Senior vice president United Missouri Bancshares

The latest member of the Kemper dynasty to don pinstripes is 27-year-old Alexander Kemper, who is moving up at United Missouri Bancshares in Kansas City.

In little more than five years, the sixth-generation banker has leaped from a junior credit analyst to a senior vice president for commercial lending. That obviously pleases his father, Crosby Kemper, who is chairman and chief executive of United Missouri.

But it appears that more than family ties are at work in the younger Mr. Kemper's ascension.

Right after joining in 1987, the rookie banker booked a $150,000 loan, even before he received a title and business cards. And it was a sound transaction: The borrowing company subsequently tripled annual sales to $15 million, and the loan has blossomed into a $150 million line of credit.

"The most enjoyable aspect of my job is bringing in a new piece of business," says Mr. Kemper. "It doesn't matter what your card says -- it's who you can talk to and what you can bring in."

Having grown up around banking, and all the number-crunching that goes with it, Mr. Kemper has focused on the human dimension in his academic and professional life.

He earned a degree in American history at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. And he say's relationship banking is his specialty: "The best banking decisions are driven by people, not numbers and paper."

An active director on school boards, arts councils, and charitable groups, Mr. Kemper has strong views about the civic responsibilities of bankers.

"A bank is only as strong as the community it serves," says the voting executive. Attesting to his conviction, Mr. Kemper is a co-founder and active member of Education Inc., a program for 450 youths in three city schools, where he also serves as a mentor to six children.

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