Bayard Clark
Executive Fellow

Bayard Clark

Bayard Clark, PhD, recently joined the History Department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as coordinator for its new internship program. Immediately prior, he served for a year as CFO of the Missouri History Museum.

In May 2013, he earned a doctorate in American Studies at St. Louis University and previously a juris doctorate at the same school. Clark graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American history. There, he was a Morehead Scholar and recipient of a NROTC scholarship. After graduation he then served four years as a lieutenant in the United States Navy before beginning a 38 year career in commercial banking in St. Louis.

Clark retired in 2010 after spending the last 34 years of his banking career with Commerce Bancshares, a regional banking company with $22 billion in assets. For the last thirteen years at Commerce he was executive vice president and chief financial officer with added responsibilities for mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, strategic planning, real estate and asset/liability management. Clark was the point on more than 40 bank acquisitions, which helped create the bank's current five-state lower Midwest footprint. During his stint as CFO the bank was financially strong enough during the 2008-2009 financial crisis to decline government money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP); in fact, Commerce was the largest bank in the country, by market capitalization, to make this decision.

Dr. Clark has served on numerous civic and community boards during his career. He is a past participant in Leadership St. Louis and was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal with its 2009 CFO of the Year award. Presently, he is a member of the Pierre Laclede Honors College Leadership Council at UMSL and a trustee of Webster University. He is married, has three children, six grandchildren and resides in Clayton. In his spare time he is a dedicated trekker having ascended major mountains on four continents.