Commerce Bank chairman visits Cape Girardeau

Friday, June 3, 2005

During his visit to Cape Girardeau Thursday, David W. Kemper said he noticed "a bank on every corner," and admitted it was something he didn't understand.

"There are a lot of community banks," said Kemper, chairman, president and CEO of Commerce Bancshares Inc. "Frankly, I'm not sure why there are so many."

During his meeting with Commerce Bank leaders, political officials and community leaders at a luncheon at the Cape Girardeau Country Club, Kemper said that he sees Commerce Bank as somewhere in the middle.

Commerce Bank has $14 billion in assets and is the largest bank in the lower Midwest, Kemper said.

Comparing assets

"But we're between the behemoths and the community banks," Kemper said. "We're large enough to have expertise in speciality areas. We can be very innovative and cutting edge, at the same time focus as a community bank."

Kemper also applauded the Missouri Legislature, saying that he is impressed with Gov. Matt Blunt and lawmakers pushing a pro-business agenda.

Kemper joined Commerce Bank in 1978 as vice president in charge of commercial lending and in 1991 was elected to his current position. Kemper heads the executive committee of Commerce Bancshares Inc.

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