Commerce in Mo. keeps leadership in family with CEO succession

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Commerce Bancshares in Kansas City, Mo., is keeping its leadership in the family.

The $24.8 billion-asset company said in a press released late Tuesday that John Kemper, its president and chief operating officer, will become CEO on Aug. 1.

Kemper will succeed his father, David Kemper. The elder Kemper, who joined Commerce in 1978 and became its CEO a decade later, will become executive chairman.

John Kemper joined Commerce 11 years ago as director of strategic planning; he became president in 2013. Before joining the company, he was an engagement manager in the New York and Chicago offices of McKinsey & Co.

“This announcement reflects the culmination of a thoughtful and deliberate multi-year succession plan overseen by our board," Andy Taylor, Commerce's lead director, said in the release. "John Kemper is clearly the right person to step into this role. This plan will ensure continuity and create the foundation for continued growth and long-term shareholder returns."

“I am grateful to our board ... for the confidence they’ve shown in me. I’m honored to step into this leadership role and proud to work with our exceptional management team,” John Kemper said.

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