For more than 50 years, anyone in Kansas City needing the correct time or temperature dialed 842 plus any four numbers and heard that memorable voice say‚ "UMB Bank time and UMB Bank temperature."
Patio bank concept offers yet another convenience in banking
In 1959, City National Bank introduced yet another new dimension in banking. The new "Patio Bank" was a unique off-street, walk-in bank designed to give pedestrian customers the same convenience the Motor Bank provided for its drive-in customers.
This innovative "conception of a new type of approach to a functional banking problem" earned City National a special recognition from The Kansas City Chapter of American Institute of Architects. The site for this novel facility was between the bank's two drive-in entrances. "Door-less" and warmed by radiant heat, the 700-square foot area was complete with a commissioned mural by Omaha artist, Bill Hammon.
The space had a small glassed-in office for a bank officer who was authorized to open accounts and take applications for installment loans and "Borrow by Check" accounts.
Bank becomes first in Kansas City to install electronic data processing
The year 1961 saw the installation of City National Bank's largest and most up-to-date electronic data processing of any bank in the 10th Federal Reserve District. Reading up to 800 cards per minute, City National Bank regarded the conversion of electronic data processing to conventional accounts as a long-range program that included all departments of the bank. According to the bank's 1962 annual report, City National was the first commercial bank in Kansas City to install data processing, and this was the other reason why City National is known as "the bank of progress."
Celebrating 50 years of progress
In 1963, City National Bank & Trust celebrated a half century of outstanding progress, from a modest start in 1913 as City Center Bank, to weathering the financial crisis of 1933-1934 without borrowing from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, to moving into a new, remarkable building in Kansas City's financial district.
City National's growth continued, and by 1963, after 50 years of business, the bank had the largest international department in the area, a correspondent bank division that included more than 1,000 banks, one of the first pension and profit sharing plans in its trust department, and the largest, and one of the only, modern electronic data processing centers in Kansas City. City National Bank pioneered "Motor Banking" and won awards for other banking innovations, such as the Patio Bank and the unique "Garden Bank" at 14th & Grand.
The 1962 City National Bank Annual Report stated: "Not the oldest, not the youngest, but the most progress!"
The bank had come a long way from its small storefront bank 50 years ago at 18th & Grand.
Brand evolves to appeal to markets throughout Missouri
Just 250 miles separated Kansas City and St. Louis, but history and culture gave these two towns very different perspectives. For four decades, City National Bank & Trust had used The Scout as its corporate inspiration and symbol. But due to its strong ties to Kansas City and the frontier, The Scout wasn't really relevant to a holding company looking to expand into other markets within Missouri. In 1969, The Scout was replaced by something more appropriate for the "Show-Me" state: a simple modification of the Missouri symbol, two bears supporting the insignia, MB.
UMB Art Collection: American Pop Art and Minimalist Artists
Pop artists, such as Roy Lictenstein, turned tradition upside down by painting everyday images of American popular culture. Influential Minimalists, Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly, rocked artistic convention with statements of "individual expression" in the 1960s and 1970s.
Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997
Roy Lichtenstein did cartoon inspired paintings that helped launch the Pop Art movement. He was unique in that he developed a new visual language in an avant-garde style that was confusing to viewers and yet popular. In the 1950s, he used various techniques of Abstract Expressionism, did figurative work, and like many of his generation, began employing the Pop Art movement.
Joseph Albers 1888-1976
Joseph Albers was an accomplished designer, photographer, sculptor and printmaker. He favored a very disciplined approach to composition. He was also a teacher associated with the Black Mountain College in North Carolina and the Yale School of Fine Art in New Haven, Connecticut. From 1950 to 1958, Albers served as chairman of the Department of Design at Yale University. For shapes he chose squares mathematically related to each other in size and superimposed upon one another. He explored chromatic flat colored squares arranged concentrically on the canvas, causing optical illusions, executed with deliberate, careful technique of using a minimum of tools and paint. He was committed to order and the utmost of economy in his work. He heavily influenced many American artists of the late 1950s and the 1960s who later became well-known modernists. Abstract painters drew on his use of patterns and intense colors, while Op artists explored his interest in perception.
Ellsworth Kelly 1923-2015
Ellsworth Kelly is universally recognized as one of the most important American artists of the last fifty years. He has redefined abstract art through his bold paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings. An American painter and printmaker, he is significant in the art movements of minimalist painting. He began to make paintings in separate panels that can be recombined to produce alternate compositions, as well as multi-panel paintings in which each canvas is painted a single color. He used his canvases to explore the concept of spectral color and express his fascination with the significance of color.
Bank renamed to United Missouri Bancshares, Inc.
1971 saw a year of change, continued growth and accelerated expansion. Entering the year as a registered multi-bank holding company with five banks, known as Missouri Bancshares, Inc., by year end three more banks were added and the holding company had changed its name to United Missouri Bancshares, Inc.
With a new name came a new brand. Symbolizing the integration of independent banks in Missouri to become known as United Missouri Banks (of their respective communities), a nested union of the letter became the new mark for the bank.
State-wide expansion continues for United Missouri Bancshares
As the 1972 United Missouri Bancshares, Inc. annual report went to press, there were 11 United Missouri Banks throughout Missouri, and City National Bank & Trust was now part of United Missouri Bancshares, Inc.
1972 also marked the year United Missouri Bancshares, Inc., received approval to enter its biggest market to date: downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Throughout the next few years, the new holding company acquired regional banks and became a billion-dollar corporation with offices throughout Missouri and Illinois.
A tiger becomes the unlikely new face of United Missouri Bank
While United Missouri Bancshares had developed a strong corporate identity, each affiliate bank had a common name and a corporate symbol that was gaining recognition. The holding company was providing strong support services for the affiliate banks in electronic data processing and through the Kansas City trust and bond departments.
Personal service focused on customer relationships, high-quality loans and aggressive marketing were the building blocks for highly successful, strong and profitable affiliate banks.
Inaugurating new bank advertising with the opening of the downtown St. Louis bank in 1974, a 450-pound tiger cub named "Umbert" became a brand symbol for the bank and emphasized that United Missouri Bank was a new breed of cat. Used along with the three nested-letter U insignia, the United Missouri Bank tiger was adopted as the corporate symbol, because his strength and aggressiveness are characteristics of United Missouri Bank.
Umbert was featured in advertisements, showed up at bank openings and attended bank board meetings for publicity shots. But the new corporate symbol was not always accepted within all markets.
The tiger, of course, was also the symbol for the University of Missouri. The university did not mind, but loyal alumni of other state universities and colleges were also good customers of United Missouri Bank and not so favorably inclined to the bank's Mizzou tiger.
By 1981, the bank said goodbye to Umbert and reemphasized its use of the nested-U as the corporate seal.
Monkeys and tigers and dogs, oh my!
Customers from all walks of life, humans and animals alike, would have to agree that Count on more has always defined UMB's culture.
Every contact we have with a customer is significant, but amid the daily routine of depositors cantering up on horseback to the drive-in window, taking deposits delivered by a 150-pound St. Bernard or a chimpanzee with a handful of stocks and bonds, some are more memorable than others! (Yes, these things really happened!)
Virgil Hudson, a member of the Shrine Mounted Patrol, galloped through our Garden Bank drive-up window to make a deposit during the Annual American Royal Parade in 1962.
In 1971, a chimpanzee named Coco and her owner entrenched themselves at senior vice president Roy Thompson's desk in the 928 building lobby to determine the value of stocks and bonds they had found in an old trunk.
Making deposits twice a day, Bourbon, the St. Bernard, carried a zippered bag containing cash receipts from her owner's service station business to our Stadium branch in 1975.
In the true spirit of Count on more, even Umbert, the bank's 450-pound trademark tiger, greeted customers and took deposits in 1977!
Ultra ATM unveiled as a convenient, 24-hour banking solution
In May 1977, United Missouri Bancshares took a major stride in delivering the unparalleled customer experience with the introduction of Ultra, the bank's automated teller system. With 24-hour banking availability at four locations, the number of transactions more than doubled during Ultra's introduction. ATM machines could check balances and accept deposits as well as withdrawals.
"The past year will also be remembered for the introduction of our completely new automatic teller service, Ultra. We are quite proud of our leadership in introducing the automatic teller service and Ultra's success since installation in May. We feel that automatic tellers are a beacon on the horizon for personal banking methods." - United Missouri Bancshares, Inc., 1977 Annual Report
1010 Grand opens doors as new corporate headquarters
A parking lot was not what the bank had in mind in 1971 when it acquired prime Kansas City downtown real estate, and commissioned an internationally-known architect, I.M. Pei, to design a new bank headquarters on the site of the old Emery, Bird, Thayer building, bustling center of downtown commerce for more than 100 years.
"Only a preliminary look at the model is needed to suggest that Pei and his associates have come up with a unique concept to provide an urban showcase in one of the most strategic commercial sites in Mid-America...an oasis in Downtown, a garden in the center." - Kansas City Times - March 9, 1973
In 1973, a new plan was designed by Kansas City architects Singleton-Abend that reflected I.M. Pei's design concepts, but were more practical and less grandiose so as not to compete with surrounding buildings, while still maintaining an open space with a courtyard.
In May 1984, jackhammers made quick work of the asphalt parking lot providing an informal, but effective ground breaking for the construction of a new six story United Missouri Bank and United Missouri Bancshares, Inc. headquarters in downtown Kansas City. The doors to 1010 Grand Boulevard opened in 1986. This is home for the company's headquarters still today.
UMB Art Collection: Contemporary Art
Great works of art are by no means limited to paint on canvas. UMB's significant Contemporary Art collection includes works in various media by Dale Chihuly, Alex Katz, Nancy Graves, Red Grooms, as well as Keith Jacobshagen, emerging artists Logan Hagene and Don Stinson, complimented by photography from Michel Eastman and Ken Elliot.
United Missouri Bank becomes UMB
A new corporate brand emerged in 1990. The familiar "nested-U" that symbolized the integration of independent banks only in Missouri became simply, and more inclusively, UMB.
UMB touted as "America's Strongest Bank"
"An Indian scout was alert and, through experience and skill, was ahead of the rest of his people in knowledge of the country. The Scout is a symbol of the kind of bank I want to run." - R. Crosby Kemper, Sr.
In 1993, UMB Bank was recognized by Weiss Research, Inc. as "America's Strongest Bank."
To characterize its national status as "America's Strongest Bank," a new, but familiar, corporate symbol was chosen. Sixty years after the iconic Scout statue was chosen to epitomize UMB Bank's predecessor, City National Bank, the strength, skill and experience of The Scout once again symbolized UMB as "America's Strongest Bank."
On April 21, 1994, United Missouri Bancshares, Inc. became UMB Financial Corporation. This name was much better suited for a multi-bank holding company that now offered an expanded product line throughout four states, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado and Kansas.
Serving urban, rural, large or small communities, all affiliate banks in the UMB Financial Corporation system were now recognized by the UMB initials and "America's Strongest Bank.
Mr. and Mrs. Kemper, respected world-wide for their art collections
UMB Financial Corporation exhibits one of the most highly regarded collections of American art in the Midwest. As diversified as American art, the collection encompasses nearly three centuries of American artistic evolution. More than 1,000 paintings and sculptures are on display at UMB banking offices throughout Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Arizona. The collection has been a personal mission of art patrons R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. and Bebe Kemper. Mr. and Mrs. Kemper are respected world-wide for their personal, corporate and museum collections. J. Mariner Kemper, chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corporation, has continued this amazing legacy of American Art, making several remarkable acquisitions that strengthen the collection not only in a significant visual way but also in a comprehensive way. Their dedication and keen insight have created a highly regarded collection, rich in spectrum, always on view.
When it comes to American art two things make UMB's collection notable. The first is its impressive quality. The long-standing philosophy for acquiring works of art is resolute: acquire quality over quantity. Established for the benefit and enjoyment of UMB customers, employees and guests, the works create an environment that is enjoyable and thought-provoking, while sharing classic American art in our communities. Equally remarkable is the collection's range of completeness. While other major collections also have noteworthy highlights, often there are enormous gaps. UMB's collection allows a "walk" through American history. Art is a significant gauge for culture. It gives us an invaluable insight into the appearance, behavior, values and aspirations of human beings in society at any given time. UMB's collection is dedicated to the art and artists of the United States, asserting uniquely American values of their times, illuminating our American story.
Please enjoy the sample of remarkable artists and major art movements of the UMB Financial Corporation American Fine Art Collection throughout the decades within this online tour of our stories.
UMB's first online banking product
UMB, in conjunction with Visa Interactive, introduced UMB PC Direct in 1995, making UMB one of the first banks in the Midwest to offer an online banking product. With this service, UMB customers were able to pay bills, reconcile accounts and transfer funds between accounts, all from the convenience of their computer.
UMB opens state-of-the-art technology and operations center
No stranger to banking industry innovation, in 1998 UMB announced plans to build a Technology and Operations Center in downtown Kansas City dedicated to technology of the new millennium.
With more than 250 miles of fiber optic and electronic cabling, the 210,000-square foot self-sufficient, cutting-edge building of glass railings and open steel trusses opened in 1999. In its first year of operation, UMB processed more than $3.3 trillion in electronic payments and transfers, making it one of America‚Äôs top 20 banks in operational volume and cash management services. Accolades continued, and in 2000 UMB was named one of America's top 10 banks for e-business innovation by PC Week magazine, and received a 2000 Web Business 50/50 Award by CIO magazine.
New leadership energizes culture and launches an aggressive plan for growth
In 2004, UMB Financial Corporation welcomed Mariner Kemper as chairman and CEO. He was 31, roughly the same age both his father and grandfather had been when they took the helm.
A bold promise to customer Count on More
In 2004, as part of an aggressive and comprehensive corporate marketing effort, a new brand emerged, complete with a promise to customers that they can count on more from UMB. This brought continuity to the brand across all locations and businesses and offered a unified look for every part of the company.
This was an evolution of the UMB brand. The company kept the traditional UMB logo, but added Count on more as a tagline. Count on more fit with the distinguishing present-day characteristics of UMB, but it would have fit just as perfectly in the founding years under William T. Kemper's leadership, or any year since.
Associates rally around UMB vision
When Mariner Kemper took the reins, he committed to an aggressive outreach effort to engage associates. They wanted to meet face-to-face with associates, so they embarked on a two-week tour of the UMB footprint to interact with as many of the company's 3,200 associates as they could.
One of the rallying cries that became a notorious phrase inside UMB was a shared vision to deliver the unparalleled customer experience, or "TUCE" as it's referred to among associates. TUCE is not about creating a good customer experience, it's about delivering the best customer experience of any company ever, in each and every interaction. This vision statement, backed by a mission statement and set of core values, provided clarity about what UMB stands for and crystallized the principles that had guided the company for almost a century. TUCE became a permanent fixture inside the associate culture.
UMB recognized for diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion had always been an important of UMB's corporate culture. But beginning in 2006, the company began to invest significantly more time and resources to ensure that it continued to be amongst UMB's highest priorities. The goal is to reach every associate throughout the footprint with the message of why diversity and inclusion is so important to UMB.
UMB emphasizes diversity because it is the right thing to do. But, the company also believes that it helps them make better business decisions as well. How? A diverse workforce with varied backgrounds and experience can provide different approaches to the same challenge. This allows UMB associates to come up with unique solutions that meet the needs of the customer. If associates can understand and relate to the customers they serve, they can advocate and advise according to individual needs.
UMB's commitment to diversity starts with the company's senior leaders and permeates throughout the entire organization. For example, UMB has successfully broadened community diversity partnerships and recruiting activities while also implementing unique leadership development programs. These programs enhance the diversity/inclusion competencies and opportunities of current and aspiring leaders across UMB.
The overall goal is to ensure that all of our associates have a voice and the opportunity to share their ideas. This creates a highly successful business environment that continues to mirror our increasingly diverse customers, associates and shareholders.
Eco-friendly symbols of UMB's pledge to help create a better environment
As a responsible corporate citizen, UMB recognizes the undeniable importance of sustainable business practices. The company examines ways to reduce waste, promote recycling, decrease air pollution to improve air quality, conserve energy, and educate associates about the benefits of environmental sustainability. The company also is dedicated to building eco-friendly banking facilities.
UMB opened its first "green" banking center in Denver, Colo., in 2007. Landscaping and a green rooftop with native, drought-tolerant plants, low-voltage lighting, low-flow water fixtures made this eco-friendly a symbol of UMB Bank's pledge to a better environment.
UMB opened the first two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified banking centers in Arnold, Mo., and Olathe, Kan., in 2009. Between 2009-2012, four new UMB Bank banking centers locations were awarded LEED certifications: Collinsville, Ill., Prairie Village, Kan., Boonville, Mo., and Phoenix, Ariz.
UMB strives to provide environmentally friendly products and services that encourage our customers to live more environmentally conscious lives. UMB offers customers an array of convenient "green" banking services such as online banking, e-statements and mobile banking.
Sponsorships connect UMB with what makes communities thrive
In 2008, UMB signed on to be a founding sponsor of the state-of-the-art Sprint Center arena that anchored a new entertainment district in downtown Kansas City. As UMB had long been a figure of the downtown landscape, it was perfectly fitting that UMB made this bold and visible commitment to the revitalization of the city's heart. The UMB logo is prominent throughout the venue, including the stylish Count on more Lounge inside Sprint Center, which is a hospitality suite open to all UMB customers attending Sprint Center events.
Supporting communities where we do business and where our associates live has always been a part of our core values. UMB seeks to sponsor organizations whose values match our own, and whose mission and purpose align with the causes we believe enrich communities, agriculture, arts, economic development, education, environment, and health and wellness. In every market UMB does business, you'll find UMB associates and leaders serving on boards and committees in local non-profit organizations. You'll notice a loyal UMB presence at events intended to raise awareness and support for these organizations. From large-scale, long-term sponsorships like the American Royal, to prominent city landmarks like Busch Stadium in St. Louis, you can count on UMB to be a staunch supporter of what our communities hold near and dear.
Strength and stability prevail
In the midst of a national financial crisis, UMB confidently says "no thank you" to TARP:
The 2008 financial crisis was considered by many economists to be the worst since the Great Depression. The U.S. government had encouraged mortgage providers to make home ownership affordable for low income groups. Thanks to lower underwriting standards and disproportionate credit to borrower's ability to repay the debt, the housing market hit a critical stage. In October, 2008, the U.S. government signed into law the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Nationwide, 68 percent of banks and thrifts received or applied for TARP funds including many of Wall Street's biggest names: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, AIG, and Bank of America. UMB declined to participate, the company didn't need help, and believed holding steadfast to its principles of integrity, building relationships with customers, making loans within its territory, and maintaining strong underwriting practices always produces quality results. This was not unfamiliar territory, those of course are the same ideals that guided UMB through the Great Depression and every other challenging period in the company's history.
In 2009, UMB was ranked No. 2 on the Forbes "Best Banks in America" listing, beat out only by Bank of Hawaii. The bank also ranked No. 5 in a "stress test" by SNL Financial to determine the best capitalized banks nationally.
The accolades were pouring in. UMB was grabbing headlines on local and national scales. UMB executives became regular guests on major national business and financial networks, including Fox Business and CNBC. The national stage was an excellent and highly visible platform to tell the UMB story.
UMB receives Congressional acclaim for performance during the financial crisis:
On the heels of the Forbes recognition, UMB was entered into the Congressional Record in 2010 for excellent performance during the financial crisis.
"We are incredibly proud of the values, legacy, and leadership that led to this distinguished recognition by Congress. We have withstood the winds of change for nearly 100 years because we have built a house made from fundamental bricks of quality, diversity, and stability. Our roots speak to the strong values each of our associates represent - doing what is right, not just what is popular - is core to who we are." -- Mariner Kemper, chairman and chief executive officer of UMB Financial Corporation.
"It speaks to our ability to focus and adhere to our responsible, time-tested business principles. We have a strict approach to fiscal responsibility and maintain a profound understanding of the people and businesses we serve - and our customers, shareholders and associates would not want it any other way." -- Peter deSilva, president and chief operating officer of UMB Financial Corporation.
UMB strengthens reputation as a great place to work
UMB was getting a great deal of praise for its stability and performance during the financial crisis, and was continually recognized locally for giving back to the communities. But just as meaningful were the accolades and recognitions that focused inside UMB and what it was like to work there. The company had made a concerted effort to improve the associate experience, and in 2008 formed a special committee of associates to research, recommend and implement new perks and programs to enhance the work environment. Associate benefits that resulted from the work of this committee included volunteer time off, adoption assistance, military recognition events, health and wellness programs, business casual Fridays and a regular lunchtime concert series. Several markets have won special honors in recent years for their outstanding workplace environment, including UMB Fund Services in Milwaukee (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top 10 Workplace in Southeastern Wisconsin), UMB Bank St. Louis (St. Louis Business Journal Best Places to Work), UMB Bank Springfield (Springfield Business Journal Springfield Choice Employer), and UMB Financial Corporation (Kansas City Business Journal Best Places to Work-Top 10).
See how the bank's associate base and our deposits have grown over 100 years.
See Mariner Kemper's perspective on UMB's first one hundred years - and the promise for its next hundred.
Acquired Marquette Financial Companies
In June 2015, UMB acquired Marquette Financial Companies (MFC), a $1.4 billion financial services company, in an all-stock transaction. With this deal, UMB acquired 13 branches in Arizona and Texas, two national specialty lending businesses focused on asset-based lending and factoring, as well as an asset management firm.
Arizona and Texas were two of the fastest-growth regions in UMB Bank’s footprint in 2014, and this acquisition improved the company’s market share. This milestone also allowed the company to add to its customer base and accelerate growth plans, adding eight UMB branches in the Phoenix/Scottsdale market and five in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Record revenue and loan growth
For UMB, 2016 was a year of great progress with record revenue, improved net income and renewed commitment to operational efficiency and financial discipline. Changes across the diversified financial services business drove growth and improved returns. Specifically, at 2016 year-end, total assets exceeded $20 billion—a company record. In addition, total loans surpassed $10 billion in the second quarter of 2016 for the first time in the company's history.
Honored for our commitment to the arts
In 2018, UMB was honored to receive the esteemed Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) 10 award for the second time for its commitment to the arts.
The BCA, a division of the Americans for the Arts, honors 10 businesses annually for their extraordinary commitment to the arts by awarding the BCA 10 Awards. The companies recognized in 2018 serve as examples to others in the way they use art to enrich the workplace, education and the community.
“To be included in this elite group as an award recipient is extremely meaningful to me as this is more than a recognition for UMB,” said Mariner Kemper, president and CEO. “It’s also a credit to our associates and clients who consistently express and share their dedication to, and involvement in, the arts. UMB believes the arts to be a medium that permeates all areas of life and positively affects those it touches. Our commitment to the arts is a distinct part of our culture that truly contributes to the quality of our work life and environment.”
UMB contributes to and supports the arts in several ways, including how the headquarters office is decorated. The UMB Corporate Art Collection is one of the most respected collections of American art in the Midwest. Originally started, by R. Crosby Kemper, Jr., he hoped to give customers the experience of an art museum while visiting the office.
Launch of inaugural Corporate Citizenship and ESG report
Letter from Mariner Kemper:
Our legacy is built on shared values of integrity, honesty and passion, and we believe in doing what’s right for all our stakeholders. We don’t wait for others to show the way; we follow our values in all decisions. Our strategic business model gives us the strength and flexibility to be here when our customers and communities need us most.
We've never been a company that stands on the sidelines, which is why we launched our inaugural Corporate Citizenship and ESG Report in 2019. This report details how UMB is committed to being a good corporate citizen through prudent business practices, efficient and sustainable resource use, transparent governance, inclusion and diversity, and more.
Delivering on our promises
We care about our customers, our associates and our communities. Because we care, we do our best every day to deliver on our promises and meet your ever-evolving needs with thoughtful consideration and open minds. We closely analyze how we do business through the lens of ESG metrics, and we promise to continue to improve and recognize how we can do better.
We persistently adapt to find the right balance of implementing sustainable business practices, meeting obligations and using our resources to do good. In a complex world, finding that balance is not always easy, but for more than 100 years we’ve run our business on the founding principle of doing what’s right.
We care, and we work hard to do what’s right for you, for us, for all.
Facing the pandemic head-on
In 2020, UMB acted quickly and decisively in support of its associates, customers and communities facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams worked round-the-clock to help process applications for relief through CARES Act legislation, financial hardships, and business support with the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). In 2020, the company booked approximately 5,300 accounts for more than $1.5 billion in funded loans for PPP.
In addition to the work on the CARES Act and PPP, UMB helped its associates and customers in a variety of ways, including:
• Bringing in lunch from local restaurants every day to branch associates who could not work from home.
• Donating N95 masks to at-risk organizations throughout the company’s footprint.
• Offering payment flexibility on mortgages, home equity or personal loans, credit cards, and small business loans.
• Deferring all payments for practice and small business customers and deferring all foreclosures for 90 days.
• Increased mobile deposit limits to assist customers moving to digital-first banking during lockdowns.
• Access to additional credit lines extended on a case-by-case basis.
• Counsel on the SBA Disaster Assistance Program and other state and local programs.
Founding member of the KC Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund with a $100,000 contribution.
Made a $200,000 investment in equity2, the first impact investment in E2 Notes.
More than $150,000 in community response and relief across the footprint, including:
• Small Business Resource Program in St. Louis.
• COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Program in Denver.
• Revive Dallas Small Business Relief Fund.
• CHES Inc’s Home Retention Program in KC.
“I’m proud of the way we have stepped up for each other and our clients. It has brought everyone together during a difficult time. Again, it has once again reinforced what we’ve always known: Relationships matter.” Mariner Kemper
Donated $6.5 million for the year
Even as the world began to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, UMB doubled down on how it supported and cared for its communities and people. Recognizing that times continued to be challenging for many, the company donated $6.5 million for the year, including a targeted disbursement to five deserving organizations across its footprint.
CHES, Inc.‡ Received $400,000: CHES, Inc. is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling and financial empowerment organization dedicated to helping clients maintain the knowledge and skills needed for long-term credit, financial and homeownership success.
The Porterhouse KC‡ Received $350,000: The Porter House KC is an inner-city-based, co-working community that provides entrepreneurship access and resources to underserved populations in the Kansas City Metro area. The Porter House KC resolves to assist in the representation of entrepreneurs of color by providing an affordable business space that can be used to grow an idea into a full-fledged business.
KC Scholars‡ Received $500,000: KC Scholars is a college scholarship, college planning and persistence support, and college success program designed to increase the college completion rate for low- and modest-income students and adult learners across the six-county, bi-state service region.
NEWSED‡ Received $375,000: NEWSED is a Community Development Corporation (CDC) that has served the Denver community since 1973. NEWSED’s primary focus has been solving long-term economic problems in disadvantaged communities by securing and coordinating resources for neighborhood revitalization, developing needed shopping areas and services, and more.
Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute‡ Received $375,000: The Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that creates the space for communities and people of all backgrounds to realize their unique potential through the power of entrepreneurship.
Re-entered normal with hybrid return to office
When the world began returning to normalcy in 2022, UMB reevaluated its approach to office and workplace flexibility. Up until 2019, the company had been operating as in-person roles for all roles. To balance associate preferences, clients needs and operational needs post-pandemic, UMB implemented a hybrid work schedule across its footprint with both in-office and work-from-home days each week for a majority of roles.
“Our success is directly tied to our associates and their work experience, and we will maintain our focus on ensuring a best-in-class culture and work environment. We’re monitoring this very closely, as perfecting this formula will continue to differentiate us in the future—as both an employer and a business partner.” – Jim Rine, CEO of UMB Bank
A Commitment to More
We’re excited about the future and welcome the stories ahead. Our legacy of stability, proven record of expertly navigating changing market conditions, and unwavering commitment to exceptional customer experience, has positioned us for even more success.
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