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

Inducted: Iowa Business Hall of Fame

Governor's Award for Outstanding Service as an Iowan

Iowans Who Made a Difference: 150 Years of Agricultural Progress

Iowa State University Order of the Knoll Cardinal and Gold Award

Iowa State University Alumni Medal

Iowa State University The Circle Inductee

Iowa State University Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Bravo Culture and the Arts Award

The World Food Prize Iowa Founders Award

A. Arthur Davis Distinguished Leadership Award

Excellence in Economic Development Award given by the American Economic Development Council

Iowa Certified Public Accountants Public Service Award

Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropist, Association of Fundraising Professionals [LINK BROKEN]

Drake University Agricultural Law Center, Pioneer

Community & Professional Activities


The American College Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow)

Advisory Board: Bureau of National Affairs Tax Management

Chambers USA   

  • Corporate M&A - Star Individual
  • Private Wealth Law

Best Lawyers' Des Moines Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year

Best Lawyers' Des Moines Estates and Trusts Lawyer of the Year The Best Lawyers in America® listed for

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

Super Lawyers - Mergers & Acquisitions - Super Lawyer designation for Iowa

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

Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants (Member)

Iowa State Bar Association (Member)

Corporate INTL Global:  Estate Planning Lawyer of the Year in Iowa

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

Worth Magazine Top 100 Lawyers

Leaders In Law:  Expert in Corporate Law in Iowa


Honorary Co-Chair ISU Forever Capital Campaign (2013-2020; $1.1 billion fundraising goal)

Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Committee (2011-present)

Cultivation Corridor, Co-Chair (2011-2014)

Cultivation Corridor, Board (2011-present)

United Way Campaign, Chair (2010)

Bravo Greater Des Moines, Chair (2005)

Greater Des Moines Partnership, Chair (2003)

Greater Des Moines Committee, Chair (2000)

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 Partnership for Prominence Capital Campaign, Deputy National Chair (1988-1993; $214.5 million raised)

Iowa State University Research Foundation, Chair (1991-1993)

Des Moines Estate Planning Council, Chair (1990-1991)

Iowa State University Alumni Association, President (1986)

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)


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