Alexander Taylor: From Father to Son

By Sally Anne Flecker | Spring 2015

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Alexander Taylor (MBA ’15), the youngest of three boys, was 7 years old when he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. His parents sprang into action to learn how to cope with the disease, including spending a week with him at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

But it was what his father did next that left a lifelong imprint on the boy. Grateful for the treatment and support his son received at Joslin and inspired to advance diabetes research, the elder Taylor led local fundraising efforts for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF),

and then organized a group on Wall Street, where he worked, to raffle off big-ticket items including cars and trips to benefit Joslin. “My parents really put themselves out there to help me,” he says. “I remember reflecting as I got older that I would love to mimic the actions that they took.”

It didn’t take him long to make good on that thought. When he was a junior at Loyola University Maryland, he, his brother and his cousin signed up for a triathlon with the intention of raising money for Camp Joslin, a summer sleepaway camp to help kids understand the disease and how to treat it.

“The triathlon was right after Labor Day,” he remembers. “I had been interning at Goldman Sachs that summer, and I asked my dad for his advice about whether I should talk to people at work about this. He guided me through the process. My boss at Goldman was very receptive to me soliciting donations from co-workers. My goal was to raise $10,000. We wound up raising 32 grand.”

Taylor secured a full-time position as an equities trader at Goldman Sachs and Nomura. “It’s a role that’s become very automated and regulated, and today it doesn’t have the best trajectory,” he says. “But in the time that I was in that field, it was exciting. It’s interesting to come to school where they talk about the financial crisis, and what the world looked like at that time. For most of my classmates, it’s a story you read in the newspaper. But for me, it was my real life.”

After Nomura unwound its trading business, he decided to seek a better way forward professionally. That’s when he enrolled in the Notre Dame MBA program, focusing
on corporate finance and business analytics. In his 
first year, he was elected president of the MBA Association. When he graduates this spring, he’ll take a position as a senior manager in financial planning and analysis at Dover Corporation in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Over the years, Taylor has raised funds for JDRF and other children’s nonprofits. During the time he was based at Goldman Sach’s London branch, he introduced a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event — and had his own head shaved as part of the proceedings — to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Taylor and his wife, Nora, have three young boys of their own now. In fact, they welcomed their youngest into the world just this winter. It doesn’t take much to imagine Aidan, Rory and Kevin a few years from now, looking up and thinking how they want to be just like their dad when they grow up. After all, charity is the Taylor family tradition.