UMB sees double-digit growth in North Texas, and executives don't think it's slowing – Dallas Business Journal – Dallas Business Journal






UMB Bank has been around for over a century, but the institution’s Texas footprint only goes back eight years.
The Kansas City-based bank has been in North Texas less than a decade, but has maintained double digit growth throughout that time and shows no sign of slowing, said Dallas Market President Dennis Wright. Since it entered the market, UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) has grown to 125 employees in the region, and almost $484 million in local deposits as of June 2020, which marks an 81-percent increase in that metric from 2019, per Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data.
“We really fit well here because we know who we are,” Wright said. “We’re willing to be creative, and try to find new solutions for the companies that we find in this market. We’re able to remain relationship-centric in our approach and be nimble and flexible and find unique solutions for our clients.”
As of December, UMB had about $33 billion in assets, and about 11 percent of all of its loans came from Texas. All of its Texas commercial offices are in Dallas-Fort Worth. Wright said an advantage of being in North Texas is the talent it’s acquired.
“We definitely want to grow our Texas market,” Wright said. “It’ll probably be a multi-pronged approach to how we do that over the next several years, just the way it has been for the last eight that we’ve been here. But I guarantee it will involve organic growth and continuing to attract great bankers and supporting them, acquiring new clients and really showing them the treatment that we can give when we do things.”
Here’s what else Wright said about the bank’s growth locally:
What challenges is UMB preparing for in DFW?
It’s a very competitive market. I think one of the reasons we did well last year is we were nimble and flexible, and took a different approach. In 2021, I feel like people are probably going to loosen up a little bit and maybe the competition will loosen up, not be as cautious as they were in 2020.
It doesn’t really alarm me or bother me, it’s par for the course. I wouldn’t say there’s anything I’m particularly worried about. We’re obviously hopeful that we continue to come out in a broad-based recovery. But I’m just optimistic, I really feel like we’re well-positioned. Our clients are well-positioned. 
You mentioned the bank’s nimble approach twice. When you say that, what does that mean?
When you work in a large institution, just by the very fact that they’re very large, they have to be very policy-centric. And when they do something, they do it the same way every time. That’s a great thing for banks like UMB because we really are not policy-centric, we have really broad policies.
We really try to hire great talent, and people who we can trust to be creative and make good decisions. We do it differently, and we still feel like we are managing risk appropriately. But we’re not necessarily doing it through a detailed policy.
We’re open minded to try to do things in a different way, and creative way. We also have the flexibility and the desire to get our executive leadership team in front of clients and let them get to know us in a more personal way.
Is it fair to say that you think UMB is maybe more creative than some of those other financial institutions or some of its peers?
No, there’s a lot of really creative bankers and hard-working bankers out there. I think, unfortunately, some of them are on platforms where they’re not allowed to be creative. That’s really what I mean by that is, I think UMB creates a platform where we encourage people to come up with a unique way to meet the needs of our clients in a way that we’re still doing a great job of managing our risks. But we’re not going to just say, ‘Anytime you do this type of deal, it has to be done in this type of way.’
Is there anything that we didn’t bring up that you wanted to mention or that you thought was important?
Some of the things I’m most happy about in 2020 is we had some really large, complex companies that chose to move from a much larger bank to UMB. Just watching that execution play out, you look at teams of technology experts on both sides, mapping out a process to move a highly complex cash management and treasury platform from one bank to another over a period of months.
Implementing and testing and just making sure that when you flip the switch that you execute flawlessly — this was pretty cool. It’s pretty exciting to think about a bank that’s $33 billion being able to compete head-to-head with a $1 trillion bank and win, and have a satisfied client at the end of the process.
This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.
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