Steven E. Zumbach

With a law degree, CPA and a Ph.D. in Economics, Steve Zumbach brings the added dimension of business counseling to his law practice.  He is often asked to advise on complex mergers and acquisitions, estate plans, refinancings, succession planning and planning for non-profits and charitable gifts.

Practice Areas

Steve’s core practice is the closely-held family business.  Because of his interdisciplinary background, he can integrate the estate, tax and business planning expertise into the representation of family business and the families who own them.  Steve has a long track record of getting the most difficult acquisitions completed on both the buy and sell side and doing complex estate and succession planning for family businesses.  

Honors and Accomplishments

Bravo Award for Contributions to Culture and the Arts (2015) 

Drake University Agricultural Law Center, Pioneer (2013) 

A. Arthur Davis Distinguished Leadership Award (2011)

Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropist, Association of Fundraising Professionals (2010)

Iowa Certified Public Accountants Public Service Award (2009)

The World Food Prize Iowa Founders Award (2006)

Inducted: Iowa Business Hall of Fame (2006)

Iowa State University Order of the Knoll Cardinal and Gold Award (2000)

Iowa State University The Circle Inductee (2000)

Iowans Who Made a Difference: 150 Years of Agricultural Progress (1996)

Excellence in Economic Development Award given by the American Economic Development Council (1993)

Iowa State University Alumni Medal (1988)

Iowa State University Outstanding Young Alumnus Award (1977)

Governor's Award for Outstanding Service as an Iowan (1970)

Community and Professional Activities


The American College Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow)

Advisory Board: Bureau of National Affairs Tax Management

Chambers and Partners USA Corporate M&A - Star Individual (2008-present)

Chambers and Partners USA Corporate M&A - Band 1 (2005-present)

Chambers and Partners USA Private Wealth Law (2007-present)

Best Lawyers' Des Moines Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year (2011, 2013)

Best Lawyers' Des Moines Estates and Trusts Lawyer of the Year (2012)

The Best Lawyers in America® listed for

  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Non-Profit/Charities Law
  • Tax Law
  • Litigation and Controversy - Tax

Corporate Live Wire Iowa Lawyer of the Year, Corporate/M&A

Worth Magazine Top 100 Lawyers (2010)

Leaders In Law:  Expert in Corporate Law in Iowa

Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants (Member)

Iowa State Bar Association (Member)

Des Moines Estate Planning Council Chair (1990-1991)


Co-Chair Water Trails Project (2019-2020 $135 million fundraising goal) 

Honorary Chair ISU Forever Capital Campaign (2013-2020 $1.5 billion fundraising goal)

Greater Des Moines Partnership Board of Directors (2011-present)

Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Committee (2011-2018)

Cultivation Corridor Founding Co-Chair (2011-2014)

Cultivation Corridor Board (2011-present)

Capital Corridor Chair - Steering Committee (2011-2016)

United Way Campaign, Chair (2010 $24 million raised)

Des Moines Art Center Board of Directors (2007-2011)

Advisory Board Campaign Iowa State (2004-2011 $867 million raised)

Bravo Greater Des Moines Chair (2004-2005)

Greater Des Moines Partnership Chair (2003)

Greater Des Moines Committee Chair (2000)

Major Projects Task Force (1998)

Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation Chair (1993)

Iowa State University Campaign Destiny Scholarship Campaign Co-Chair (1995-2000 $458.6 million raised)

Iowa State University Foundation Board of Directors (1988-1994)

Iowa State University Partnership for Prominence Capital Campaign Deputy National Chair (1988-1993 $214.5 million raised)

Iowa State University Research Foundation Chair (1991-1993)

Iowa State University Alumni Association President (1986-1987)

Iowa State Board of Regents Member (1973-1977)

Iowa Bicentennial Commission (1976)

National Planning Board for the White House Conference on Aging (Member, 1970-1972)

Advisor to the Registrant {advisory council for Vietnam era changes to the draft} (1968)

Private Company Board of Directors

Bankers Trust Company, Community Board

Excell Marketing, L.C., Advisory Board

Kum & Go, Advisory Board

Miles Funds, Inc. Chairman of the Board    

Publications and Presentations

BNA Portfolio 833, Special Use Valuation
"Divorce, Corporate Style," The Practical Accountant