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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
or
    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ____________ to ____________
Commission File Number: 001-15373
 ENTERPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware43-1706259
(State or Other Jurisdiction of(I.R.S. Employer
Incorporation or Organization)Identification No.)
150 North Meramec Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
(314) 725-5500
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
(Title of each class)(Trading Symbol)(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Common Stock, par value $.01 per shareEFSCNasdaq Global Select Market
Depositary Shares, each representing a 1/40th interest in a share of 5.00% Fixed Rate Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series AEFSCPNasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ¨

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes   No x
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $1,430,397,000 based on the closing price of the common stock of $39.10 as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter (June 30, 2023) as reported by the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
As of February 21, 2024, the Registrant had 37,466,585 shares of outstanding common stock.


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 are incorporated by reference into Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Additionally, the information required by Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for its 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.






ENTERPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
2023 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
  Page
PART I 
Item 1.Business
Item 1A.Risk Factors
Item 1B.Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 1C.Cybersecurity
Item 2.Properties
Item 3.Legal Proceedings
Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II
Item 5.Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6.Reserved
Item 7.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8.Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9.Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.Other Information
Item 9C.Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections
PART III
Item 10.Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance
Item 11.Executive Compensation
Item 12.Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners, and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13.Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.Principal Accountant Fees and Services
PART IV
Item 15.Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16.Form 10-K Summary
SIGNATURES





Glossary of Acronyms, Abbreviations and Entities

The acronyms and abbreviations identified below are used in various sections of this Form 10-K, including “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” in Item 7 and the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
ACLAllowance for Credit LossesFASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
ASCAccounting Standards CodificationFDICFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation
ASUAccounting Standards UpdateFederal ReserveFederal Reserve Board
BankEnterprise Bank & TrustFHLBFederal Home Loan Bank
BHCABank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amendedGAAPGenerally Accepted Accounting Principles
Board or Board of DirectorsEnterprise Financial Services Corp board of directorsGDPGross Domestic Product
C&ICommercial and IndustrialICEThe Intercontinental Exchange
CCBCapital Conservation BufferLIBORLondon Interbank Offered Rate
CDFICommunity Development Financial InstitutionMD&AManagement’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
CECLCurrent Expected Credit LossMSAMetropolitan Statistical Area
CET1Common Equity Tier 1 CapitalOCCOffice of the Comptroller of the Currency
CFPBConsumer Financial Protection BureauPCDPurchased Credit Deteriorated
CompanyEnterprise Financial Services Corp and SubsidiariesPPPPaycheck Protection Program
CRACommunity Reinvestment ActSBAU.S. Small Business Administration
CRECommercial Real EstateSBICSmall Business Investment Company
Dodd-Frank ActDodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010SECSecurities and Exchange Commission
EFSCEnterprise Financial Services CorpSOFRSecured Overnight Financing Rate
EnterpriseEnterprise Financial Services Corp and SubsidiariesWe, Us, OurEnterprise Financial Services Corp and Subsidiaries







PART 1

ITEM 1: BUSINESS

Forward-Looking Information
Some of the information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of and intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company, and include, without limitation, statements about the Company’s plans, strategies, goals, objectives, expectations, or consequences of statements about the future performance, operations, products and services of the Company and its subsidiaries, as well as statements about the Company’s expectations regarding revenue and asset growth, financial performance and profitability, loan and deposit growth, yields and returns, loan diversification and credit management, products and services, shareholder value creation and the impact of acquisitions. Forward-looking statements typically are identified with use of terms such as “may,” “might,” “will, “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “intend,” “potential,” “could,” “continue” and the negative and other variations of these terms and similar words, although some forward-looking statements may be expressed differently. Forward-looking statements also include, but are not limited to, statements regarding plans, objectives, expectations or consequences of announced transactions, known trends, and statements about future performance, operations, products and services. Because forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions and uncertainties, actual results or future events could differ, possibly materially, from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from historical performance. Further, the ability to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. While there is no assurance that any list of risks and uncertainties or risk factors is complete, important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include the following, without limitation: our ability to efficiently integrate acquisitions into our operations, retain the customers of these businesses and grow the acquired operations; credit risk; changes in the appraised valuation of real estate securing impaired loans; our ability to recover our investment in loans; fluctuations in the fair value of collateral underlying loans; outcomes of litigation and other contingencies; exposure to general and local economic and market conditions, including risk of recession, high unemployment rates, higher inflation and its impacts (including U.S. federal government measures to address higher inflation), U.S. fiscal debt, budget and tax matters, and any slowdown in global economic growth; risks associated with rapid increases or decreases in prevailing interest rates; changes in business prospects that could impact goodwill estimates and assumptions; consolidation within the banking industry; competition from banks and other financial institutions; the ability to attract and retain relationship officers and other key personnel; burdens imposed by federal and state regulation; changes in legislative or regulatory requirements, as well as current, pending or future legislation or regulation that could have a negative effect on our revenue and business, including rules and regulations relating to bank products and financial services; changes in accounting policies and practices or accounting standards; natural disasters; terrorist activities, war and geopolitical matters (including the war in Israel and potential for a broader regional conflict and the war in Ukraine and the imposition of additional sanctions and export controls in connection therewith), or pandemics, or other health emergencies and their effects on economic and business environments in which we operate, including the related disruption to the financial market and other economic activity; and other risks discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, all of which could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. The Company cautions that the preceding list is not exhaustive of all possible risk factors and other factors could also adversely affect the Company’s results.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s analysis and expectations only as of the date of such statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company does not intend, and undertakes no obligation, to publicly revise or update forward-looking statements after the date of this report, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by federal securities law. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all risk factors. Readers should carefully review all disclosures we file from time to time with the SEC which are available on the Company’s website at www.enterprisebank.com under “Investor Relations.”

1


General Development and Description of Our Business
Enterprise Financial Services Corp, headquartered in Clayton, Missouri, is a financial holding company incorporated under Delaware law in December 1994. EFSC is the holding company for Enterprise Bank & Trust, a full-service financial institution offering banking and wealth management services to individuals and corporate customers primarily located in Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico, in addition to loan and deposit production offices throughout the United States. Our executive offices are located at 150 North Meramec Avenue, Clayton, Missouri 63105, and our telephone number is (314) 725-5500.

Our stated mission is “Guiding people to a lifetime of financial success.” We have established an accompanying corporate vision, “To be a company where our associates are proud to work, that delivers ease of navigation to our customers and value to our investors, while helping our communities flourish.” These tenets are fundamental to our business strategies and operations.

Our business objective is to generate attractive shareholder returns by providing comprehensive financial services primarily to privately-held businesses, their owner families, and other success-minded individuals. To achieve these objectives we have developed a business strategy that leverages a focused and relationship-oriented distribution and sales approach, with an emphasis on niche businesses, while maintaining prudent credit and interest rate risk management, opportunities for fee income, appropriate supporting technology, and controlling expenses. We believe this strategy allows us to maximize organic growth opportunities, which we supplement and enhance through disciplined growth through acquisition.

As described in greater detail below, the Company offers a broad range of business and personal banking services, including wealth management services provided through Enterprise Trust. Lending services include C&I, CRE, real estate construction and development, residential real estate, SBA, consumer and other loan products. A wide variety of deposit products, including property management and community associations along with a complete suite of treasury management and international trade services for operating businesses, complement our lending capabilities.

Building long-term client relationships – Our growth strategy is first and foremost client relationship driven. We continuously seek to add clients who fit our target market of businesses, business owners, professionals, and associated relationships. Those relationships are maintained, cultivated, and expanded over time by experienced banking officers and other trained professionals. We fund loan growth primarily with core deposits from our business and professional clients in addition to consumers in our branch market areas. This is supplemented by borrowing or other deposit sources, including advances from the FHLB and brokered certificates of deposits.

Specialized lending and product niches – We have focused our lending activities in specialty markets where we believe our expertise and experience as a commercial lender provides advantages over other competitors. In addition, we have developed expertise in certain product niches. These specialty niche activities focus on the following areas:
SBA 7(a). We have a team of experienced bankers in production offices across the country that originate loans through the SBA 7(a) program. These loans are primarily owner-occupied, commercial real estate loans secured by a first lien. These loans predominantly have a 75% portion guaranteed by the SBA. By focusing on this specific product type, we have developed an expertise that differentiates us based upon speed and reliability of execution.
Life Insurance Premium Finance. We specialize in financing whole life insurance premiums utilized in high net worth estate planning through relationships with boutique estate planners throughout the United States.
Sponsor Finance. We support mid-market company mergers and acquisitions in many domestic markets. We market directly to targeted private equity firms, principally SBICs, and provide primarily senior debt financing to the portfolio companies. In addition, the Company has both financing and depository relationships with the sponsors of the portfolio companies.
Tax Credit Related Lending. We are a secured lender on affordable housing projects funded through the use of federal and state low income housing tax credits. In addition, we provide leveraged and other loans on projects funded through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institution (“ Treasury
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CDFI”) New Markets Tax Credit (“NMTC”) Program. In 2023, we were awarded a $60.0 million NMTC allocation from the Treasury CDFI. This was our sixth NMTC allocation and brings the total amount of these allocations to $303.0 million. We will continue to participate in the application process for future awards, as well as serve as a secured lender to other allocatees.
Tax Credit Brokerage. We have a minority ownership in a partnership that acquires, invests and sells, state low income housing tax credits. We lend the partnership money with 6 - 12 year terms and receive interest income and fee income as projects close or credits are sold. 

Specialty deposits – In addition to commercial operating accounts for our C&I customers, we offer specialty deposit accounts to customers in certain industries with complex account needs. Our focus areas include community associations, property management, third party escrow, and trust services. These accounts are primarily demand accounts and have a low overall interest cost. Customers in our specialty deposit products will typically receive an earnings credit rate that is used to offset the cost of maintaining the deposit accounts. Payments made by the Company through the application of the earnings credit is reflected as a component of non-interest expense in the Consolidated Statement of Income.

Fee income business – We offer a broad range of treasury management products and services that benefit businesses ranging from large national clients to local businesses. Customized solutions and special product bundles are available to clients of all sizes. In response to ever increasing needs for data/information security and functional efficiency, we continue to offer cash management systems that employ mobile technology and fraud detection/mitigation services. Enterprise Trust offers a wide range of fiduciary, investment management, and financial advisory services to facilitate providing these services. We also offer customer hedging products, international banking, card services and tax credit businesses that generate fee income. The Company also invests in certain private equity and SBIC investments that generate additional fee income.

Use of technology – Clients access our products and services both in physical branch locations as well as remotely. We offer online, device applications, text and voice banking in addition to a variety of “on site” hardware and software solutions, such as remote deposit capture. These portals facilitate access to the commercial and consumer products we offer such as internet banking, mobile banking, cash management products, remote deposit capture, positive pay services, fraud detection and prevention, automated payables, check image, and statement and document imaging. Additional service offerings currently supported by the Bank include controlled disbursements, repurchase agreements, and sweep investment accounts. Our cash management suite of products blends technology and personal service, which we believe often creates a competitive advantage over our competition. Technology products are also extensively utilized within the organization by associates in all lines of business including operations and support, customer service, and financial reporting for internal management purposes and for external compliance. We have begun the process of converting our primary operating system to a leading core solution, and plan to implement the new core in late 2024.

Maintaining asset quality – We monitor asset quality through formal, ongoing, multiple-level reviews of loans in each market and specialized lending niche. These reviews are overseen by the Bank’s credit administration department. In addition, the loan portfolio is subject to ongoing monitoring by a loan review function that reports directly to the Bank’s Board of Directors or its committees.

Expense management – We manage expenses carefully through detailed budgeting and expense approval processes. Our success is gauged through the measurement of the “efficiency ratio.” The efficiency ratio is equal to noninterest expense divided by total revenue (tax equivalent net interest income plus noninterest income).

Growth through Acquisitions – Disciplined strategic acquisitions have contributed significantly to the Company’s growth and expansion.



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Competition
The Company and its subsidiaries operate in highly competitive markets. Our geographic markets are served by multiple large financial and bank holding companies with substantial capital resources and lending capacity. We face competition not only from other financial holding companies and commercial banks, but also from credit unions, investment managers, insurers, brokerage firms, financial technology companies, and other providers of financial services and products. Strong competition for deposit and loan products affects the rates of those products, as well as the terms on which they are offered to customers.

Supervision and Regulation
The Company is a financial holding company registered under the BHCA and is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the Federal Reserve. The Bank is a Missouri trust company with banking powers and is subject to supervision and regulation by the Missouri Division of Finance. In addition, as a Federal Reserve non-member bank, the Bank is subject to supervision and regulation by the FDIC.

The Company has securities registered with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The Company’s common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The Company also has depositary shares, each representing a 1/40th interest in a share of the Company’s 5%, noncumulative perpetual preferred stock (“Series A Preferred Stock”), listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Accordingly, the Company is subject to both SEC and Nasdaq listing standards.

The following is a summary description of the relevant laws, rules, and regulations governing banks and financial holding companies, including the Company. The description of, and references to, the statutes and regulations below are brief summaries and do not purport to be complete. The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the related statutes and regulations.

The regulatory and supervisory structure establishes a comprehensive framework of activities in which an institution can engage and is intended primarily for the protection of depositors, the deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole, rather than for the protection of shareholders or creditors. The regulatory structure also gives the regulatory authorities extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies, including policies concerning the establishment of deposit insurance assessment fees, classification of assets and establishment of adequate credit loss reserves for regulatory purposes.

Various legislation is from time to time introduced in Congress and state legislatures where we operate. Such legislation may change applicable statutes and the operating environment in substantial and unpredictable ways. We cannot determine the ultimate effect that future legislation or implementing regulations would have on our financial condition or our results of operations or the results of operations of any of our subsidiaries.

The Dodd-Frank Act is a comprehensive legislative act that contains a set of provisions designed to govern the practices and oversight of financial institutions and other participants in the financial markets. The Dodd-Frank Act made extensive changes in the regulation of financial institutions and their holding companies. Some of the changes brought about by the Dodd-Frank Act have been modified by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018, signed into law on May 24, 2018.

Financial Holding Company
As a financial holding company, the Company is subject to regulation and examination by the Federal Reserve, and is required to file periodic reports of its operations and such additional information as the Federal Reserve may require. In order to remain a financial holding company, the Company must continue to be considered well-managed and well-capitalized by the Federal Reserve, and the Bank must continue to be considered well-managed and well-capitalized by the FDIC, and have at least a “satisfactory” rating under the CRA. See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” in the MD&A for more information on our capital adequacy, and “Bank Subsidiary - Community Reinvestment Act” below for more information on the CRA.

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Acquisitions: With certain limited exceptions, the BHCA requires every financial holding company or bank holding company to obtain the prior approval of the Federal Reserve before (i) acquiring substantially all the assets of any bank, (ii) acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting shares of any bank if, after such acquisition, it would own or control more than 5% of the voting shares of such bank (unless it already owns or controls the majority of such shares), or (iii) merging or consolidating with another bank holding company. Additionally, the BHCA provides that the Federal Reserve may not approve any of these transactions if it would result in or tend to create a monopoly, substantially lessen competition, or otherwise function as a restraint of trade, unless the anti-competitive effects of the proposed transaction are clearly outweighed by the public interest in meeting the convenience and needs of the community to be served. The Federal Reserve also is required to consider the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the bank holding companies and banks concerned and the convenience and needs of the community to be served. The Federal Reserve’s consideration of financial resources generally focuses on capital adequacy, which is described below.

Change in Bank Control: Subject to various exceptions, the BHCA and the Change in Bank Control Act, together with related regulations, require Federal Reserve approval prior to any person or company acquiring “control” of a bank or financial holding company. Control is conclusively presumed to exist if an individual or company acquires 25% or more of any class of voting securities of a company or controls a majority of the board of directors. In certain circumstances, control is rebuttably presumed to exist if a person or company acquires 10% or more, but less than 25%, of any class of voting securities of a company. The regulations provide a procedure for challenging rebuttable presumptions of control.

Permitted Activities: The BHCA has generally prohibited a bank holding company from engaging in activities other than banking or managing or controlling banks or other permissible subsidiaries and from acquiring or retaining direct or indirect control of any company engaged in any activities other than those determined by the Federal Reserve to be closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. Provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act have expanded the permissible activities of a bank holding company that qualifies as a financial holding company. Under the regulations implementing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a financial holding company may engage in additional activities that are financial in nature or incidental or complementary to financial activities. Those activities include, among other activities, certain insurance, advisory and securities activities.

Support of Bank Subsidiary: Under Federal Reserve policy, the Company is expected to act as a source of financial and managerial strength for the Bank and to commit resources to support the Bank. The Dodd-Frank Act codified this longstanding policy by adopting a provision requiring, among other things, that bank holding companies serve as a source of strength for an subsidiary depository institution. Such financial and managerial support from the Company may be required at times when, without this legal requirement, the Company may not be inclined to provide it.

Capital Adequacy: The Company is subject to capital requirements and standards established by the Federal Reserve (“Basel III Capital Rules”) that are applied on a consolidated basis. These requirements are substantially similar to those required of the Bank (summarized below).

Under the Basel III Capital Rules, capital instruments such as trust preferred securities and cumulative preferred shares have been phased out of tier 1 capital for banking organizations that had $15 billion or more in total consolidated assets as of December 31, 2009, and have grandfathered as tier 1 capital such instruments issued by smaller entities prior to May 19, 2010 (provided they do not exceed 25% of tier 1 capital). At December 31, 2023, the Company had $93.0 million of trust preferred securities that are grandfathered under this provision. However, if the Company has total assets of $15 billion and acquires another bank, or if an acquisition causes the Company to exceed $15 billion in total assets, the trust preferred securities will no longer qualify as tier 1 instruments (but may be included in tier 2 capital).

Dividend Restrictions and Share Repurchases: From time to time the Company may engage in share repurchases. The Federal Reserve requires that bank and financial holding companies, where certain conditions are triggered,
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provide prior notice to, consult with, and in certain circumstances seek the approval of, the Federal Reserve or reserve bank staff prior to implementing a share repurchase plan.

Under Federal Reserve policies, financial holding companies may pay cash dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial condition and if the organization is not in danger of failing to meet its minimum regulatory capital requirements. Federal Reserve policy also provides that financial holding companies should not pay a level of cash dividends that undermines the financial holding company’s ability to serve as a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries.

Dividends, repurchases and redemptions on the Company’s capital stock (common and preferred) are prohibited under the terms of the junior subordinated debenture agreements (see “Item 8. Note 10 – Subordinated Debentures and Notes”) if the Company is in continuous default on its payment obligations, has elected to defer interest payments or extends the interest payment period. Furthermore, unless dividends on all outstanding shares of the Series A Preferred Stock for the most recently completed dividend period have been paid or declared, dividends on, and repurchases of, common stock are prohibited.

Incentive Compensation: Federal banking agencies have issued guidance on incentive compensation policies intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of banking organizations do not undermine the safety and soundness of such organizations by encouraging excessive risk-taking. The guidance, which covers all employees that have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an organization, is based upon the key principles that a banking organization’s incentive compensation arrangements should (i) provide incentives that do not encourage risk-taking beyond the organization’s ability to effectively identify and manage risks, (ii) be compatible with effective internal controls and risk management, and (iii) be supported by strong corporate governance, including active and effective oversight by the organization’s board of directors. In accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, the federal banking agencies prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements that encourage inappropriate risk taking by covered financial institutions (generally institutions, like us, that have over $1 billion in assets) and are deemed to be excessive, or that may lead to material losses.

The Federal Reserve will review, as part of the regular, risk-focused examination process, the incentive compensation arrangements of banking organizations, such as the Company, that are not “large, complex banking organizations.” These reviews will be tailored to each organization based on the scope and complexity of the organization’s activities and the prevalence of incentive compensation arrangements. The findings of the supervisory initiatives will be included in reports of examination. Deficiencies will be incorporated into the organization’s supervisory ratings, which can affect the organization’s ability to make acquisitions and take other actions. Enforcement actions may be taken against a banking organization if its incentive compensation arrangements, or related risk- management control or governance processes, pose a risk to the organization’s safety and soundness, and the organization is not taking prompt and effective measures to correct the deficiencies.

The scope and content of the U.S. banking regulators’ policies on executive compensation may continue to evolve in the near future. It cannot be determined at this time whether compliance with such policies will adversely affect the Company’s ability to hire, retain, and motivate its key employees.

In October 2022, the SEC adopted rules requiring securities exchanges, including Nasdaq, to adopt listing standards that require issuers to develop and implement a policy providing, under certain circumstances, for the recovery of erroneously awarded incentive-based compensation received by current or former executive officers. The new rules, which were mandated as part of the Dodd-Frank Act became effective in January 2023. Pursuant to Nasdaq listing standards, the Company adopted a clawback policy that implemented the rules in the third quarter of 2023.

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Bank Subsidiary
The Bank is subject to extensive federal and state regulatory oversight. The various regulatory authorities regulate or monitor all areas of the banking operations, including security devices and procedures, adequacy of capitalization and loss reserves, loans, investments, borrowings, deposits, mergers, issuance of securities, payment of dividends, interest rates payable on deposits, interest rates and fees chargeable on loans, establishment of branches, corporate reorganizations, maintenance of books and records, and adequacy of staff training to carry on safe lending and deposit gathering practices. The Bank must maintain certain capital ratios and is subject to limitations on aggregate investments in real estate, bank premises, low-income housing projects, and furniture and fixtures. In connection with their supervision and regulation responsibilities, the Bank is subject to periodic examination by the FDIC and Missouri Division of Finance.

Capital Adequacy: The Bank is required to comply with the FDIC’s capital adequacy standards for insured banks. The FDIC has issued risk-based capital and leverage capital guidelines for measuring capital adequacy, and all applicable capital standards must be satisfied for the Bank to be considered in compliance with regulatory capital requirements.

Prompt Corrective Action: The Bank’s capital categories are determined for the purpose of applying the “prompt corrective action” rules described below and may be taken into consideration by banking regulators in evaluating proposals for expansion or new activities. They are not necessarily an accurate representation of a bank’s overall financial condition or prospects for other purposes. A failure to meet the capital guidelines could subject the Bank to a variety of enforcement actions under those rules, including the issuance of a capital directive, the termination of deposit insurance by the FDIC, a prohibition on taking brokered deposits, and other restrictions on its business. As described below, the FDIC also can impose other substantial restrictions on banks that fail to meet applicable capital requirements.

Federal law establishes a system of prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of undercapitalized banks. Under this system, the FDIC has established five capital categories (“well-capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” and “critically undercapitalized”) and is required to take various mandatory supervisory actions, and is authorized to take other discretionary actions with respect to banks in the three undercapitalized categories. The severity of any such actions taken will depend upon the capital category in which a bank is placed. Generally, subject to a narrow exception, current federal law requires the FDIC to appoint a receiver or conservator for a bank that is critically undercapitalized.

The following table summarizes the prompt corrective action categories:
Prompt Corrective Action CategoryTotal Risk-Based CapitalTier 1 Risk-Based CapitalCommon Equity Tier 1 Risk-Based CapitalTier 1 Leverage Ratio
Well-capitalized10.0%8.0%6.5%5.0%
Adequately capitalized8.0%6.0%4.5%4.0%
Undercapitalized< 8.0%< 6.0%< 4.5%< 4.0%
Significantly undercapitalized< 6.0%< 4.0%< 3.0%< 3.0%
Critically undercapitalizedTangible equity / Total assets ≤ 2.0%

In addition to the minimum capital ratios noted in the table above, the Basel III Capital Rules require the maintenance of a CCB consisting of CET1 capital in an amount equal to 2.5% of risk weighted assets to avoid restrictions on the ability to make capital distributions and to pay certain discretionary bonus payments to executive officers. The CCB effectively increases the minimum CET1 capital, tier 1 capital, and total capital ratios for U.S. banking organizations to 7.0%, 8.5%, and 10.5%, respectively.

A bank that becomes “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” or “critically undercapitalized” is required to submit an acceptable capital restoration plan to the FDIC. An “undercapitalized” bank also is generally prohibited from increasing its average total assets, making acquisitions, establishing new branches, or engaging in any new line of business, except in accordance with an accepted capital restoration plan or with the approval of the
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FDIC. Also, the FDIC may treat an “undercapitalized” bank as being “significantly undercapitalized” if it determines that those actions are necessary to carry out the purpose of the law.
All of the Bank’s capital ratios were at levels that qualify it to be “well-capitalized” for regulatory purposes as of December 31, 2023 (see “Item 8. Note 14 – Regulatory Capital”).
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The Dodd-Frank Act centralized responsibility for consumer financial protection including implementing, examining and enforcing compliance with federal consumer financial laws with the CFPB. Depository institutions with more than $10 billion in assets, such as the Bank, are subject to examination by the CFPB.
The CFPB has broad rule-making authority for a wide range of consumer protection laws that apply to all banks, including the authority to prohibit unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act enhanced the regulation of mortgage banking and gave to the CFPB oversight of many of the core laws which regulate the mortgage industry and the authority to implement mortgage regulations. Any new regulations adopted by the CFPB may significantly impact consumer mortgage lending and servicing.
The Bank is also subject to other laws and regulations intended to protect consumers in transactions with depository institutions, as well as other laws or regulations affecting customers of financial institutions generally. While the list set forth herein is not exhaustive, these laws and regulations include the Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Expedited Funds Availability Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, among others. These laws and regulations mandate certain disclosure requirements and regulate the manner in which financial institutions must deal with customers when taking deposits or making loans to such customers. The Bank must comply with the applicable provisions of these consumer protection laws and regulations as part of its ongoing customer relations.
UDAP and UDAAP: Banking regulatory agencies have increasingly used a general consumer protection statute to address “unethical” or otherwise “bad” business practices that may not necessarily fall directly under the purview of a specific banking or consumer finance law. The law of choice for enforcement against such business practices has been Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act - the primary federal law that prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices and unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce (“UDAP” or “FTC Act”). “Unjustified consumer injury” is the principal focus of the FTC Act. Moreover, the UDAP provisions have been expanded under the Dodd-Frank Act to apply to “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices” (“UDAAP”), which has been delegated to the CFPB for supervision. The CFPB has brought a variety of enforcement actions for violations of UDAAP provisions and CFPB guidance continues to evolve.
Mortgage Reform: The CFPB has adopted final rules implementing minimum standards for the origination of residential mortgages, including standards regarding a customer’s ability to repay, restricting variable-rate lending by requiring the ability to repay variable-rate loans be determined by using the maximum rate that could apply during the first five years of a variable-rate loan term, and making more loans subject to provisions for higher cost loans, new disclosures, and certain other revisions. The Dodd-Frank Act allows borrowers to raise certain defenses to foreclosure if they receive any loan other than a “qualified mortgage” as defined by the CFPB.
Dividends by the Bank Subsidiary: Under Missouri law, the Bank may pay dividends to the Company only from a portion of its undivided profits and may not pay dividends if its capital is impaired. As an insured depository institution, federal law prohibits the Bank from making any capital distributions, including the payment of a cash dividend, if it is “undercapitalized” or after making the distribution would become undercapitalized. If the FDIC believes the Bank is engaged in, or about to engage in, an unsafe or unsound practice, the FDIC may require, after notice and hearing, that the Bank cease and desist from that practice. The FDIC has indicated that paying dividends that deplete a depository institution’s capital base to an inadequate level would be an unsafe and unsound banking practice. The FDIC has issued policy statements providing that insured banks generally should pay dividends only from their current operating earnings. The Bank’s payment of dividends also could be affected or limited by other
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factors, such as events or circumstances which would lead the FDIC to require that it maintain capital in excess of regulatory guidelines.

Transactions with Affiliates and Insiders: The Bank is subject to the provisions of Regulation W promulgated by the Federal Reserve, which encompasses Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act. Regulation W places limits and conditions on the amount of loans or extensions of credit to, investments in, or certain other transactions with, affiliates and on the amount of advances to third parties collateralized by the securities or obligations of affiliates. Regulation W also prohibits, among other things, an institution from engaging in certain transactions with certain affiliates unless the transactions are on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to such institution or its subsidiaries, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with nonaffiliated companies. Federal law also places restrictions on the Bank’s ability to extend credit to its executive officers, directors, principal shareholders and their related interests. These extensions of credit must be made on substantially the same terms, including interest rates and collateral, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with unrelated third parties; and must not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features.

Community Reinvestment Act: The CRA requires that, in connection with examinations of financial institutions within its jurisdiction, the FDIC is required to evaluate the record of the financial institutions in meeting the credit needs of their local communities, including low and moderate income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of those institutions. These factors are also considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions, and applications to open a branch or facility. The Bank has a satisfactory rating under CRA.

Prior to 2023, the last significant interagency revision to the CRA regulations occurred in 1995. In May 2022, federal bank regulatory agencies jointly issued a proposal to strengthen and modernize regulations implementing the CRA to better achieve the purposes of the law. On October 24, 2023, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the FDIC, and the OCC issued a final rule amending the agencies’ CRA regulations. The objective of the final rule is to strengthen the achievement of the core purpose of the statute, and adapt to changes in the banking industry, including the expanded role of mobile and online banking. The final rule becomes effective on April 1, 2024, while most of the new requirements are applicable beginning January 1, 2026, and the remaining requirements are applicable January 1, 2027.

USA PATRIOT Act: The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”) requires each financial institution to: (i) establish an anti-money laundering program; (ii) establish due diligence policies, procedures and controls with respect to its private banking accounts and correspondent banking accounts involving foreign individuals and certain foreign banks; and (iii) implement certain due diligence policies, procedures and controls with regard to correspondent accounts in the United States for, or on behalf of, a foreign bank that does not have a physical presence in any country. In addition, the USA PATRIOT Act contains a provision encouraging cooperation among financial institutions, regulatory authorities and law enforcement authorities with respect to individuals, entities and organizations engaged in, or reasonably suspected of engaging in, terrorist acts or money laundering activities.

Commercial Real Estate Lending: The Bank’s lending operations may be subject to enhanced scrutiny by federal banking regulators based on its concentration of commercial real estate loans. CRE loans generally include land development, construction loans, and loans secured by multifamily property, and non-farm, nonresidential real property where the primary source of repayment is derived from rental income associated with the property. Guidance from the federal banking regulators on the risk posed by CRE lending concentrations prescribes guidelines for its examiners to help identify institutions that are potentially exposed to significant CRE risk. These guidelines include concentrations in certain types of CRE that may warrant greater supervisory scrutiny: total reported loans for construction, land development, and other land represent 100% or more of the institutions total capital; or total commercial real estate loans represent 300% or more of the institution’s total capital, and the outstanding balance of the institution’s commercial real estate loan portfolio has increased by 50% or more in the prior 36 months.

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Volcker Rule: On December 10, 2013, the federal regulators adopted final regulations to implement the proprietary trading and private fund prohibitions of the Volcker Rule under the Dodd-Frank Act. Under the final regulations, banking entities are generally prohibited, subject to significant exceptions, from: (i) short-term proprietary trading as principal in securities and other financial instruments, and (ii) sponsoring or acquiring or retaining an ownership interest in private equity and hedge funds. Revisions to the Volcker Rule in 2019, that become effective in 2020, simplified and streamlined the compliance requirements for banks that do not have significant trading activities. In 2020, the OCC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission finalized further amendments to the Volcker Rule. The amendments include new exclusions from the Volcker Rule’s general prohibitions on banking entities investing in and sponsoring private equity funds, hedge funds, and certain other investment vehicles (collectively “covered funds”). The amendments in the final rule, which became effective on October 1, 2020, clarify and expand permissible banking activities and relationships under the Volcker Rule.

Interchange Income: The Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act capped debit card interchange fees for banks with over $10 billion in assets. Interchange fees are paid to banks by merchants for processing transactions. The Durbin Amendment cap for a single debit card transaction is 21 cents plus 5 basis points multiplied by the amount of the transaction. In addition, an issuer may receive up to 1 cent per transaction for fraud prevention. The Durbin Amendment cap became effective for the Bank on July 1, 2022 and resulted in a reduction in interchange income earned by the Bank. In October 2023, the Federal Reserve issued a proposed rule to lower the interchange fee cap to a level that the Federal Reserve believes is reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by card issuers. Under the proposal, the base cap would decrease from 21 cents to 14.4 cents and from 5 basis points to 4 basis points. In addition, the fraud-prevention adjustment would increase from 1 cent to 1.3 cents. We will continue to monitor for final rulemaking and will evaluate the impact of any changes.

Corporate Governance and Risk Management: In September 2023, the FDIC issued proposed rulemaking to establish standards for corporate governance and risk management for FDIC insured banks with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more. The proposed guidelines would set standards for corporate governance, risk management practices and board oversight. In establishing the proposed guidelines, the FDIC considered the OCCs heightened standards for banks with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more and the Federal Reserve’s enhanced prudential standards for bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more. We will continue to monitor for final rulemaking and will evaluate the impact of any changes.

Governmental Policies
The operations of the Company and its subsidiaries are affected not only by general economic conditions, but also by the policies of various regulatory authorities. In particular, the Federal Reserve regulates monetary policy and interest rates in order to influence general economic conditions. These policies have a significant influence on overall growth and distribution of loans, investments and deposits and affect interest rates charged on loans or paid for deposits. Federal Reserve monetary policies have had a significant effect on the operating results of all financial institutions in the past and may continue to do so in the future.

Human Capital Management
We pride ourselves in creating an open, diverse, and transparent culture that celebrates teamwork and recognizes associates at all levels. We expect and encourage participation and collaboration, and understand that we need each other to be successful. We value accountability because it is essential to our success, and we accept our responsibility to hold ourselves and others accountable for meeting shareholder commitments and achieving exceptional standards of performance. We also believe in supporting our associates to achieve a work/life balance.

Attracting and Retaining Talent. Our goal is to offer careers to our associates; not just jobs. At December 31, 2023, we employed 1,172 regular full-time and 49 part-time associates. We also employ seasonal/temporary associates and occasionally hire independent contractors for specific projects that require a highly specialized skill set or to provide additional resources during peak times, as needed.

Our performance measures and compensation determinations are designed to ensure the proper balance of risk and reward. Performance evaluations facilitate our ongoing assessment of associates’ skills and improvements as needed. We use annual talent reviews to identify high performing associates and future potential leaders, provide
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insight into critical development needs and retention risks, and identify business-critical talent needs, including anticipated workforce planning challenges. Additionally, we have established succession plans to ensure continuation of critical roles and operations.

We are committed to offering a competitive total compensation package that is consistent with our principles and aligned with the Company’s financial performance. We regularly compare compensation and benefits with peer companies and market data, making adjustments as needed to ensure our compensation stays competitive.

In addition to base salary, approximately 64% of associates are eligible to participate in the Company’s Short Term Incentive Plan (“STIP”) program. Our STIP program is designed to align compensation with an associate’s performance in a given year. The program sets a performance level of short-term incentive awards that an associate is eligible to earn. The STIP target is defined as a percentage of base salary based on the associate’s grade level as determined by our Human Resources department.

As of January 1, 2024, our minimum wage is $17 per hour. The current minimum wage was instituted to maintain a competitive total rewards package that attracts and retains top talent. The determination for our minimum wage was made after extensive research, including reviewing the current market landscape both inside and outside of banking and financial services, and with feedback from leadership. Currently, 96% of our associates earn more than the minimum wage.

We also offer a wide array of benefits for our associates and their families including 401(k), paid time off, parental leave, medical, dental and vision benefits as well as life insurance and short-term disability for all full-time associates. Our wellness program is designed to help associates avoid illness while improving and maintaining their general health. The program offers financial rewards to associates who adopt healthy habits and participate in wellness education and health screens. Annual health screenings are provided to all associates enrolled in medical benefits at no charge.

Associate Feedback. We conduct associate surveys to ensure we understand what is important to our associates, including their opinions on a variety of topics. The adoption of a volunteer time-off policy and improvements to internal communication processes are examples of changes that have been made in response to survey results. Our efforts are being recognized. For the past six years, the Bank has been included in the “Best Banks to Work for” by American Banker magazine for our dedication to employee satisfaction. In 2023, we were ranked fifth among similar financial institutions with more than $10 billion in assets.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. We believe diversity of thought and experiences results in better outcomes and empowers our associates to make more meaningful contributions within our company and communities. We continue to learn and grow, and our current initiatives reflect our ongoing efforts around a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace.

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council is tasked with making recommendations to help us foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for our associates and the communities we serve. In addition, we have several associate development programs that help to create a more inclusive environment by giving associates and other individuals of all backgrounds additional opportunities to succeed and contribute. These programs include:

Career Acceleration Program - This trainee program introduces participants to the foundations of credit and commercial banking, while allowing participants to experience a wide range of assignments by rotating through the various product partners and operational areas of the Company. Upon successful completion of the program, the associate is placed in a role that aligns with their strengths and talents and helps meet the needs of our organization.
Gateway to a Banking Career - This program provides training for jobs as tellers and customer service representatives, job interview practice and job placement assistance. It is a joint effort with two other St. Louis-based financial institutions. Upon successful completion of the program, participants receive a small stipend and are guaranteed an interview with one of the program sponsors.
Business Resource Groups - These groups bring together associates with a shared identity, interest or goal to create community and opportunities for improvement and engagement.

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We track the representation of women and underrepresented minorities because we believe that diversity helps us build more effective teams and improve our client experience, leading to greater success for the Company and our shareholders. Our diversity data is monitored by the Board. We have made progress in this area and continue to strive to further diversify our workforce and strengthen our culture of inclusion.

Focusing on a Safe and Healthy Workplace. We value our associates and are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace. Our formal Health & Safety (“HS”) Policy mandates all tasks be conducted in a safe and efficient manner and comply with all local, state and federal health and safety regulations, and special safety concerns. The HS Policy encompasses all facilities and operations and addresses on-site emergencies, injuries and illnesses, evacuation procedures, cell phone usage and general safety rules.

Additionally, our Business Continuity Plan is an important component in helping maintain the health and safety of our associates and clients.

Available Information
Various reports provided to the SEC, including our annual reports, quarterly reports, current reports, proxy statements, and amendments to such reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge on our website at www.enterprisebank.com under the “Investor Relations” link. These reports are made available as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Our filings with the SEC are also available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. All website addresses given in this document are for information only and are not intended to be an active link or to incorporate any website information into this document.
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ITEM 1A: RISK FACTORS

An investment in our common or depositary stock is subject to risks inherent to our business. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information included or incorporated by reference in this report. The value of our common and depositary stock could decline due to any of these risks, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Relating to General Economic and Market Conditions
An economic downturn could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Recessionary conditions and/or negative developments in the domestic and international credit markets may significantly affect the markets in which we do business, the value of our loans and investments, and our ongoing operations and profitability. If the communities in which we operate do not grow, or if prevailing economic conditions locally or nationally are unfavorable, our business may not succeed. Unpredictable economic conditions may have an adverse effect on the quality of our loan portfolio and our financial performance. Adverse changes in the economies in our market areas may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. We bear increased risk of unfavorable local economic conditions. Moreover, we cannot give any assurance we will benefit from any market growth or favorable economic conditions in our primary market areas even if they do occur.

We face potential risk from changes in governmental monetary policies.
Our earnings are affected by domestic economic conditions and the monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government and its agencies. The Federal Reserve’s monetary policies have had, and are likely to continue to have, an important impact on the operating results of commercial banks through its power to implement national monetary policy in order, among other things, to curb inflation or combat a recession. The monetary policies of the Federal Reserve affect the levels of bank loans, investments, and deposits through its control over the issuance of U.S. government securities, its regulation of the discount rate applicable to member banks, and its influence over reserve requirements to which member banks are subject. We cannot predict the nature or impact of future changes in monetary and fiscal policies.

Adverse developments affecting the banking industry, and resulting media coverage, have eroded customer confidence in the banking system and could have a material effect on our operations and/or stock price.
In the first quarter of 2023, high-profile bank failures involving Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank generated significant market volatility among publicly traded bank holding companies and, in particular, regional banks. In assessing the failures in 2023, the banking regulators noted that each of the failed banks had a high proportion of deposits that exceeded FDIC deposit insurance limits. These market developments have negatively impacted customer confidence in the safety and soundness of regional banks. As a result, some chose to maintain deposits with larger financial institutions or invest in higher yielding short-term fixed income securities, all of which impacted our liquidity, cost of funding, loan funding capacity, net interest margin, capital and results of operations. In connection with the high-profile bank failures of early 2023, uncertainty and concern has been, and may be in the future, compounded by advances in technology that increase the speed at which deposits can be moved, as well as the speed and reach of media attention, including social media, and its ability to disseminate concerns or rumors, in each case potentially exacerbating liquidity concerns. While the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC ensured that depositors of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank had access to their deposits, including uninsured deposit accounts, there is no guarantee that such actions will continue to be successful in restoring customer confidence in regional banks and the banking system more broadly. In addition, the banking operating environment and public trading prices of banking institutions can be highly correlated, in particular during times of stress, which could adversely impact the trading prices of our common stock and potentially our results of operations.

Legal, Regulatory and Tax Risks
SBA lending is an important part of our business. Our SBA lending program is dependent upon the U.S. federal government, and we face specific risks associated with originating SBA loans.
Our SBA lending program is dependent upon the U.S. federal government. As an approved participant in the SBA Preferred Lender’s Program (a “Preferred Lender”), we enable our clients to obtain SBA loans without being
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subject to the potentially lengthy SBA approval process necessary for lenders that are not Preferred Lenders. The SBA periodically reviews the lending operations of participating lenders to assess, among other things, whether the lender exhibits prudent risk management. When weaknesses are identified, the SBA may request corrective actions or impose enforcement actions, including revocation of the Preferred Lender status. If we lose our status as a Preferred Lender, we may lose some or all of our customers to lenders who are Preferred Lenders, and as a result we could experience a material adverse effect to our financial results. Any changes to the SBA program, including but not limited to, changes to the level of guarantee provided by the federal government on SBA loans, changes to program-specific rules impacting volume eligibility under the guaranty program, as well as changes to the program amounts authorized by Congress, may also have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, any default by the U.S. government on its obligations or any prolonged government shutdown could, among other things, impede our ability to originate SBA loans or sell such loans in the secondary market, which could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. When we originate SBA loans, we incur credit risk on the non-guaranteed portion of the loans, and if a customer defaults on a loan, we share any loss and recovery related to the loan pro-rata with the SBA. If the SBA establishes that a loss on an SBA guaranteed loan is attributable to significant technical deficiencies in the way the loan was originated, funded, or serviced by us, the SBA may seek recovery of the principal loss related to the deficiency.

Changes in government regulation and supervision may increase our costs or impact our ability to operate in certain lines of business.
Our operations are subject to extensive regulation by federal, state and local governmental authorities and are subject to various laws and judicial and administrative decisions imposing requirements and restrictions on part or all of our operations. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole, rather than shareholders. Because our business is highly regulated, the laws, rules, regulations and supervisory guidance and policies applicable to us are subject to regular modification and change and could result in an adverse impact on our results of operations.

We are subject to numerous laws designed to protect consumers, including the CRA and fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to a wide variety of sanctions.
The CRA, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations impose nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The CFPB, the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A successful regulatory challenge to an institution’s performance under the CRA or fair lending laws and regulations could result in a wide variety of sanctions, including damages and civil monetary penalties; injunctive relief; and restrictions on mergers and acquisitions activity, expansion, and new business lines. Private parties may also have the ability to challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.

We are subject to compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to a wide variety of sanctions.
The Bank Secrecy Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports when appropriate. In addition to other bank regulatory agencies, the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury is authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and engages in coordinated enforcement efforts with the state and federal banking regulators, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, CFPB, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Internal Revenue Service. We are also subject to compliance with the rules enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury regarding, among other things, the prohibition of transacting business with, and the need to freeze assets of, certain persons and organizations identified as a threat to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we would be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions, which may include restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the necessity to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed with certain aspects of our business plan, including any acquisition plans. Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering
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and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.

If the Company or the Bank incur losses that erode its capital, it may become subject to enhanced regulation or supervisory action.
Under federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to the safety and soundness of insured depository institutions, the Missouri Division of Finance, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC have the authority to compel or restrict certain actions if the Company’s or the Bank’s capital should fall below adequate capital standards. Among other matters, the corrective actions include but are not limited to requiring affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice; directing an increase in capital and the maintenance of specific minimum capital ratios; restricting the Bank’s operations; limiting the interest rate the Bank may pay on brokered deposits; restricting the amount of distributions and dividends and payment of interest on its trust preferred securities; requiring the Bank to enter into informal or formal enforcement orders, including memoranda of understanding, written agreements and consent or cease and desist orders to take corrective action and enjoin unsafe and unsound practices; removing officers and directors and assessing civil monetary penalties; and taking possession of and closing and liquidating the Bank. These actions may limit the ability of the Bank or Company to execute its business plan and thus can lead to an adverse impact on the results of operations or financial position.

Financial Risks
Our business is subject to interest rate risk and variations in interest rates may negatively affect our financial performance.
A substantial portion of our income is derived from the differential or “spread” between the interest earned on loans, investment securities, and other interest-earning assets, and the interest and/or earnings credit paid on deposits, borrowings, and other interest-bearing liabilities. Because of the differences in the maturities and repricing characteristics of our interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, changes in interest rates may not produce equivalent changes in income earned on interest-earning assets and expense paid on interest-bearing liabilities. Our assets and liabilities may react differently to changes in overall interest rates or conditions. Significant fluctuations in market interest rates could materially and adversely affect not only our net interest spread, but also our asset quality and loan origination volume, deposits, funding availability, and/or net income.

Our allowance for credit losses may not be adequate to cover actual loan losses.
We maintain an allowance for credit losses, which is a reserve established through a provision for credit losses charged to expense, that represents management’s estimate of probable losses within the existing loan portfolio. The allowance, in the judgment of management, is sufficient to reserve for estimated credit losses and risks inherent in the loan portfolio. We continue to monitor the adequacy of our loan credit allowance and may need to increase it if economic conditions or other factors deteriorate. In addition, bank regulatory agencies periodically review our allowance for credit losses and may require an increase in the provision for credit losses or the recognition of further loan charge-offs, based on judgments that can differ somewhat from those of our own management. In addition, if charge-offs in future periods exceed the allowance for loan losses (i.e., if the loan allowance is inadequate), we may need additional credit loss provisions to increase the allowance for loan losses. Additional provisions to increase the allowance for credit losses, should they become necessary, would result in a decrease in net income and a reduction in capital, and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We may not be able to maintain our historical rate of growth or profitability, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to successfully implement our business strategy.
Successful growth requires that we follow adequate loan underwriting standards, balance loan and deposit growth without increasing interest rate risk or compressing our net interest margin, maintain adequate capital at all times, produce investment performance results competitive with our peers and benchmarks, further diversify our revenue sources, meet the expectations of our clients and hire and retain qualified employees. If we do not manage our growth successfully, then our business, results of operations or financial condition may be adversely affected.

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We may incur impairments to goodwill.
As of December 31, 2023, we had $365 million recorded as goodwill. We evaluate our goodwill for impairment at least annually. Significant negative industry or economic trends, including a sustained decrease in the market price of our common stock, or reduced future cash flows or disruptions to our business, could result in impairments to goodwill. Our valuation methodology for assessing impairment requires management to make judgments and assumptions based on experience and to rely on projections of future operating performance. We operate in competitive environments and projections of future operating results and cash flows may vary significantly from actual results. If our analysis results in impairment to goodwill, we would be required to record an impairment charge to earnings in our financial statements during the period in which such impairment is determined to exist. Any such change could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and stock price.

Declines in asset values may result in impairment charges and adversely impact the value of our investments and our financial performance and capital.
We hold an investment portfolio that includes, but is not limited to, municipal bonds, corporate debt securities, government securities and agency mortgage-backed securities. Factors beyond our control can significantly influence the fair value of securities in our portfolio and can cause potential adverse changes to the fair value of these securities. These factors include, but are not limited to, rating agency actions in respect to the securities, defaults by the issuer or with respect to the underlying securities, changes in market interest rates and/or spread, and instability and other factors impacting the capital markets. Any of these factors, among others, could cause realized or unrealized losses in future periods and declines in other comprehensive income (loss), which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and future prospects. The process for determining whether impairment of a security is other-than-temporary often requires complex, subjective judgments about whether there has been significant deterioration in the financial condition of the issuer, whether management has the intent or ability to hold a security for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery in fair value, the future financial performance and liquidity of the issuer and any collateral underlying the security and other relevant factors.

We invest in mortgage-backed obligations and such obligations have been, and are likely to continue to be, impacted by market dislocations, declining home values and prepayment risk, which may lead to volatility in cash flow and market risk and declines in the value of our investment portfolio.
Our investment portfolio includes mortgage-backed obligations primarily secured by pools of mortgages on single-family residences. The value of mortgage-backed obligations in our investment portfolio may fluctuate for several reasons, including (i) delinquencies and defaults on the mortgages underlying such obligations, due in part to high unemployment rates, (ii) falling home prices, (iii) lack of a liquid market for such obligations, and (iv) uncertainties in respect of government-sponsored enterprises such as the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, which guarantee such obligations. If the value of homes were to materially decline, the fair value of the mortgage-backed obligations in which we invest may also decline. Any such decline in the fair value of mortgage-backed obligations, or perceived market uncertainty about their fair value, could adversely affect our financial position and results of operations. In addition, when we acquire a mortgage-backed security, we anticipate the underlying mortgages will prepay at a projected rate, thereby generating an expected yield. Prepayment rates generally increase as interest rates fall and decrease when rates rise, but changes in prepayment rates are difficult to predict. At the time of purchase, some of our mortgage-backed securities had a higher interest rate than prevailing market rates, resulting in a premium purchase price. In accordance with applicable accounting standards, we amortize the premium over the expected life of the mortgage-backed security. If the mortgage loans securing the mortgage-backed security prepay more rapidly than anticipated, we would have to amortize the premium on an accelerated basis, which would thereby adversely affect our profitability.

Credit and Liquidity Risks
Our loan and deposit portfolios are in certain markets which could result in increased concentration risk.
A majority of our loans are to businesses and individuals in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Phoenix, Los Alamos, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, and Las Vegas metropolitan areas. These loans are funded by deposits in the same metropolitan areas. The regional economic conditions in areas where we conduct our business have an impact on the demand for our products and services as well as the ability of our clients to repay
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loans, the value of the collateral securing loans, and the stability of our deposit funding sources. Consequently, a decline in local economic conditions may adversely affect our earnings.

There are material risks involved in commercial lending that could adversely affect our business.
Our business plan calls for continued efforts to increase our assets invested in commercial loans. Our commercial loans include loans secured by real estate (commercial property, construction and land, 1-4 family residential property, and multi-family residential property). Commercial loans generally involve a higher degree of credit risk than residential mortgage loans due, in part, to their larger average size and less marketable collateral. In addition, unlike residential mortgage loans, commercial loans generally depend on the cash flow of the borrower’s business to service the debt. Adverse economic conditions or other factors affecting our target markets may have a greater adverse effect on us than on other financial institutions that have a more diversified client base. Increases in non-performing commercial loans could result in operating losses, impaired liquidity and erosion of our capital, and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Credit market tightening could adversely affect our commercial borrowers through declines in their business activities and adversely impact their overall liquidity through the diminished availability of other borrowing sources or otherwise.

The ability of our borrowers to repay their loans may be adversely affected by an increase in market interest rates which could result in increased credit losses. These increased credit losses, where the Bank has retained credit exposure, could decrease our assets, net income and available cash.
The loans we make to our borrowers often bear interest at a variable interest rate. When market interest rates increase, the amount of revenue borrowers need to service their debt also increases. Some borrowers may be unable to make their debt service payments. As a result, an increase in market interest rates may increase the risk of loan default. An increase in non-performing loans could result in a net loss of earnings from these loans, an increase in the provision for loan and covered loan losses, and an increase in loan charge-offs, all of these factors could impact allowance, earnings and/or capital levels.

Our loan portfolio includes loans secured by real estate, which could result in increased credit risk.
A portion of our portfolio is secured by real estate, and thus we face a high degree of risk from a downturn in our real estate markets. If real estate values would decline in our markets, our ability to recover on defaulted loans for which the primary reliance for repayment is on the real estate collateral by foreclosing and selling that real estate would then be diminished, and we would be more likely to suffer losses on defaulted loans.

Additionally, the state-specific foreclosure laws of the jurisdictions in which our real estate collateral is located may hinder our ability to timely or fully recover on defaulted loans secured by property in certain states. For example, some states in which our collateral is located are judicial foreclosure states. In judicial foreclosure states, all foreclosures must be processed through the court system. Due to this process, it may take up to a year or longer to foreclose on real estate collateral located in those states. Our ability to recover on defaulted loans secured by property in those states may be delayed and our recovery efforts are lengthened due to this process. In addition, some states have anti-deficiency statutes with regards to certain types of residential mortgage loans. Our ability to recover on defaulted loans secured by residential mortgages in anti-deficiency statute states may be limited to the fair value of the real estate securing the loan at the time of foreclosure.

Our commercial and industrial loans and sponsor finance loans are underwritten based primarily on cash flow, profitability and enterprise value of the client and are not fully covered by the value of tangible assets or collateral of the client. Consequently, if any of these transactions becomes non-performing, we could experience significant losses.
Cash flow lending involves lending money to a client based primarily on the expected cash flow, profitability and enterprise value of a client, with the value of any tangible assets as secondary protection. In some cases, these loans may have more leverage than traditional bank debt. In the case of our senior cash flow loans, we generally take a lien on substantially all of a client’s assets, but the value of those assets is typically substantially less than the amount of money we advance to the client under a cash flow transaction. In addition, some of our cash flow loans may be viewed as stretch loans, meaning they may be at leverage multiples that exceed traditional accepted bank lending standards for senior cash flow loans. Thus, if a cash flow transaction becomes non-performing, our primary
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recourse to recover some or all of the principal of our loan or other debt product would be to force the sale of all or part of the company as a going concern. Additionally, we may obtain equity ownership in a borrower as a means to recover some or all of the principal of our loan. The risks inherent in cash flow lending include, among other things:

reduced use of or demand for the client’s products or services and, thus, reduced cash flow of the client to service the loan and other debt product as well as reduced value of the client as a going concern;
inability of the client to manage working capital, which could result in lower cash flow;
inaccurate or fraudulent reporting of our client’s positions or financial statements; and
our client’s poor management of their business.

Additionally, many of our clients use the proceeds of our cash flow transactions to make acquisitions. Poorly executed or poorly conceived acquisitions can burden management, systems and the operations of the existing business, causing a decline in both the client’s cash flow and the value of its business as a going concern. In addition, many acquisitions involve new management teams taking over day-to-day operations of a business. These new management teams may fail to execute at the same level as the former management team, which could reduce the cash flow of the client available to service the loan or other debt product, as well as reduce the value of the client as a going concern.

Widespread financial difficulties or downgrades in the financial strength or credit ratings of life insurance providers could lessen the value of the collateral securing our life insurance premium finance loans and impair our financial condition and liquidity.
One of the specialized products we offer is financing whole life insurance premiums utilized in high net worth estate planning. These loans are primarily secured by the insurance policies financed by the loans, i.e., the obligations of the life insurance providers under those policies. Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (“NRSROs”) such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and A.M. Best evaluate the life insurance providers that are the payors on the life insurance policies that we finance. The value of our collateral could be materially impaired in the event there are widespread financial difficulties among life insurance providers or the NRSROs downgrade the financial strength ratings or credit ratings of the life insurance providers, indicating the NRSROs’ opinion is the life insurance provider’s ability to meet policyholder obligations is impaired, or the ability of the life insurance provider to meet the terms of its debt obligations is impaired. The value of our collateral is also subject to the risk a life insurance provider could become insolvent. In particular, if one or more large nationwide life insurance providers were to fail, the value of our portfolio could be significantly negatively impacted. A significant downgrade in the value of the collateral supporting our premium finance business could impair our ability to create liquidity for this business, which, in turn could negatively impact our ability to expand.

Our construction and land development loans are based upon estimates of costs and value associated with the completed project. These estimates may be inaccurate and we may be exposed to more losses on these projects than on other loans.
Construction, land acquisition and development lending involves additional risks because funds are advanced based upon the projected value of the project, which is inherently uncertain prior to the project’s completion. Because of the uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs, as well as the fair value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation of real property and the general effects of the national and local economies, it is relatively difficult to evaluate accurately the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio. As a result, construction loans often involve the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project and the ability of the borrower to sell or lease the property, rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest. If our appraisal of the value of the completed project proves to be overstated, we may have inadequate security for the repayment of the loan upon completion of construction of the project. If we are forced to foreclose on a project prior to or at completion due to a default, there can be no assurance we will be able to recover all of the unpaid balance of, and accrued interest on, the loan or the related foreclosure, sale and holding costs. In addition, we may be required to fund additional amounts to complete the project and may have to hold the property for an unspecified period of time. If any of these events occur, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.

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We are subject to environmental risks associated with owning real estate or collateral.
When a borrower defaults on a loan secured by real property, we may purchase the property in foreclosure or accept a deed to the property surrendered by the borrower. We may also take over the management of commercial properties whose owners have defaulted on loans. We may also own and lease premises where branches and other facilities are located. While we have lending, foreclosure and facilities guidelines intended to exclude properties with an unreasonable risk of contamination, hazardous substances could exist on some of the properties we may own, manage or occupy. We face the risk that environmental laws could force us to clean up the properties at our expense. The cost of cleaning up or paying damages and penalties associated with environmental problems could increase our operating expenses. It may cost more to clean a property than the property is worth. We could also be liable for pollution generated by a borrower’s operations if we take a role in managing those operations after a default. The Company may also find it difficult or impossible to sell these properties.

We may be obligated to indemnify certain counterparties in financing transactions we enter into pursuant to the New Markets Tax Credit Program.
We participate in and have previously been an “Allocatee” of the New Markets Tax Credit Program of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Through this program, we provide our allocation to certain projects, which in turn for an equity investment from an Investor in the project generate federal tax credits to those investors. This equity, coupled with any debt or equity from the project sponsor is in turn invested in a certified community development entity for a period of at least seven years. Community development entities must use this capital to make loans to, or other investments in, qualified businesses in low-income communities in accordance with New Markets Tax Credit Program criteria. Investors receive an overall tax credit equal to 39% of their qualified equity investment, credited at a rate of five percent in each of the first three years and six percent in each of the final four years. However, after the exhaustion of all cure periods and remedies, the entire credit is subject to recapture if the certified community development entity fails to maintain its certified status, or if substantially all of the equity investment proceeds associated with the tax credits we allocate are no longer continuously invested in a qualified business that meets the New Markets Tax Credit Program criteria, or if the equity investment is redeemed prior to the end of the minimum seven-year term. As part of these financing transactions, we as the parent to Enterprise Financial CDE, LLC (“CDE”), provide customary indemnities to the tax credit investors, which require us to indemnify and hold harmless the investors in the event a credit recapture event occurs, unless the recapture is a result of action or inaction of the investor. No assurance can be given that these counterparties will not call upon us to discharge these obligations in the circumstances under which they are owed. If this were to occur, the amount we may be required to pay a bank investor could be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

If we fail to comply with requirements of the federal New Markets Tax Credit program, the U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund could seek any remedies available under its Allocation Agreement with us, and we could suffer significant reputational harm and be subject to greater scrutiny from banking regulators.
Because we have been designated as an “Allocatee” under the New Markets Tax Credit Program, we are required to provide allocation fund qualifying projects under the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and we are responsible for monitoring those projects, ensuring their ongoing compliance with the requirements of the New Markets Tax Credit Program and satisfying the various recordkeeping and reporting requirements under the New Markets Tax Credit Program. If we default in our obligations under the New Markets Tax Credit Program, the U.S. Department of the Treasury may revoke our participation in any other CDFI Fund programs, reallocate the New Market Tax Credits that were originally allocated to us, and take any other remedial actions that it is empowered to take under the Allocation Agreement they have entered into with us with respect to the New Markets Tax Credit Program, with the full range of such remedies being unknown. If we were to default under the New Markets Tax Credit Program, we could suffer negative publicity in the communities in which we operate, and we could face greater scrutiny from federal and state bank regulators, especially with regard to our compliance with the CRA. These developments could have a material adverse impact on our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

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Liquidity risk could impair our ability to fund operations and meet debt coverage obligations, and jeopardize our financial condition.
Liquidity is essential to our business. We are a holding company and depend on our subsidiaries for liquidity needs, including debt coverage requirements. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of investment securities and other sources could have a substantial material adverse effect on our liquidity. Our access to funding sources in amounts that are adequate to finance our activities could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically or the financial services industry in general. Factors that could detrimentally impact our access to liquidity sources include, but are not limited to, a decrease in the level of our business activity due to a market downturn, our failure to remain well-capitalized, or adverse regulatory action against us. Our ability to acquire deposits or to borrow could also be impaired by factors that are not specific to us, such as a severe disruption of the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry as a whole.

Our utilization of brokered deposits could adversely affect our liquidity and results of operations.
Since our inception, we have utilized both brokered and non-brokered deposits as a source of funds to support our growing loan demand and other liquidity needs. As a bank regulatory supervisory matter, reliance upon brokered deposits as a significant source of funding is discouraged. Brokered deposits may not be as stable as other types of deposits, and, in the future, those depositors may not renew their deposits when they mature, or we may have to pay a higher rate of interest to keep those deposits or may have to replace them with other deposits or with funds from other sources. Additionally, if the Bank ceases to be categorized as “well-capitalized” for bank regulatory purposes, it would not be able to accept, renew or roll over brokered deposits without a waiver from the FDIC. Our inability to maintain or replace these brokered deposits as they mature could adversely affect our liquidity and results of operations. Further, paying higher interest rates to maintain or replace these deposits could adversely affect our net interest margin and results of operations.

By engaging in derivative transactions, we are exposed to additional credit and market risk in our banking business.
We use interest rate swaps to help manage our interest rate risk in our banking business from recorded financial assets and liabilities when they can be demonstrated to effectively hedge a designated asset or liability and the asset or liability exposes us to interest rate risk or risks inherent in client related derivatives. We may use other derivative financial instruments to help manage other economic risks, such as liquidity and credit risk, including exposures that arise from business activities that result in the receipt or payment of future known or uncertain cash amounts, the value of which are determined by interest rates. We also have derivatives that result from a service we provide to certain qualifying clients approved through our credit process and therefore, these derivatives are not used to manage interest rate risk in our assets or liabilities. We do not enter into derivative financial instruments for trading purposes. Hedging interest rate risk is a complex process, requiring sophisticated models and routine monitoring. As a result of interest rate fluctuations, hedged assets and liabilities will appreciate or depreciate in market value. The effect of this unrealized appreciation or depreciation will generally be offset by income or loss on the derivative instruments that are linked to the hedged assets and liabilities. By engaging in derivative transactions, we are exposed to credit and market risk. If the counterparty fails to perform, credit risk exists to the extent of the fair value gain in the derivative. Market risk exists to the extent that interest rates change in ways that are significantly different from what we expected when we entered into the derivative transaction. The existence of credit and market risk associated with our derivative instruments could adversely affect our net interest income and, therefore, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.

Competitive and Reputational Risks
The loss of any of our executive officers or other key employees, or the inability to recruit highly skilled and other key employees, may adversely affect our operations.
We believe our growth and continued success will depend in large part on our executive team and other key employees. The loss of any of our executive officers or other key employees, the failure to successfully transition key roles, or the inability to hire, train, retain, and manage qualified personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our business strategy, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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We face significant competition.
The financial services industry, including, but not limited to, commercial banking, mortgage banking, consumer lending, and home equity lending, is highly competitive, and we encounter strong competition for deposits, loans, and other financial services in all of our market areas in each of our lines of business. Our principal competitors include other commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, mutual funds, money market funds, finance companies, trust companies, technology companies, insurers, credit unions, and mortgage companies among others. Many of our non-bank competitors are not subject to the same degree of regulation as us and have advantages over us in providing certain services. Many of our competitors are significantly larger than we are and have greater access to capital and other resources. Also, our ability to compete effectively in our business is dependent on our ability to adapt successfully to regulatory and technological changes within the banking and financial services industry, generally. If we are unable to compete effectively, we will lose market share and our income from loans and other products may diminish.

Our ability to compete successfully depends on a number of factors, including, among other things:
the ability to develop, maintain, and build upon long-term client relationships based on top quality service and high ethical standards;
the scope, relevance, and pricing of products and services, including technological innovations to those products and services, offered to meet client needs and demands;
the rate at which we introduce new products and services relative to our competitors;
client satisfaction with our level of service; and/or
industry and general economic trends.

Failure to perform in any of these areas could significantly weaken our competitive position, and could adversely affect our growth and profitability, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Technology is continually changing and we must effectively implement new innovations in providing services to our customers.
The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent innovations in technology-driven products and services. In addition to better serving customers, the effective use of technology increases our efficiency and enables us to reduce costs. Our future success will depend, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers using innovative methods, processes and technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands for convenience as well as to add efficiencies in our operations as we continue to grow and expand our market areas. Many national vendors provide turn-key services to community banks, such as Internet banking and remote deposit capture, that allow smaller banks to compete with institutions that have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. We may not be able, however, to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers.

Costs and levels of deposits are affected by competition that could increase our funding costs or liquidity risk.
We rely on bank deposits to be a low cost and stable source of funding. We compete with banks and other financial services companies for deposits. If our competitors raise the rates they pay on deposits, our funding costs may increase, either because we raise our rates to avoid losing deposits or because we lose deposits and must rely on more expensive sources of funding. Higher funding costs could reduce our net interest margin and net interest income and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Acquisition Risks
We have engaged in and may continue to engage in expansion through acquisitions, and these acquisitions present a number of risks related both to the acquisition transactions and to the integration of the acquired businesses.
The acquisition of other financial services companies or assets present risks to us in addition to those presented by the nature of the business acquired. Our earnings, financial condition, and prospects after a merger or acquisition depend in part on our ability to successfully integrate the operations of the acquired company. We may be unable to integrate operations successfully or to achieve expected results or cost savings.

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Acquiring other banks or businesses involves various risks commonly associated with acquisitions, including, among other things:
potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of the target company;
exposure to potential asset quality issues of the target company;
difficulty and expense of integrating the operations and personnel of the target company;
potential disruption to our business;
potential diversion of our management’s time and attention;
the possible loss of key employees and clients of the target company;
difficulty in estimating the value of the target company;
payment of a premium over book and market values that may dilute our tangible book value and earnings per share in the short- and long-term;
inability to realize the expected revenue increases, cost savings, increases in geographic or product presence, and/or other projected benefits; and/or
potential changes in banking or tax laws or regulations that may affect the target company.

We periodically evaluate merger and acquisition opportunities and conduct due diligence activities related to possible transactions with other financial institutions and financial services companies. As a result, merger or acquisition discussions and, in some cases, negotiations may take place, and future mergers or acquisitions involving cash, debt or equity securities may occur at any time. In addition to the risks noted above, potential acquisitions may incur additional costs for diligence or break-up fees, even if the transaction is not consummated.

We may be unable to successfully integrate new business lines into our existing operations.
From time to time, we may implement other new lines of business or offer new products or services within existing lines of business. There can be substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where the markets are not fully developed. Although we continue to expend substantial managerial, operating and financial resources as our business grows, we may be unable to successfully continue the integration of new business lines, and price and profitability targets may not prove feasible. External factors such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives and shifting market preferences, may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of business or a new product or service. Furthermore, any new line of business and new product or service could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our system of internal controls. Failure to successfully manage these risks in the development and implementation of new lines of business or new products or services could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

As we expand outside our current markets, we may encounter additional risks that may adversely affect us.
We are headquartered in Missouri, but have branch locations in the Kansas City, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego metropolitan areas, as well as Northern New Mexico, Florida and Nevada. Over time, we may acquire or open locations in other parts of the United States as well. In the course of these expansion activities, we may encounter significant risks, including unfamiliarity with the characteristics and business dynamics of new markets, increased marketing and administrative expenses and operational difficulties arising from our efforts to attract business in new markets, manage operations in noncontiguous geographic markets, comply with local laws and regulations and effectively and consistently manage personnel and business outside of the State of Missouri. If we are unable to manage these risks, our operations may be materially and adversely affected.

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Technology and Cybersecurity Risks
A failure in or breach, or the inability to recognize a potential breach of our operational or security systems, or those of our third party service providers, including as a result of cyber-attacks, may cause industry-wide operational disruptions that could materially affect our business, result in unintentional disclosure or misuse of confidential or proprietary information, damage our reputation, increase our costs and adversely impact our earnings.
Information security, including cybersecurity, is a high priority for us. Recent highly publicized material events have highlighted the importance of cybersecurity, including cyberattacks against other financial institutions, governmental agencies, and other organizations that resulted in the compromise of personal and/or confidential information, the theft or destruction of corporate information, and demands for ransom payments to release corporate information encrypted by “ransomware.” A successful cyberattack could materially and adversely affect the Bank’s reputation and/or impair its ability to provide services to its clients. We have expended, and may in the future expend, significant resources to implement technologies and various response and recovery plans and procedures as part of our information security program. Additionally, we face the risk of operational disruption, failure, termination or capacity constraints of any of the third parties that facilitate our business activities, including exchanges, clearing agents, clearing houses or other financial intermediaries. Such parties could also be the source of an attack on, or breach of, our operational systems. Any material failures, interruptions or security breaches in our information systems could damage our reputation, result in a loss of client business, result in a violation of privacy or other laws, or expose us to civil litigation, regulatory fines or losses not covered by insurance.

We rely on third-party vendors to provide key components of our business infrastructure.
We rely heavily on third-party service providers for much of our communications, information, operating and financial control systems technology, including relationship management, mobile banking, general ledger, investment, deposit, loan servicing and loan origination systems. While we have selected these third-party vendors carefully and perform ongoing monitoring, we do not control their actions. Any problems caused by these third parties, including as a result of inadequate or interrupted service, could materially affect our ability to successfully deliver products and services to our clients and otherwise conduct our business. Financial or operational difficulties of a third-party vendor could also hurt our operations if those difficulties interfere with the vendor’s ability to serve us, and replacing these third-party vendors could result in significant delay and expense. Accordingly, use of such third parties creates an unavoidable inherent risk to our business operations as well as reputational risk.

Our core operating system conversion may result in business interruptions or other adverse developments.
We plan to replace our core operating systems, including those for loans, deposits, financials and other ancillary systems (collectively referred to as “core system”). The conversion to the new core system is expected to be completed in 2024. We use the core system to track client relationships and accounts and report financial information. The core system is integrated with various other applications that are used to service client requests by bank personnel or directly by clients (such as online and mobile banking). Changing the core system will subject us to operational risks during and after the conversion, including disruptions to its technology systems, which may adversely impact our clients. We have documented plans, policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit the risks of a failure during or after the conversion of our core system. However, there can be no assurance that any such adverse developments will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be timely and adequately remediated. The ultimate impact of any adverse development could damage our reputation, result in a loss of client business, subject us to regulatory scrutiny, or expose it to civil litigation and possibly financial liability, any of which could have a material effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and Depositary Shares
The price of our common stock and depositary shares may be volatile or may decline.
The trading price of our common stock and depositary shares may fluctuate widely as a result of a number of factors, many of which are outside our control. In addition, the stock market is subject to fluctuations in the share prices and trading volumes that affect the market prices of the shares of many companies. These broad market fluctuations could make it more difficult for you to resell your common stock or depositary shares when you want and at prices you find attractive.

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Our stock price and the price of our depositary shares can fluctuate significantly in response to a variety of factors including, among other things:
actual or anticipated quarterly fluctuations in our operating results and financial condition;
changes in revenue or earnings estimates or publication of research reports and recommendations by financial analysts;
reputation;
failure to meet analysts’ revenue or earnings estimates;
speculation in the press or investment community;
strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions or restructurings;
actions by institutional shareholders;
fluctuations in the stock prices and operating results of our competitors;
general market conditions and, in particular, developments related to market conditions for the financial services industry;
proposed or adopted regulatory changes or developments;
anticipated or pending investigations, proceedings or litigation that involve or affect us; and/or
domestic and international economic factors unrelated to our performance.

The stock market and, in particular, the market for financial institution stocks, has historically experienced significant volatility. As a result, the market price of our common stock and depositary shares may be volatile. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock and depositary shares may fluctuate more than usual and cause significant price variations to occur. The trading price of the shares of our common stock and our depositary shares and the value of our other securities will depend on many factors, which may change from time to time, including, without limitation, our financial condition, performance, creditworthiness and prospects, future sales of our equity or equity related securities, and other factors identified in this annual report and our other reports. In some cases, the markets have produced downward pressure on stock prices and credit availability for certain issuers without regard to those issuers’ underlying financial strength or operating results. A significant decline in our stock or depositary share prices could result in substantial losses for individual shareholders and could lead to costly and disruptive securities litigation.

The trading volume in our common stock and depositary shares is less than that of other larger financial institutions.
Although our common stock and depositary shares are listed for trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, trading volume may be less than that of other, larger financial services companies. A public trading market having the desired characteristics of depth, liquidity and orderliness depends on the presence in the marketplace of willing buyers and sellers of our common stock or depositary shares at any given time, a factor over which we have no control. During any period of lower trading volume of our common stock or depositary shares, significant sales of shares of our common stock or depositary shares or the expectation of these sales could cause our common stock or depositary shares price to fall.

An investment in our common stock or depositary shares is not insured and you could lose the value of your entire investment.
An investment in our common stock or depositary shares is not a savings account, deposit or other obligation of our bank subsidiary, any non-bank subsidiary or any other bank, and such investment is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other governmental agency. As a result, if you acquire our common stock or depositary shares, you may lose some or all of your investment.

Our ability to pay dividends is limited by various statutes and regulations and depends primarily on the Bank’s ability to distribute funds to us and is also limited by various statutes and regulations.
We depend on payments from the Bank, including dividends, management fees and payments under tax sharing agreements, for substantially all of our liquidity requirements. Federal and state regulations limit the amount of dividends and the amount of payments the Bank may make to us under tax sharing agreements. In certain circumstances, the Missouri Division of Finance, FDIC, or Federal Reserve Board could restrict or prohibit the Bank from distributing dividends or making other payments to us. In the event the Bank was restricted from paying
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dividends to us or making payments under the tax sharing agreement, we may not be able to service our debt, pay our other obligations or pay dividends on our common stock or preferred stock. If we are unable or determine not to pay dividends on our outstanding equity securities, the market price of such securities could be materially adversely affected.

There can be no assurance of any future dividends on our common stock or our depositary shares.
Holders of our common stock and depositary shares are entitled to receive dividends only when, as and if declared by the Board of Directors. Although we have historically paid cash dividends, we are not required to do so.

Our outstanding preferred stock and debt securities, including debt securities related to our trust preferred securities, restrict our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock.
We have outstanding preferred stock and subordinated debentures issued to statutory trust subsidiaries, which have issued and sold preferred securities in the Trusts to investors. These instruments prohibit the payment of dividends on our common stock in certain situations. See “Item 1. Business – Supervision and Regulation - Financial Holding Company - Dividend Restrictions and Share Repurchases” for additional information.

Moreover, any other financing agreements that we enter into in the future may limit our ability to pay cash dividends on our capital stock, including the common stock. In the event that our existing or future financing agreements restrict our ability to pay dividends in cash on the common stock, we may be unable to pay dividends in cash on the common stock unless we can refinance amounts outstanding under those agreements. In addition, if we are unable or determine not to pay interest on our preferred stock or subordinated debentures, the market price of our common stock could be materially or adversely affected.

Anti-takeover provisions could negatively impact our shareholders.
Provisions of Delaware law and of our certificate of incorporation, as amended, and bylaws, as well as various provisions of federal and Missouri state law applicable to bank and bank holding companies, could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us or have the effect of discouraging a third party from attempting to acquire control of us. We are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which would make it more difficult for another party to acquire us without the approval of our Board of Directors. Additionally, our certificate of incorporation, as amended, authorizes our Board of Directors to issue preferred stock which could be issued as a defensive measure in response to a takeover proposal. In the event of a proposed merger, tender offer or other attempt to gain control of the Company, our Board of Directors would have the ability to readily issue available shares of preferred stock as a method of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change in control of the Company. Such issuance could occur regardless of whether our shareholders favorably view the merger, tender offer or other attempt to gain control of the Company. These and other provisions could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us even if an acquisition might be in the best interests of our shareholders. Although we have no present intention to issue any additional shares of our authorized preferred stock, there can be no assurance that the Company will not do so in the future.

General Risk Factors
Climate change may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Political and social attention to the issue of climate change has continued. Federal and state legislatures and regulatory agencies continue to propose and advance numerous legislative and regulatory initiatives seeking to mitigate the effects of climate change. As a financial institution, it is unclear how future government regulations and shifts in business trends resulting from increased concern about climate change will affect our operations; however, natural or man-made disasters and severe weather events may cause operational disruptions and damage to both our properties and properties securing our loans. Losses resulting from these disasters and severe weather events may make it more difficult for borrowers to timely repay their loans. If these events occur, we may experience a decrease in the value of our loan portfolio and our revenue, and may incur additional operational expenses, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

With the increased importance and focus on climate change, we are making efforts to enhance our governance of climate change-related risks and integrate climate considerations into our risk governance framework. Nonetheless,
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the risks associated with climate change are rapidly changing and evolving in an escalating fashion, making them difficult to assess due to limited data and other uncertainties. We could experience increased expenses resulting from strategic planning, litigation, and technology and market changes, and reputational harm as a result of negative public sentiment, regulatory scrutiny, and reduced investor and stakeholder confidence due to our response to climate change and our climate change strategy, which, in turn, could have a material negative impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

ITEM 1B: UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 1C: CYBERSECURITY

Governance
Our Information Security (“IS”) Program consists of policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure the security, availability and confidentiality of client information. The IS Program is led by our Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”) under the direction of the Chief Administrative Officer and is subject to additional management oversight by our Operations Technology Committee. The CISO has over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and has a bachelor's, master's, and Juris Doctorate law degrees. He is a licensed attorney in both Missouri and Illinois. He currently holds multiple professional security certifications that include ISC2 Certified Information System Security Professional and Certified Cloud Security Professional, ISACA Certified Information Security Manager and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker. The Chief Administrative Officer has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA degree. He is also an active, licensed CPA in the state of Missouri. Prior to his appointment as Chief Administrative Officer, he served at Enterprise in senior finance roles within the Company, including Senior Vice President and Controller, and Chief Financial Officer of Enterprise Bank & Trust. The Operations Technology Committee is a management committee with overall responsibility for monitoring the systems, policies and procedures for our loan, deposit and wealth management business operations. This includes the framework used to identify and prevent cyberattacks or breaches. The Operations Technology Committee chair reports committee activities into the Risk Committee of the Board. Additionally, the CISO is a member of this committee, as well as the Risk Oversight and ESG Management Committees, and advises these committees on risks and opportunities related to information security, including data privacy.

The Risk Committee of the Board oversees the IS Program in the following ways: (a) monitors and oversees the Company’s business and information technology operations necessary for its business plan, including projected growth, technology capacity, planning, operational execution, product development and management capacity, (b) reviews the Company’s framework to prevent, detect, and respond to cyberattacks or breaches, as well as identifying areas of concern regarding possible vulnerabilities and best practices to secure points of vulnerability, and reviews policies pertaining to information security and cyber threats, taking into account the potential for external threats, internal threats, and threats arising from transactions with trusted third parties and vendors, and (c) reviews the Company’s incident response, business continuity and disaster recovery planning and preparedness including processes, policies and procedures that are related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure which are vital to the Company. As part of the Board’s oversight, the Board receives quarterly IS reports and updates from the Chief Information Officer (“CIO”) and CISO. At least annually, our Board also receives IS reports from the CISO which summarize new and emerging cybersecurity trends, trends in type, frequency and origination of attacks, and the effectiveness of our IS Program in mitigating cybersecurity threats. In the event of an information security incident, our Incident Response Plan clarifies the steps for escalation according to the severity of the attack

The IS team is staffed primarily with internal associates and we utilize third party service providers for extended coverage. We hire IS team members that have industry relevant information security or technology certifications and knowledge to implement and oversee the procedures and processes of our IS Program and to adequately manage and enforce our IS policies, procedures and guidelines. Further, management involved in the cybersecurity process possess the necessary skills and expertise to adequately manage and enforce our IS policies, procedures and guidelines.

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While all vendors are subject to our vendor management due diligence process, those with access to our data and data centers are subject to more rigorous initial and more frequent ongoing due diligence. This includes reviews of Service Organization Control 2 reports, information security policies, vulnerability and penetration tests, human resource policies such as background checks and training, and business continuity plans.

We may face cybersecurity risks in connection with our normal business that could have a material adverse effect on our business strategy, results of operations, financial condition, or reputation. Although such risks have not materially affected us, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, cyber incidents during our normal course of business. For further discussion about these risks, see “Item 1A- Risk Factors - Technology and Cybersecurity Risks.”

Risk Management and Strategy
As part of the ongoing maintenance and development of our IS Program, we assess the various risks associated with the unauthorized access or loss of client information and the quality of security controls as prescribed by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework. Our IS risk assessments are prepared in conjunction with our ERM framework, and the results are used to develop strategies to minimize risk to information assets.

Our systems are monitored 24/7 for cybersecurity threats, and we utilize a variety of tools to reduce the risk of data breaches. We maintain an Incident Response Plan which outlines the steps to be taken in the event of an information security incident, which could include a potential or actual data breach. The plan identifies a designated team, including associates and third-party experts responsible for the response, and summarizes the steps, including escalation protocol, for determining whether a breach has occurred and the nature and scope of the breach (if applicable). The plan also summarizes protocol for notifying impacted persons, which may include clients, as well as other applicable agencies or persons, including law enforcement and regulatory authorities.

The Incident Response Plan is led by our CISO, who is also a member of the Disclosure Committee. The Disclosure Committee is a cross-functional management group that is tasked with ensuring that external disclosures subject to SEC rules and regulations are accurate, complete, and timely. Members of the Disclosure Committee include leadership from accounting, credit, information security, information technology, legal, and operations. In conjunction with the working process of the Incident Response Plan, members of the Disclosure Committee evaluate cybersecurity incidents to determine whether disclosure is required.

At least annually, we conduct a third-party information security penetration audit focusing on internal and external network security protocols, as well as internally managed ad hoc testing as needed. Simulations and tabletop testing of our business continuity and Incident Response Plans are performed on a routine basis to test and assist with our associates’ familiarity and preparedness for a security event. Any gaps or improvement areas identified by routine testing are addressed in a timely manner to help improve future security testing.

The processes and controls related to data security are regularly tested by the IS department and Internal Audit. Additional internal security assessments may be performed at the request of the CISO, CIO, the Director of Internal Audit, Management or our Board. Audit and assessment results are presented to the Board, as well as the following committees: management’s Operations Technology Committee and the Audit and Risk Committees of the Board.

At least annually, the IS Program, including its effectiveness, is reviewed by the Board or a committee thereof. Annually, all associates participate in mandatory training on data privacy provisions and policies, including information security and its importance with respect to client and associate privacy.

All associates (including both full-time and part-time associates) are required to participate in monthly firmwide phishing tests.

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ITEM 2: PROPERTIES

Our executive offices are located at 150 North Meramec Avenue, Clayton, Missouri, 63105. As of December 31, 2023, we utilized banking locations and administrative offices throughout our market areas of Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico. Additionally, the Company has a limited network of loan production offices and deposit production offices in various other states. We own or lease our facilities and believe all of our properties are in good condition to meet our business needs.

ITEM 3: LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

The Company and its subsidiaries are, from time to time, parties to various legal proceedings arising out of their businesses. Management believes there are no such legal proceedings pending or threatened against the Company or its subsidiaries in the ordinary course of business, directly, indirectly, or in the aggregate that, if determined adversely, would have a material adverse effect on the business, consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows of the Company or any of its subsidiaries.

For more information on our legal proceedings, see “Item 8. Note 13 – Litigation and Other Contingencies” in this report.

ITEM 4: MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

PART II
 
ITEM 5: MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market for Our Common Stock
The Company’s common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “EFSC.” As of February 21, 2024, the Company had 1,670 registered shareholders of common stock. The number of holders of record does not represent the actual number of beneficial owners of our common stock because securities dealers and others frequently hold shares in “street name” for the benefit of individual owners who have the right to vote shares.

Dividends
The Company paid quarterly cash dividends on common shares in each of 2023, 2022 and 2021 and anticipates continuing to pay comparable dividends. Total dividends paid per common share were $1.00 in 2023, $0.90 in 2022 and $0.75 in 2021. However, we have no obligation to pay dividends and we may change our dividend policy at any time without notice to our shareholders.

Our ability to pay dividends is substantially dependent upon the ability of our subsidiaries to pay cash dividends to us. Information on regulatory restrictions on our ability to pay dividends is set forth in “Part I, Item 1. Business - Supervision and Regulation - Financial Holding Company - Dividend Restrictions and Share Repurchases.” The amount of dividends, if any, that may be declared by the Company also depends on many other factors, including future earnings, bank regulatory capital requirements and business conditions as they affect the Company and its subsidiaries. As a result, no assurance can be given that dividends will be paid in the future with respect to our common stock.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities and Use of Proceeds
None.

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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
None.
Stock Performance Graph
The following graph compares the cumulative total shareholder return on the Company’s common stock from December 31, 2018 through December 31, 2023. The graph compares the Company’s common stock with the Nasdaq Composite Index (U.S. companies) and the S&P Regional Banks Select Industry Index.

The graph assumes an investment of $100.00 in the Company’s common stock and each index at the respective closing price on December 31, 2018 and reinvestment of all quarterly dividends. The investment is measured as of each subsequent fiscal year end. There is no assurance the Company’s common stock performance will continue in the future with the same or similar results as shown in the graph.
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Period Ending December 31,
Index201820192020202120222023
Enterprise Financial Services Corp$100.00 $129.98 $96.41 $131.97 $139.92 $130.59 
Nasdaq Composite Index$100.00 $136.69 $198.10 $242.03 $163.28 $236.17 
S&P Regional Banks Select Industry Index$100.00 $127.64 $118.58 $165.90 $141.42 $130.91 

*Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

ITEM 6: [RESERVED]

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ITEM 7: MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
Introduction
The objective of this section is to provide an overview of the results of operations and financial condition of the Company by focusing on changes in certain key measures from year to year. It should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes contained in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” and other financial data presented elsewhere in this report, particularly the information regarding the Company’s business operations described in Item 1. A detailed discussion comparing 2022 and 2021 results is incorporated herein by reference to Item 7 of the Company’s 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 24, 2023.

Executive Summary
Our Company offers a broad range of business and personal banking services including wealth management services. Lending services include commercial and industrial, commercial real estate, real estate construction and development, residential real estate, specialty, and other loans. A wide variety of deposit products and a complete suite of treasury management and international trade services complement our lending capabilities. The Company’s results of operations are also affected by prevailing economic conditions, competition, government policies and other actions of regulatory agencies.

The Company’s financial condition, operating results and liquidity in 2023 continued to be impacted by the monetary policy actions enacted to address rising inflation. The Federal Reserve increased the target federal funds rate 100 basis points in 2023, following a 425 basis point increase in 2022. The Federal Reserve has continued to tighten their monetary policy by reducing Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities held on its balance sheet. This follows a period of highly expansionary fiscal support from the federal government during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021.






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Financial Performance Highlights
Below are highlights of our financial performance for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021.
($ in thousands, except per share data)Year ended December 31,
202320222021
EARNINGS
Total interest income$764,919 $515,082 $383,230 
Total interest expense202,327 41,179 23,036 
Net interest income562,592 473,903 360,194 
Provision (benefit) for credit losses36,605 (611)13,385 
Net interest income after provision (benefit) for credit losses525,987 474,514 346,809 
Total noninterest income68,725 59,162 67,743 
Total noninterest expense348,186 274,216 245,919 
Income before income tax expense246,526 259,460 168,633 
Income tax expense52,467 56,417 35,578 
Net income$194,059 $203,043 $133,055 
Preferred dividends3,750 4,041 — 
Net income available to common shareholders$190,309 $199,002 $133,055 
Basic earnings per share$5.09 $5.32 $3.86 
Diluted earnings per share$5.07 $5.31 $3.86 
Return on average assets1
1.42 %1.52 %1.16 %
Return on average common equity1
12.39 %13.95 %10.49 %
Return on average tangible common equity1
16.40 %19.10 %14.18 %
Net interest margin (fully tax equivalent)4.43 %3.89 %3.41 %
Efficiency ratio55.15 %51.44 %57.47 %
Core efficiency ratio1
53.42 %49.77 %49.68 %
Common dividend payout ratio19.64 %16.89 %19.66 %
Book value per common share$43.94 $38.93 $38.53 
Tangible book value per common share1
$33.85 $28.67 $28.28 
Average common equity to average assets11.76 %11.25 %11.14 %
Tangible common equity to tangible assets1
8.96 %8.43 %8.13 %
At or for the year ended December 31,
202320222021
ASSET QUALITY
Net charge-offs$38,044 $3,899 $11,629 
Nonperforming loans43,728 9,981 28,024 
Nonaccrual loans43,181 9,766 23,449 
Classified assets185,389 99,122 100,797 
Total assets14,518,590 13,054,172 13,537,358 
Total loans10,884,118 9,737,138 9,017,642 
Classified assets to total assets1.28 %0.76 %0.74 %
Nonperforming loans to total loans0.40 %0.10 %0.31 %
Nonperforming assets to total assets 0.34 %0.08 %0.23 %
ACL on loans to total loans1.24 %1.41 %1.61 %
Net charge-offs to average loans0.37 %0.04 %0.14 %
1Non-GAAP measures. A reconciliation has been included in this MD&A section under the caption “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

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The Company noted the following trends during 2023:

The Company reported net income of $194.1 million, or $5.07 per diluted share for 2023, compared to $203.0 million, or $5.31 per diluted share for 2022. PPNR1 for 2023 was $284.8 million, compared to $258.9 million in 2022. PPNR ROAA1 for 2023 and 2022 was 2.06% and 1.94%, respectively. Organic earning-asset growth and expansion of net interest income due to the increase in market interest rates were the primary contributors to the PPNR increase in 2023. Offsetting the increase in PPNR was a $37.2 million increase in the provision for credit losses in 2023 compared to 2022.

Net interest income for 2023 totaled $562.6 million, an increase of $88.7 million, or 19%, compared to $473.9 million for 2022. The Company’s asset sensitive balance sheet benefited from the increase in market interest rates during 2023. Net interest margin increased 54 basis points to 4.43% during 2023, compared to 3.89% in 2022. The increase was primarily due to the 6.67% loan yield in 2023, which increased 170 basis points, from 4.97% in 2022.
Noninterest income was $68.7 million, an increase of 16% from $59.2 million in 2022. The increase was primarily due to higher volumes in tax credit income, private equity and community development income, and gains on the sale of SBA loans. Offsetting these amounts were a decrease in deposit services charges due to higher earnings credit rates, and a decrease in card services income due to the full year impact of the Durbin Amendment.

Total noninterest expense was $348.2 million in 2023, a 27% increase from $274.2 million in 2022. The increase was primarily from higher customer servicing deposit costs due to higher deposit balances and an increase in earnings credit rates, and an increase in compensation from a larger associate base and annual merit increases. The Company’s core efficiency ratio1 was 53.4% in 2023, compared to 49.8% for the prior year.

The Company’s effective tax rate was 21.3% in 2023 compared to 21.7% in 2022.
1Non-GAAP measures. A reconciliation has been included in this MD&A section under the caption “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

2023 Significant Transactions
During 2023, we announced the following significant transactions:

Dividends paid in 2023 of $1.00 per share increased $0.10 per share, or 11%, compared to $0.90 per share in 2022.

The Company paid $3.8 million, or $50.00 per share, to preferred shareholders in 2023.

The process of converting to a leading core operating system was initiated. The conversion is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024.

2022 Significant Transactions
During 2022, we announced the following significant transactions:

The Company repurchased 700,473 of its common shares at a weighted-average share price of $47.00.

Dividends paid in 2022 of $0.90 per share increased $0.15 per share, or 20%, compared to $0.75 per share in 2021.

Retired 1,980,093 shares of treasury stock.

32


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Net Interest Income
Average Balance Sheet
The following table presents, for the periods indicated, certain information related to our average interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, as well as, the corresponding interest rates earned and paid, all on a tax equivalent basis. Average balances are presented on a daily average basis.
 Year ended December 31,
 202320222021
($ in thousands)Average BalanceInterest
Income/Expense
Average
Yield/
Rate
Average BalanceInterest
Income/Expense
Average
Yield/
Rate
Average BalanceInterest
Income/Expense
Average
Yield/
Rate
Assets      
Interest-earning assets:      
Loans1, 2
$10,324,951 $688,439 6.67 %$9,193,682 $456,703 4.97 %$8,055,873 $349,112 4.33 %
Taxable securities1,320,664 40,920 3.10 1,228,514 29,638 2.41 908,189 19,305 2.13 
Non-taxable securities2
970,888 30,209 3.11 872,173 25,184 2.89 659,804 18,468 2.80 
Total securities2,291,552 71,129 3.10 2,100,687 54,822 2.61 1,567,993 37,773 2.41 
Interest-earning deposits260,214 13,430 5.16 1,074,165 10,599 0.99 1,084,853 1,496 0.14 
Total interest-earning assets12,876,717 772,998 6.00 12,368,534 522,124 4.22 10,708,719 388,381 3.63 
         
Noninterest-earning assets928,519   951,090   758,591   
 Total assets$13,805,236   $13,319,624   $11,467,310   
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity      
Interest-bearing liabilities:      
Interest-bearing demand accounts$2,559,238 $46,976 1.84 %$2,318,363 $7,038 0.30 %$2,122,752 $1,614 0.08 %
Money market accounts3,043,794 92,976 3.05 2,781,579 19,306 0.69 2,557,836 4,669 0.18 
Savings accounts668,368 975 0.15 819,043 305 0.04 724,768 225 0.03 
Certificates of deposit1,198,551 42,796 3.57 569,272 3,509 0.62 570,496 4,160 0.73 
Total interest-bearing deposits7,469,951 183,723 2.46 6,488,257 30,158 0.46 5,975,852 10,668 0.18 
Subordinated debentures and notes155,702 9,781 6.28 155,160 9,166 5.91 195,686 10,960 5.60 
FHLB advances54,615 2,752 5.04 33,467 599 1.79 59,945 803 1.34 
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase168,745 3,647 2.16 211,039 506 0.24 225,894 235 0.10 
Other borrowings71,738 2,424 3.38 22,812 750 3.29 26,428 370 1.40 
Total interest-bearing liabilities7,920,751 202,327 2.55 6,910,735 41,179 0.60 6,483,805 23,036 0.36 
Noninterest bearing liabilities:         
Demand deposits4,131,163   4,805,549   3,597,204   
Other liabilities130,201   104,581   109,148   
Total liabilities12,182,115   11,820,865   10,190,157   
Shareholders' equity1,623,121   1,498,759   1,277,153   
Total liabilities & shareholders' equity$13,805,236   $13,319,624   $11,467,310   
Net interest income $570,671   $480,945   $365,345  
Net interest spread  3.45 %  3.62 %  3.27 %
Net interest margin (tax equivalent)  4.43 %  3.89 %  3.41 %
1Average balances include non-accrual loans. Interest income includes net loan fees of $13.8 million, $16.7 million, and $28.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021 respectively. Loan fees in 2022 and 2021 included PPP fees of $4.1 million and $21.7 million, respectively.

2Non-taxable income is presented on a fully tax-equivalent basis using a tax rate of approximately 25%. The tax-equivalent adjustments were $8.1 million, $7.0 million, and $5.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021 respectively.

33


Rate/Volume
The following table sets forth, on a tax-equivalent basis for the periods indicated, a summary of the changes in interest income and interest expense resulting from changes in yield/rates and volume.
 2023 compared to 20222022 compared to 2021
Increase (decrease) due toIncrease (decrease) due to
($ in thousands)
Volume1
Rate2
Net
Volume1
Rate2
Net
Interest earned on:   
Loans$61,460 $170,276 $231,736 $52,238 $55,353 $107,591 
Taxable securities2,355 8,927 11,282 7,474 2,859 10,333 
Non-taxable securities3
2,981 2,045 5,026 6,115 601 6,716 
Interest-earning deposits(13,192)16,023 2,831 (15)9,118 9,103 
Total interest-earning assets53,604 197,271 250,875 65,812 67,931 133,743 
Interest paid on:   
Interest-bearing demand accounts$805 $39,133 $39,938 $162 $5,262 $5,424 
Money market accounts1,987 71,683 73,670 443 14,194 14,637 
Savings(66)736 670 31 49 80 
Certificates of deposit7,363 31,924 39,287 (9)(642)(651)
Subordinated debentures and notes32 583 615 (2,368)574 (1,794)
FHLB advances555 1,599 2,154 (423)219 (204)
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase(126)3,268 3,142 (16)287 271 
Other borrowed funds1,729 (56)1,673 (57)437 380 
Total interest-bearing liabilities12,279 148,870 161,149 (2,237)20,380 18,143 
Net interest income$41,325 $48,401 $89,726 $68,049 $47,551 $115,600 
1Change in volume multiplied by yield/rate of prior period.
2Change in yield/rate multiplied by volume of prior period.
3Nontaxable income is presented on a fully tax equivalent basis using a tax rate of approximately 25%.
NOTE: The change in interest due to both rate and volume has been allocated to rate and volume changes in proportion to the relationship of the absolute dollar amounts of the change in each.

Net interest income (on a tax equivalent basis) was $570.7 million for 2023, compared to $480.9 million for 2022, an increase of $89.8 million, or 19%. The increase in net interest income in 2023 was primarily due to a higher average yield on interest earning assets and organic loan growth. These increases were offset by an increase in the average cost paid on interest bearing liabilities.

Total tax equivalent interest income increased $250.9 million in 2023 primarily due to a $231.7 million increase in loan interest income. The increase was primarily due to the 6.67% loan yield in 2023, which increased 170 basis points, from 4.97% in 2022. In addition, average loan balances in 2023 increased to $10.3 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion over the average for 2022. Tax equivalent interest income on securities (taxable and non-taxable) in 2023 increased $16.3 million from 2022, primarily due to an $11.0 million increase in yield and a $5.3 million increase in average balances. Average securities represented 18% of earnings assets in 2023 and 17% in 2022.

Overall, average interest-earning assets increased $0.5 billion, or 4%, to $12.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023. The increase was due to organic growth in average earning assets in the loan portfolio and a deployment of excess liquidity into the investment portfolio. Volume growth of the balance sheet drove an increase in interest income on earning assets of $53.6 million, while the increase in interest rates drove interest income on interest-earnings assets up by $197.3 million in 2023 compared to 2022.

Total interest expense increased $161.1 million in 2023 primarily due to increased deposit interest expense. The increase in deposit interest expense reflects higher rates paid on deposits, as well as successful marketing efforts that
34


increased average deposits. Remixing of the deposit portfolio from non-interest bearing and lower cost accounts into higher cost accounts contributed to the increase in deposit interest expense in 2023. Total average interest-bearing deposits increased to $7.5 billion, an increase of $981.7 million, or 15%, in 2023 over the average for 2022. Average noninterest bearing deposits declined $674.4 million, or 14%, in 2023 compared to the average for 2022. Average noninterest bearing deposits represented 36% of total average deposits in 2023, compared to 43% in 2022. Overall, average interest-bearing liabilities increased $1.0 billion, or 15% for the year ended December 31, 2023. The current mix of interest-bearing liabilities increased interest expense in 2023 by $12.3 million, while the increase in the average cost of interest bearing liabilities increased interest expense $148.9 million in 2023.

The tax-equivalent net interest margin was 4.43% for 2023, compared to 3.89% for 2022. The primary driver of the increase in net interest margin from 2022 to 2023 was an increase market interest rates. In 2023, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates three times. The federal funds target rate increased 100 basis points in 2023. The increase in short-term rates increased the yield on the Company’s variable-rate loan portfolio, as well as the yield earned on new loan production. As of December 31, 2023, variable-rate loans comprised approximately 61% of total loans. The increase in market interest rates also increased the cost on interest bearing liabilities. The earning asset yield increased 178 basis points to 6.00% in 2023, compared to 4.22% in 2022. Comparatively, the cost of interest bearing liabilities increased 195 basis points to 2.55%, from 0.60% in 2022.

Noninterest Income
The following table presents a comparative summary of the major components of noninterest income for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2023:
Year ended December 31,Change from
($ in thousands)2023202220212023 vs. 20222022 vs. 2021
Service charges on deposit accounts$16,559 $18,326 $15,428 $(1,767)$2,898 
Wealth management revenue10,030 10,010 10,259 20 (249)
Card services revenue10,028 11,551 11,880 (1,523)(329)
Tax credit income9,196 2,558 8,028 6,638 (5,470)
Miscellaneous income22,912 16,717 22,148 6,195 (5,431)
Total noninterest income$68,725 $59,162 $67,743 $9,563 $(8,581)

Noninterest income increased $9.6 million, or 16%, in 2023 compared to 2022. This increase was primarily due to a $6.6 million increase in tax credit income and a $6.2 million increase in miscellaneous income. Tax credit income increased due to higher activity and a decline in longer term interest rates that positively impacted tax credits carried at fair value. Miscellaneous income increased due to private equity and community development income and gains on the sale of SBA loans. Private equity and community development income are not consistent sources of income and fluctuate based on distributions and earnings from the underlying funds. In 2023, $42.1 million of SBA loans were sold and a gain of $2.0 million was recognized. No SBA loans were sold in 2022.

Card services revenue declined $1.5 million in 2023. Included in this decline was a decrease of $2.3 million in debit card interchange income, partially offset by a $0.6 million increase in credit card fees. The Durbin Amendment limits the amount of interchange income banks can earn on debit card transactions after total assets exceed $10 billion. This limitation went into effect for the Company at the beginning of the third quarter of 2022 and was the primary driver of the reduction in debit card revenue.

35


Noninterest Expense
The following table presents a comparative summary of the components of noninterest expense:
Year ended December 31,Change from
($ in thousands)2023202220212023 vs. 20222022 vs. 2021
Employee compensation and benefits$164,566 $147,029 $124,904 $17,537 $22,125 
Deposit costs72,293 31,082 14,211 41,211 16,871 
Occupancy16,526 17,640 16,286 (1,114)1,354 
Data processing15,196 13,513 12,242 1,683 1,271 
Professional fees5,719 7,079 4,289 (1,360)2,790 
Branch-closure expenses— — 3,441 — (3,441)
Merger-related expenses— — 22,082 — (22,082)
Other expenses73,886 57,873 48,464 16,013 9,409 
Total noninterest expense$348,186 $274,216 $245,919 $73,970 $28,297 
Efficiency ratio55.15 %51.44 %57.47 %3.71 %(6.03)%
Core efficiency ratio1
53.42 %49.77 %49.68 %3.65 %0.09 %
1 A non-GAAP measure. A reconciliation has been included in this MD&A section under the caption “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Noninterest expense increased $74.0 million, or 27%, in 2023 compared to 2022. The increase was attributed primarily to a $41.2 million increase in deposit costs, a $17.5 million increase in compensation and benefits, and a $16.0 million increase in other expenses. For certain deposit accounts in the Company’s specialized deposit portfolio, clients receive an earnings credit rate on average collected balances that may be used to offset expenses associated with the client’s activities for managing the accounts. These costs are reflected in noninterest expense as Deposit costs. The increase in deposit costs in 2023 is due to organic growth in specialized deposits and an increase in market interest rates that increased the earnings credit rate and related expenses for those accounts. The Company maintained approximately $2.6 billion and $2.0 billion of average specialty deposits, resulting in an average specialty deposit cost of 2.75% and 1.41% for 2023 and 2022, respectively.

The increase in compensation and benefits was due to annual merit increases and an increase in full time equivalent employees, higher share-based compensation from higher award levels, and higher medical costs due to inflationary increases. The Company expects to continue to invest in its associates and other infrastructure that supports growth. In addition, low unemployment, inflationary pressures and a shift in employee work arrangements to a virtual/hybrid model are expected to continue to have an impact on future operating expenses.

The increase in other expense of $16.0 million was attributed primarily to a $6.1 million increase in FDIC assessment and other insurance, a $1.7 million increase in loan, legal and other real estate expenses, and a $1.6 million increase in marketing and public relations expenses. The increase in FDIC assessment and other insurance is primarily due to an FDIC special assessment in the amount of $2.4 million and an increase due to the growth of the balance sheet. In November 2023, the FDIC issued a Final Rule on Special Assessment Pursuant to Systemic Risk Determination, implementing a special assessment to recover the cost associated with protecting uninsured depositors following the closure of FDIC insured banks earlier in 2023. The FDIC will collect the special assessment at an annual rate of approximately 13.4 basis points over eight quarterly assessment periods beginning in January 2024. The Company’s portion of the special assessment is approximately $2.4 million and was expensed in the fourth quarter of 2023.



36


Income Taxes
The Company’s blended federal and state tax rate was approximately 24.8% in 2023 and 25.2% in 2022. The effective tax rate, which is adjusted for permanent differences, such as tax exempt income, was 21.3% in 2023 compared to 21.7% in 2022. In conjunction with the completion of the 2022 tax returns in the fourth quarter of 2023, the effective tax rate decreased due to a lower state tax apportionment. See “Item 8. Note 16 – Income Taxes” for additional information.

FINANCIAL CONDITION

Summary Balance Sheet
($ in thousands)December 31,% Increase (Decrease)
2023202220212023 vs. 20222022 vs. 2021
Total cash and cash equivalents$433,029 $291,359 $2,021,689 48.62 %(85.59)%
Securities2,368,707 2,245,722 1,795,687 5.48 %25.06 %
Total loans10,884,118 9,737,138 9,017,642 11.78 %7.98 %
Total assets14,518,590 13,054,172