Cover Story

Serving All: M1 Bank

“I never intended to re-enter the financial services sector, much less build another bank,” says Ken Poteet, founder of the new M1 Bank, which is set to open its Clayton branch in September. The founder and former CEO of Sterling Bank and Sterling Bancshares says he views this new venture as an opportunity to establish a generational purpose and mission on a national scale.

Poteet’s goal with M1 is to create a bank with staying power that serves a diverse population, from millennials to baby boomers and beyond. “M1 Bank is a purposeand relationship-driven financial institution,” he says. “Even though we are a national brand, our culture is built on maintaining relationships with our clients and becoming local stewards of the communities we serve.” Named for an economic measurement of the nation’s money supply, M1 Bank brings together Poteet’s most trusted financial services team to create a boutique banking experience.

With a direct focus on renewable energy and affordable housing, Poteet is hoping to make a difference in the lives of others by channeling his team’s 30-plus years of experience in this niche. He has financed and assisted with more than $3 billion in the development of low- to moderate-income housing and renewable energy projects throughout the continental U.S. and Hawaii.

M1 Bank also will expand on its commitment to giving back with an extensive charitable focus. Poteet, his wife Stephanie, and sons Mclane and Corey all have a passion for supporting at-risk children, the arts and veterans, and are dedicated to creating a culture of service at M1 Bank.

L.I.F.E. Arts Inc. will be one of the recipients of their charitable endeavors. Created by Grammy Award-winning recording artist Brian Owens, the nonprofit provides artistic resources, opportunities, mentoring and positive experiences to help students develop the qualities and skills they need to live up to their God-given potential.

“I met the Poteets years ago,” Owens says. “We hit it off right away, and our shared faith solidified our relationship. And now this new and exciting venture with M1 Bank makes me believe it’s why we met so many years ago.” M1 already has partnered with L.I.F.E. Arts to create a permanent facility in North County that will support the growing organization year-round. A ribbon-cutting event is planned for this fall.

In addition, M1 Bank has partnered with the Kaufman Fund, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that supports veterans and children at risk of abuse or poverty who need food, shelter, clothing, medical care and other basic needs. M1 Bank is the first-ever title sponsor for the nonprofit’s Ralph Kaufman Memorial Golf Tournament. Other foundations and causes championed by Poteet and M1 Bank include Cal’s Angels, The Little Bit Foundation, Kids Rock Cancer, The Jewish Federation and The Michael Phelps Foundation.

“We have created a way to give back to our community that goes beyond just supporting a few charities,” Poteet says. “Our entire focus and passion are fueled by enriching the lives of others through a shared commitment to relationships and purpose.”

M1 Bank’s Clayton branch at 112 S. Hanley Road is scheduled to open in September, and the Des Peres branch at 11679 Manchester Road is scheduled for completion this December. Pictured on the cover: Hope Hillis, Stephanie Bahn Poteet, Ken Poteeet, Brian Owens, Olivia Dazey. For more information, call 636.515.1825 or visit

Cover design by Allie Bronsky
Cover photo by Colin Miller of Strauss Peyton Photography

Pictured above: Trent Hillis, McLane Poteet, Corey Poteet, Don Hutson Jr.