Kimberly Taylor, a senior executive with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world’s largest exchange for futures and options on futures, will deliver the 2017 Alma College commencement address.
Taylor, a 1983 graduate of Alma College, is president of clearing and post-trade services at CME, where she previously served as president of global operations, technology and risk. She also will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree during the ceremony for approximately 300 graduation candidates.
Commencement takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22 in the Hogan Center, Art Smith Arena. A baccalaureate service precedes graduation at 10:30 a.m. in Dunning Memorial Chapel.
“Kim Taylor, in her various leadership roles with the CME Group, has risen to the top of her profession and made major impacts on the financial environment,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “She also has stayed connected with her alma mater by helping identify internships and Chicago-area contacts for our students. I am delighted that our graduating seniors will have this opportunity to hear from her as they think about their lives beyond Alma.”
Taylor began her CME career in 1989 as a clearing analyst and has held positions of increasing responsibility. She led CME’s efforts to establish its clearing agreement with the Chicago Board of Trade in 2003 and to complete integration of the CME Group and New York Mercantile Exchange clearing systems in 2009, following CME Group’s 2008 acquisition of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
She also was instrumental in developing the expansion of CME ClearPort, an open clearing service that substantially eliminates counterparty risk and provides neutral valuations for more than 700 over-the-counter products.
She serves on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Risk Advisory Committee and is a member of the Chicago Network, which connects Chicago’s women leaders. Crain’s Chicago Business named her a “Woman to Watch” in 2009 and one of “The 20 Most Powerful Women in Chicago Business” in 2014.
Despite working in an industry where billions of dollars are traded every day, Taylor never took a mathematics class as a student at Alma College. She initially was drawn to Alma for the pre-law program after an encounter with Professor M.J.J. Smith. She majored in history, English and German while also being active in Greek Life, Union Board, theatre and dance.
After graduating from Alma, she earned her MBA from Eastern Michigan University.
“Alma helped develop the analytical and problem solving skills that have proved useful in my career,” says Taylor, who was awarded the George ’20 and Bess (Brown) ’18 Hebert Distinguished Service Alumni Award in 2011 by the Alma College Alumni Association. “That continues today. We have interns at CME from Alma; they present well and have good experiences.”