David Taylor, a key participant in the creation of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and a founder of the former Public Securities Association, died Feb. 23 from Parkinson's disease at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 79.
"He was a giant, definitely a giant," said Christopher Taylor, no relation, a former MSRB executive director and current consultant. "He was one of the driving forces for the creation of a regulatory scheme for municipal bonds."
David Taylor worked with Congress to "help lay down the architecture for the MSRB" in amendments that were added in 1975 to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and was one of the original 15 board members of the self-regulatory organization, serving a four-year term from 1975 through 1979, according to Christopher Taylor.
"He was extremely polite and courteous and was well-liked by MSRB board members and staff."
He also lobbied unsuccessfully to try to get Congress to permit banks to underwrite revenue bonds.
In 1976, David Taylor and other MSRB board members helped create the Public Securities Association trade group, a predecessor to the former Bond Market Association and the current Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. "They wanted to separate the regulation of munis from trade association activities," Christopher Taylor said.
But he gained national attention when he became president and chairman of Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust in Chicago in early 1984, just before the bank's near-collapse and takeover by the federal government. He had joined the bank in Chicago, his hometown, in 1957 and became vice president of its bond department in 1961 at the age of 32 after having gained a great deal of expertise in bonds and money market funds.
The bank was at one time the seventh largest in the country measured by deposits, but it began running into trouble in 1983 after the failure the year before of Penn Square Bank in Oklahoma, from which it had purchased some bad oil and gas loans.
Mr. Taylor, who had not been involved in the loans, was tapped by Continental's board to replace John Perkins as the bank's president. But in May 1983, the bank became insolvent and he was credited with trying to steer it through the storm. He left after federal banking regulators took over and brought in their own executives.
In May 1986, Mr. Taylor joined Irving Trust Co. in New York as vice chairman. He later left Irving Trust and joined Chemical Bank in New York and London.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made to: Movement Disorder Center for Parkinson's Disease, Evanston Hospital, 2100 Pfingsten Rd., Glenview, Ill., 60026, or Living Free Animal Sanctuary, P.O. Box 5, Mountain Center, Calif., 92561.