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Our History

The story of UMB Financial Corporation in Kansas City, Mo., is a success story in the best tradition of American free enterprise. From a storefront bank in Kansas City, Mo., with first-day deposits of $1,100 in 1913, it has grown to become a diversified financial services holding company with multi-billion dollar assets.

Visit for a dynamic tour of the events that helped shape UMB. 

Much of UMB’s success can be attributed to the leadership of multiple generations of the Kemper family. Click on the picture below to view an interactive timeline‡ of the Kempers’ legacy, or read below about the stages of growth UMB has gone through to become the success it is today.

View Full Timeline

The Early Years (1919 – 1968)

The Expansion Age (1969 – 1996)

A New Generation in Banking (1997 – 2003)

One UMB (2004 – Present)

The Early Years (1919 – 1968)

City Center Bank – W.T. Kemper and Associates
The original bank was chartered first as City Center Bank and was purchased during World War I by W.T. Kemper and Associates. The bank’s strides forward are a testament to a young soldier and son, Rufus Crosby Kemper, who returned from the war and borrowed money to buy into City Center Bank with his father, W.T. Kemper.

R. Crosby Kemper, President – 1919
R. Crosby Kemper Sr. became president in 1919, and during this year, the bank began its steady pattern of growth under the leadership and direction of this new president.

He was aggressive in developing contacts for the bank. He would go into the community to solicit business at the close of regular business hours each day. This was an unheard-of practice prior to that time, as many banks simply opened their doors, sat back and waited for the customers to come to them.

A growing bank – 1926
In 1926, Kemper and his board of directors voted to build a new six-story headquarters for the bank. With expanded physical space, the bank established a trust department, a bond department and correspondent banking services.

In 1928, the bank added a “drive-up” window, thought to be the first in the country.

City National Bank & Trust Company – 1934
By national charter, the bank became City National Bank and Trust Company in 1934. Ten years later, the bank expanded once again and moved to the R.A. Long Building in the heart of Kansas City’s downtown financial center. Today, the bank still owns the building at 928 Grand Boulevard and houses some administrative offices there.

Expansion of services – 1945-1960
In 1945, the bank added an international department to address customer needs in the field of international commerce and travel. R. Crosby Kemper Jr., the third generation of Kemper bankers, joined City National in 1950. He became president in 1959 and led then United Missouri as it became the first regional bank to install its own computer processing center in 1960.


The Expansion Age (1969 – 1996)

Holding company changes name – 1969
As banking laws changed, Missouri Bancshares, Inc. was formed in 1969 as a one-bank holding company. The Company’s name was changed to United Missouri Bancshares, Inc. in mid-1971 when it became a multi-bank holding company.

In the next decade, the new holding company acquired regional banks and became a billion-dollar corporation with offices strategically located throughout Missouri and Illinois.

Expanding our product offering – 1982
UMB launched the first offerings from its no-load mutual fund family with the inception of the UMB Scout Stock Fund, the UMB Scout Bond Fund, the UMB Scout Money Market Fund, and the UMB Scout Tax-free Money Market Fund***.

New headquarters – 1986
All the banks in the system continue to project the image of innovative and responsible service that the senior Kemper started so many years ago. In 1986, a new headquarters for the holding company and UMB Bank, n.a., the lead bank, was built at 1010 Grand Boulevard in Kansas City.

Expansion into other states – 1987-1994
As federal banking regulations changed in the 1980s, the Company ventured into interstate banking and acquired FCB Corp. and its three banks in southern Illinois in 1987. The banks in St. Louis and southern Illinois were merged in 1994 to form UMB Bank of St. Louis, the first interstate bank in the Midwest able to offer banking center locations on both sides of a state line, improving customer service.

Legislation allowed expansion into the Colorado market in 1992, and the Company purchased Valley Bank and National Bank of the West in Colorado Springs. Columbine National Bank in Denver became a part of the UMB system in early 1992. In the fall of 1994, these banks were merged into what was the largest state-chartered bank, UMB Bank Colorado.

Kansas interstate banking laws were passed in July of 1992, allowing UMB to become the first Missouri bank to announce merger agreements in that state. In early 1993, the Company acquired several Kansas banks along the I-70 corridor and merged them into two banks. UMB Bank, n.a. and UMB National Bank of America continue to have a strong growth-oriented presence in Kansas.

In 1994, the name was changed to UMB Financial Corporation. This name was much better suited for this multi-bank holding company that was now offering an expanded product line throughout the four states of Missouri, Illinois, Colorado and Kansas.

Growth in all directions – 1995-1996
UMB expanded into Oklahoma after acquiring The Oklahoma Bank and its holding company, First Sooner Bancshares, in 1995. It also increased ATM coverage by installing 120 ATMs in various QuikTrip® and Texaco® StarMart convenience stores, bringing the total to more than 300. New grocery store banking centers opened in Denver, CO, Lawrence, KS, Warrensburg, MO, Kansas City, MO, St. Louis, MO, Springfield, IL., and Colorado Springs, CO. Planning for the future, UMB established a Year 2000 Project Team to look into the possible computer issues that could arise with the turn of the century.

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 are able to pay bills, reconcile accounts, and transfer funds between accounts all from the convenience of their computer. Plans for an operations and technology hub in downtown Kansas City were unveiled.

A New Generation in Banking (1997 – 2003)

Traditional success in untraditional areas – 1997-1998
The Kellogg Group gave UMB its highest quotient on its list of the top 100 banks (7.7 ATMs per $100 million in assets). American Banker also reported that UMB was ranked No. 1 in terms of ATM coverage and convenience. UMB opened the bank’s first full-service banking center in Omaha, Neb. Ground was broken for the new UMB Bank Technology Center in downtown Kansas City. For commercial and correspondent customers, UMB launched UNITEPlus®, a customizable, Web-based account reporting product. This service allows customers to view transaction details, loan status, lockbox reports or to originate ACH payments.

UMB became the first bank in the United States to create Web EDI, an Electronic Data Interchange service for commercial customers, making business communication and document exchange easier. UMB's online expansion continued as its subsidiary, UMB Financial Services, Inc.*, member FINRA, SIPC**, introduced an online service offering trading, account information, and individual stock and mutual fund information. The UMB Service Center was opened in 1998 for retail customers who need live assistance. It operates seven days a week. Taking a large step toward the approaching millennium, UMB renovated and successfully tested 99 percent of its mission-critical, internally controlled computer systems. During the fall, UMB became the first bank in the country to engage in a successful public test of its most common deposit transaction systems for Year 2000 readiness.

A new generation of banking emerges – 1999-2000
Continuing with its successful expansion, UMB opened the 210,000-square-foot UMB Bank Technology Center in October 1999. This building houses operations and Management Information Services personnel, which improves workflow, productivity and service. UMB processed more than $3.3 trillion in electronic payments and transfers during that first year, making it one of America’s top 20 banks in terms of operational volume and cash management services. Accolades continued in 2000 as UMB was named one of America’s top 10 banks for e-business innovation by PC Week Magazine. It was also honored with a 2000 Web Business 50/50 Award sponsored by CIO Magazine.

2000 brought the rise of a third generation of bankers at UMB. R. Crosby Kemper III took over as president of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a., as his younger brother and former president, Sandy Kemper, left to focus on eScout, an online business-to-business network of independent businesses. As R. Crosby Kemper Jr. celebrated his 50th year in banking, he stepped up to become senior chairman of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a. The board then appointed R. Crosby Kemper III to chairman and CEO of both companies. In that same year, the younger Kemper was also inducted as chairman of the Missouri Bankers Association.

Unprecedented accomplishments – 2001 
After decades of serving nonprofit clients, UMB launched UMB Nonprofit Financial and Advisory Services in February 2001. This division fosters the financial success of nonprofit clients by offering them the tools they need to achieve financial stability while preserving their missions as they grow.

During 2001, UMB acquired Sunstone Financial Group, Inc., which changed its name to UMB Fund Services, Inc. in 2002. This Company is nationally recognized for its superior mutual fund services. UMB strengthened its position as a premier provider of full-service corporate trust services when it acquired State Street Bank & Trust Company of Missouri, n.a.

Also in 2001, UMB established Scout Investment Advisors, Inc.*** to manage its customers’ accounts directly and serve as adviser to the UMB Scout Funds, our family of mutual funds.

Moving Forward – 2002
UMB introduced a new home equity loan product, which was believed to be the best second mortgage product in the marketplace. It was very successful and continued to give UMB an advantage in its regional footprint.

In February, UMB acquired the name-in-title rights to Riverport Amphitheatre in St. Louis and renamed it UMB Bank Pavilion, a venue for live concerts.

UMB received countless awards for outstanding business and service. For the third year in a row, UMB Bank was awarded a gold award for being voted “The Best Bank in Kansas City” in Ingram’s magazine Best of Business Kansas City listing. UMB Bank placed second in the The Kansas City Business Journal’s Top 25 Commercial Lending Banks ranking.

More Efficient Company – 2003
On April 23, 2003, R. Crosby Kemper III opened trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market in honor of UMB’s 90th anniversary. In May, UMB announced the sale of its Employee Benefits Division to Marshall & Ilsley Trust Company, n.a., allowing UMB to focus on its core product offerings.

UMB reduced its total non-interest expense by $6 million. It sold the revenue rights associated with its existing merchant bankcard operations and entered into a long-term marketing arrangement with the purchaser. It also renewed its focus on mid-market commercial lending, investment management and corporate services.

One UMB (2004 – Present)

Changing Times – 2004
In January, UMB named Peter deSilva as president and chief operating officer of UMB Financial Corporation. Later that year, Mariner Kemper was named chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corporation.

After 54 years of leadership, R. Crosby Kemper Jr. retired as senior chairman from the Company and its board of directors in October 2004.

One of the first strategies initiated by Kemper and deSilva was a dedicated outreach to interact and engage with associates. They conducted 10 regional meetings within the UMB footprint that involved 3,200 associates.

During the year, UMB opened three new locations: St. Charles County, Mo., Leawood, Kan. and Grandview, Mo. UMB also opened a new Private Client Services office in Lee’s Summit, Mo. That office was solely devoted to providing high-quality asset management services. Additionally, UMB opened a loan production office in Phoenix, Ariz.

A renewed marketing communication effort introduced a streamlined brand and added a brand promise, Count on more®.

Solid Growth, A Banner Year – 2005
In March, UMB named Mike Hagedorn as executive vice president and chief financial officer of UMB Financial Corporation.

UMB successfully implemented a wholesale Health Savings Account (HSA) and a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) strategy, focusing on healthcare providers and third-party administrators. As a result, UMB secured accounts/relationships with top national providers of health care spending accounts. UMB was now positioned as one of the top card and account solution providers for FSAs and HSAs in the country.

The asset management business was strengthened with successful sales and marketing, and the opening of new distribution channels. As a result, UMB’s proprietary family of mutual funds achieved record net flows of more than twice what they saw in 2004 and almost 10 times the net flows in 2002.

UMB was recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the nation’s Web Smart 50 for the company’s implementation of electronic management scorecards. The Web Smart 50 denotes a group of businesses recognized for initiating successful business strategies through Web-based applications.

Continued Improvement – 2006
UMB’s improvement in 2006 was primarily driven by margin expansion, loan growth and higher fee income. It was one of a few U.S. banks that posted positive gains in this area despite a challenging yield curve.

In Kansas City, UMB was the only institution among the top five to grow a deposit share based on 2006 FDIC deposit reports.

UMB’s success was growing due to its diverse fee business. Its commitment to maintain a leadership position in healthcare services helped it gain a 234% increase in the number of debit cards in their HSA and FSA programs. UMB announced 11 new alliances with healthcare providers, third-party administrators and software companies.

Standing Strong – 2007
One in eight banks in the United States use at least one UMB product or service. UMB built on an already solid foundation and continued to grow their business. In 2007, four new branches were opened and online banking capabilities were enhanced. Commercial loans grew at a double-digit pace for the third consecutive year.

To better serve customers, the company expanded asset management and corporate trust teams in the Denver market. Private banking was introduced in Springfield, Mo. to support the growing demand from the market. Both St. Louis and Denver hired new market presidents to oversee all of UMB’s asset management product offerings in these respective markets.

UMB opened an eco-friendly banking center with a “green” roof and interior in Stapleton, Colo.

UMB was selected by Archer Technologies for the Archer Excellence Award, recognizing the company’s industry leadership implementing best-practice risk and compliance management programs.

Steadfast Through the Storm – 2008
UMB continued to run a sound business without sacrificing results or succumbing to economic and industry pressures. Despite the tumultuous economic climate, UMB posted another record year with earnings up 32 percent from 2007.

Focusing on new ways to “Go Green,” UMB launched an Eco Rewards Program, allowing customers to earn double points for eco-friendly purchases and the availability of online e-statements for customers.

Continuing their community support, UMB opened the Count on More® Lounge at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

UMB was recognized by the Urban League of Greater Kansas City with a Working towards Equality Award, for its effort and critical thinking regarding diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

UMB was also recognized by SmartMoney in a column entitled “Spotting the Financial Survivors,” which focused on the strongest, best-capitalized banks that would be able to take advantage of its competitors.

In December, Mariner Kemper was named “Community Banker of the Year” by American Banker.

Delivering Quality, Providing Stability – 2009
Despite economic headwinds and industry turmoil, UMB Financial Corporation was ranked number two on the Forbes “Best Banks in America.” In addition, UMB ranked number five in a “stress test” conducted by SNL Financial to determine the best capitalized bank holding companies nationally.

UMB continued to provide stability to customers, associates and shareholders. Their credit remained solid, largely due to their underwriting practices that are among the strongest in the industry. In 2009, net charge offs to total loans were 58 percent lower than the industry average.

Continuing with eco-friendly practices, UMB opened the first two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified banking centers in Arnold, Mo. and Olathe, Kan. LEED certification is a nationally-recognized designation that verifies the facility follows sustainable practices.

UMB was recognized by the Business Committee for the Arts as one of the “Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America” and by ArtsKC with an “ArtsKC pARTnership Award.”

Mariner Kemper was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as the “Corporate Citizen of the Year.”

Rowing close to shore, navigating the “new normal” – 2010
UMB Financial Corporation ranked in the top 10 best banks for the second year in a row, based on eight financial measures of asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability, according to studies by Forbes and SNL Financial.

Also, Mariner Kemper was named as one of America’s 15 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under by Forbes.

UMB Financial Corporation was entered into the Congressional Record in 2010 for excellent performance during the financial crisis.

UMB Financial Corporation was recognized as a 2010 recipient of the NELI Award. The National Eagle Leadership Institute (NE) is a professional network committed to promoting a higher standard of leadership in American business.

UMB Healthcare Services received a 2010 Model Bank Award in the product development category from Celent, a research consulting firm focused on the application of information technology in the global financial services industry.

In Bank Director’s ranking of the top 150 banks, UMB Financial Corporation was listed as number 24. The banks were ranked by three main measures: profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality.

Moving beyond the financial crisis, posting record returns – 2011
UMB has remained true to the company’s values and business model—and the results are record returns. For the first time in the UMB’s history, the company surpassed $100 million in earnings—representing a 17 percent increase since 2010 ($91 million).

UMB Financial Corporation was named one of the Best Banks in America for the third year in a row, based on eight financial measures of asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability, according to studies by Forbes and SNL Financial.

Also, Mariner Kemper was named one of America’s 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under by Forbes.

UMB maintained shareholder value—increasing dividend 5.1 percent in 2011 for the eleventh increase since July 2003 for a total increase of 105%. This more than doubles the dividend rates in just over eight years. At the same time, the median dividend decreased 38 percent among peers. (SNL Financial)

UMB increased loans 8.2 percent in 2011 compared to the industry which posted a median decrease in loan balances less than one percent (0.83 percent)—representing loan growth for seven consecutive quarters. True to focus on quality, growth did not come at the expense of credit quality which remains at pre-financial crisis levels. UMB nonperforming loans to total loans stand at 0.52% while the industry is at 2.62% nonperforming to total loans.

UMB Property Management was recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal as a 2011 ImpacT Award winner. This award recognizes individuals and teams in the Kansas City area that have made valuable contributions to their companies' internal operations, efficiency and financial performance through the use of new or existing technology. UMB Property Management was highlighted in the “Environmental Impact” category.

UMB Bank St. Louis was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as a 2011 Best Places to Work recipient. This award recognizes companies that have outstanding work environments. Out of the 100+ companies competing UMB was selected as a one of the top 20 Best Places to Work in St. Louis.

UMB Bank St. Louis was recognized by RCGA as a RCGA Top 50 award winner. This award recognizes and celebrates the most dynamic and contributing companies in St. Louis.

UMB St. Louis Green Team was recognized as one of the RCGA’s Circle of Excellence Award of Merit winners in the St. Louis Green Challenge. Awards were given to 69 companies across the St. Louis metro region, with special Awards of Merit going to only 12 companies.

UMB Bank, n.a. was recognized by the Springfield Business Journal as a Springfield Choice Employer. Honorees are chosen based on their responses in an online survey to 32 questions related to employee benefits at their companies, with varied point values assigned to the answers to each question.

UMB Consumer Services received a 2011 Model Bank Award in the branch workforce management category by Celent, a research and consulting firm focused on the application of information technology in the global financial services industry.

JD Clark & Company, a division of UMB Fund Services, was recognized as a 2011 Utah Best of State Award winner in the accounting category. The award acknowledges excellence in a vast array of industry sectors including business, entertainment, education, hospitality, retail, technology, and sports. This recognition is based on the company’s impact on the community, excellence and achievement, and innovation and originality. This is the second time in three years that JD Clark & Company has won this award.

UMB Fund Services for being recognized by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a 2011 Top 100 Workplace. This award recognizes organizations throughout southeastern Wisconsin that rank among the best for their commitment to employees. This is the second year in a row UMB Fund Services has been recognized among the best mid-sized employers. This year, Fund Services received the top honor in the communication category.

“UMB” and “Scout” – Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. UMB Financial Corporation also claims service mark rights in “Scout Investment Advisors,” “SIA,” and “See Further.”

*Brokerage Services Offered Through UMB Financial Services, Inc.

**Insurance Products and Fixed Annuities offered through UMB Insurance, Inc.

Brokerage Services and Insurance Products are:

Not a Deposit • Not FDIC Insured
Not Insured By Any Federal or State Government Agency
Not Guaranteed By the Bank • May Go Down In Value

***You should consider the Scout Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus, which contains this and other information about the Funds, call 1.800.996.2862 or visit Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Foreign investments present additional risks due to currency fluctuations, economic and political factors, government regulations, differences in accounting standards and other factors. Investments in evolving markets involve even greater risks.

Scout Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC, Milwaukee, Wis., an affiliate of UMB Financial Corporation. Scout Investment Advisors, Inc., a subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation, serves as investment adviser to the Funds.

Investments in the Scout Money Market Funds are not deposits in UMB or its affiliates and are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Although each Scout Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the Funds.