Magazine article American Banker

Umpqua Division Eyeing More Bites from Wealth Pie

Magazine article American Banker

Umpqua Division Eyeing More Bites from Wealth Pie

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Garmhausen

After a little more than a year at the helm of Umpqua Bank's wealth management business, Kelly Johnson can point to some big accomplishments - but also to all the work he has left to do.

Johnson arrived in January 2009 to head the newly created wealth management business. Since then, the bank, a unit of Umpqua Holdings Corp., has created a private bank. And its retail brokerage unit has gone on a hiring spree that has helped bring in more than $1 billion of new assets under management. The wealth management division is now approaching $2 billion under management overall.

But Johnson, an executive vice president who was a senior managing director in Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Wealth Management unit, still must shepherd a new trust unit into existence. And he is to oversee an expansion of wealth management sites in Washington, Oregon and California.

The expansion, which is part of a two-year-old effort by Umpqua to enlarge its nontraditional business lines, could get the business to $10 billion of assets under management within five years, Johnson said in an interview last week. Umpqua's effort was begun in the midst of the financial crisis, he added, and has required building aggressively even in a time of market turmoil.

"At that time, frankly, there was panic in the streets," he said. "When there's panic, there's usually opportunity."

In August, Umpqua, a regional banking company in Portland, Ore., hired Donna Huntsman, who was previously an executive at Key Private Bank, to oversee development of the newly formed private bank. It sells tailored services and products to customers with more than $1 million of investable assets.

The next month, Umpqua reached a referral agreement with the financial advisers at Ferguson Wellman Capital Management. …

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