Missouri Minute: Boeing settles Lion Air lawsuits; Mariner Wealth makes another acquisition

Good morning, MBA readers,

Ever notice how many banks share the word “central” and “trust” in their name? Well, that wording proved to be a problem for Jefferson City-based Central Bancompany’s Central Trust Bank, which lost a naming dispute to Central Bancorp’s subsidiary called Central Bank & Trust. Speaking of banks, a couple of acquisitions took place in the finance and wealth management sector in Kansas City — including one by none other than Central Bancompany. Plus, there are signs of progress in the contract negotiations between General Motors and the United Auto Workers. You can scroll down to find out more about these and other business stories from around the state.


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From our newsroom

Water.org founder tackles global need with focus on innovation, serving markets
When philanthropy is used to correct a market failure, there is potential for profit, Gary White, co-founder and CEO of Water.org, told students during a recent event. White shared the story of how his Kansas City-based nonprofit has helped people around the world meet water and sanitation needs through microfinancing.

US Chamber report rates Missouri among 10 worst states for ‘lawsuit climate’
Missouri ranked No. 44 for its lawsuit climate in a national survey sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform. The chamber had senior business executives questioned about “the fairness and reasonableness of state court systems.”


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Top bargainers take over GM talks after committees finish work
Contract negotiations between General Motors and the United Auto Workers are headed to top bargainers from both parties after committees have finished their work on resolving minor issues. The negotiators will now focus on wages, use of temporary workers and other contentious topics, officials say. (Associated Press)

Boeing settles Lion Air lawsuits for $1.2 million per victim
Boeing has reportedly settled the first claims stemming from the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX in Indonesia, potentially giving at least $1.2 million to the families of each person killed in the crash. (Reuters)

KC wealth firm adds $300 million in assets with acquisition
Overland Park, Kansas-based Mariner Wealth Advisors has acquired Snow Creek Wealth Management, a Nashville firm with $300 million in assets. It’s the eighth acquisition this year for Mariner, which had over $30 billion in advised assets as of June 30. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Central Bancompany acquires KC bank
Jefferson City-based Central Bancompany, which operates Central Bank of St. Louis, has agreed to buy Platte Valley Bank in Kansas City. Platte Valley Bank will be merged into Central Bank of the Midwest, a Central Bancompany-affiliated bank in Lee’s Summit. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Feds point the finger at businessman in Stenger case
Court documents released this week reveal that federal prosecutors view businessman John Rallo as the second most culpable player in pay-to-play schemes in St. Louis County, behind only former county executive Steve Stenger. Rallo, who pleaded guilty in July, was accused of making donations to Stenger’s campaign in exchange for government contracts. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Missouri bank loses naming dispute in Colorado
Colorado’s banking board said The Central Trust bank, a Missouri bank owned by Jefferson City-based Central Bancompany, cannot open two new branches under the name “Central Bank” because of another bank with a similar name. Farmers & Stockmens Bank, a New Mexico-based bank owned by Colorado’s Central Bancorp, has a subsidiary in Colorado called Central Bank & Trust. (Denver Business Journal)

Hazelwood company executive admits stealing from employee retirement plans
Steven Douglas Walters, a former vice president for Synergy Concepts, admitted to stealing nearly $73,000 from an employee retirement plan, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. Walters became a co-trustee for the company retirement plan in 2014 and stole from the plan between 2015 and 2016. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC startup opens ‘world’s largest kombucha taproom’
Tea-Biotics has opened a new kombucha taproom inside its 12,600-square-foot production facility in Olathe, Kansas. The company, which raised $1.2 million in July, boasts that its taproom is the biggest in the world with 32 different flavor variations. (Startland News)


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All of Missouri’s metro areas experienced job growth from July 2018 to July 2019, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. St. Louis saw the greatest percentage growth at 1.8%, while Columbia saw the lowest at 0.4%.


Say that again

“We started (Pipeline) in a boardroom trying to figure out how to make the rest of the world contend with this part of the country. There’s lots of people working on that now and we don’t claim to be the only people who care about that, but this (new) goal … it’s definitely taking on a mountain.”

That’s Joni Cobb, president and CEO of Pipeline, a Kansas City-based organization that runs a fellowship program and network for Midwestern entrepreneurs. Cobb, who has led Pipeline for 13 years, will move on from the organization early next year. In an interview with Startland News, she reflected on her time with Pipeline and looked ahead to what’s next.


Go figure

66
That’s the number of maintenance workers who were laid off from the General Motors assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, due to the United Auto Workers strike there, KCUR reports. Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, the Chicago-based firm that provides maintenance services at the Fairfax plant, said the workers were “not deemed critical during this period of labor unrest.” The workers are represented by the UAW, which is bargaining for higher pay, fewer temporary workers and increased job security.


Hello, my name is

Tom Etling
This St. Louis marketing executive has been named the head of a new advisory practice at the accounting and consulting firm Brown Smith Wallace, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Etling, former CEO of the Dovetail agency, will lead the marketing advisory practice at the Creve Coeur firm. The practice is the latest addition to the firm’s advisory services group, which employs over 60 people and serves the region’s middle-market and Fortune 500 companies.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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