UMB Bank signs long-term lease at 777 Main St.

🕐 5 min read

UMB make high-profile Fort Worth move

UMB Bank

100 Lexington St.

Fort Worth 76102

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(Moving to 777 Main St. next year)


Main Street

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777 Main, formerly known as Carter+Burgess Plaza and before that at UPR Plaza, was originally Continental Plaza when it was built in 1982 as the home of Continental National Bank. The 40-story building was designed by the Dallas architectural firm of Jarvis, Putty, Jarvis. It is home to Jacobs, the Petroleum Club, Grace and currently Frost Bank.

Robert Francis

UMB Bank, which came into Fort Worth four years ago with the acquisition of Meridian Bank, will take an even higher-profile in this market when it shifts Fort Worth operations to 777 Main St.

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UMB Bank will take the space currently occupied by Frost Bank, which will move into the Frost Tower building currently under construction on the west side of downtown. UMB Bank will have 12,000-square-feet of office space on the fifth floor, a newly remodeled 7,000-square feet space in the lobby and exterior signage on the building.

“Since entering the Texas market four years ago, and with our recent acquisition of Meridian Bank, UMB Bank’s growth in this region has been off the charts,” said Cliff Keiser, president of UMB Bank’s Fort Worth operations and commercial banking team. “As we continue to build relationships in the corporate sector and expand our services, it seems only fitting that we showcase our commitment to Fort Worth with a long-term lease at one of the city’s most iconic buildings.”

UMB Bank’s new locations will include services such as commercial banking, private banking, investment and wealth management, along with consumer banking services. UMB expects to move into the new space in 2018, pending regulatory approval.

Taking the high-profile location is a big move for the bank as it expands in North Texas, said Zach Fee, president of UMB Bank Texas.

“We’ve grown from one person four and a half years ago to 110 in North Texas today,” he said. “We’ve expanded beyond middle market commercial banking, which was our core focus. Really, our promise to the market was to build middle market commercial banking and private wealth. Those two go very hand in hand. We bring the bank to our clients. We don’t need a lot of physical space and branches. This isn’t a retail play by any means.”

Keiser, who first worked in banking in the Continental Bank days in the building, knows the value of the location.

“The commercial business community really doesn’t have a history with UMB bank,” he said. “Zach does, and people in Kansas do. So even though we share so much in terms of philosophy and banking history, and the way we conduct ourselves, we get the opportunity to build this foundation and tell that UMB story.

“And that location helps put us on the map in Fort Worth, that the people can get to see us, they’re see the name, they’ll ask the question, ‘Who is that?’ It puts us in the conversation, and that’s what we want the business community here to understand, that we’re here, and we’re here to provide great customer service and to help the business climate and be part of it. I think that helps put our name on the map.”

Along with the new high-profile location, UMB Bank has increased its business banking team in North Texas, adding two bankers formerly with Capital One Bank. Adam Donahue has been named senior vice president, team lead business banking and Everest Lau has been named assistant vice president, business banking client manager.

Fee said the bank plans to add more bankers as the Kansas City, Missouri-based bank grows its North Texas presence. “This is a key area for us,” he said.

UMB Bank entered the Texas market in 2013 and expanded into Fort Worth with the acquisition of Marquette Financial Companies and Meridian Bank Texas. UMB Bank added an investment banking team and a private wealth group in 2016. The bank, which operates in Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, has more than $19 billion in assets.

Fee said the bank has a unique history. “UMB was founded in Kansas City 104 years ago by the Kemper family, which is a long standing prominent banking name in those parts,” he said.

There have been four generations of Kempers leading the company, he said. “Six CEOs in 104 years, all with the same last name, so it’s a pretty unique story. Certainly in today’s banking climate with all the consolidation and things, we’re proudly and fiercely independent, and still managed by the same family.”

Mariner Kemper is currently chairman, president and CEO for UMB Financial Corp.

UMB Financial Corp. trades over the NASDAW under the UMBF symbol. It is a financial services holding company that offers banking, asset management, health spending solutions and related financial services to commercial, institutional and personal customers nationwide.

The leasing agents for UMB Bank are Mike Gosslee and Jay Holland with Cushman & Wakefield. “This is a unique opportunity for UMB Bank,” Gosslee said. “It is a premier location for a commercial bank, providing high visibility in downtown Fort Worth.”

Robert Turner, executive vice president of The Brookdale Group, which acquired 777 Main in December 2014, said the downtown flagship location provides UMB Bank with “one of the most dynamic environments in north Texas and we are excited to have a fast-growing financial institution as part of this special place.”

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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