2017 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Jérôme Taillard, Babson College

Jérôme Taillard

Babson College

Assistant Professor of Finance

“Many professors struggle to make a class enjoyable, without making it too simple. To be approachable, without being goofy. To exhibit their technical knowledge, without losing the student. Yet Jerome managed to do all of that and more. Each class was a treat.”

That’s quite an endorsement. And there were plenty more where that came from. Yet, for someone who read his first financial analyst report at the tender age of 15 and was instantly hooked on finance, all of this seems to come easy. Taillard’s courses are defined by this balance, rigorous yet accessible, theoretical but also applicable. Ask 20 Babson students what makes Taillard special and you’ll get 20 answers.In between, they will all touch on one gift: his ability to reach students in a discipline known for convoluted frameworks. He does that by breaking down formidable chunks of information into digestible bits…always with a smile and words of encouragement.

“Jerome made finance *fun* — and he did so for a room of aspiring entrepreneurs, not a few of whom might be a bit disdainful of quants,” writes one student. “A good chunk of my cohort is pursuing finance further thanks to Jerome’s influence — and which, in a program not known for or focused on the discipline, I think speaks volumes.”

Age: 37

At current institution since: 2015


  •        PhD in Finance, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, US
  •        Certificate of Economics, Study Center Gerzensee, Switzerland
  •        Diploma in Mathematics applied to Finance, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Magna cum Laude

List of courses you currently teach:

  •        Introduction to Financial Management, Two year full-time MBA program
  •        Introduction to Financial Management, Undergraduate program

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?

  •        Financial reporting behavior among private firms in Colombia
  •        We find that private firms in Colombia manage earnings to show positive earnings; especially those dependent on bank loans.  These firms can be very creative when it comes to earnings management. The lesson is that people react to incentives, wherever you        are in the world!

Professor you most admire: Professor Paul Krugman; for his intellect and for sharing his convictions without compromising his intellectual integrity.

“I knew I wanted to be a B-school professor when…

  •        Read my first financial analyst report at 15; I never looked back, finance was going to be it!
  •        Sophomore year in College: Total dedication of the TA helped the class understand topology; I knew then that I wanted to help others as well by becoming a professor

Combine the two and you get a finance professor!”

“If I weren’t a B-school professor…I would be a pilot or an MD, or maybe a combination of the two: A pilot for Doctors without borders!”

One word that describes my first time teaching an MBA class: “Daunting”

Most memorable moment in the classroom, or in general, as a professor:  Hard to single one out…those “a-ha” moment when the students’ faces lit up as they “get it” never gets old. I live to see more of those moments.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Best 40 Under 40, and I mean it. I feel it rewards many years of caring for the learning, well-being, and success of all my students.

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor?  Interacting with passionate students who want to learn and have big ideas.

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? Not helping those who are the most in need.

What is your favorite business-themed movie and what is the biggest lesson that MBA students could gain from it? “Thank you for smoking.” How you frame an issue matters a lot!

What is your favorite company and why? EOG Resources, Inc. Human capital is your most precious capital, and they have the best people in the oil industry. No matter the industry, if you are the best at what you do, you will succeed.

Fun fact about yourself: Two passports for European countries (UK and Switzerland), yet soon will not be a citizen of the European Union!

Bucket list item #1: Get my private pilot’s license!

Favorite book: Lord of the Rings

Favorite movie: Star Wars (original trilogy)

Favorite type of music: Used to be heavy metal, nowadays classical music…getting close to 40!

Favorite television shows: Friday Night Lights (“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”)

Favorite vacation spot: Portugal

What are your hobbies? Soccer, music, nature and art. Big foodie and wine collector.

Twitter handle: @jerometaillard

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…

  •        A truly global reach; with satellite campuses around the world and flawless videoconferencing
  •        More fully integrated programs across business disciplines
  •        Hands-on experiential learning with more collaborations with the corporate world, NGOs, and government agencies; let’s solve real         problems while we learn.

Students say…

“Jerome’s passion for finance is contagious and his teaching style is both informative and relatable. His familiarity with his comprehensive slide decks allow Jerome to teach the class in a very logical progression. Although the course I took was simply an introduction to finance, Jerome taught us far beyond what we needed to know for the exams, touching on current events at the beginning of each class and even giving us an introduction to financial modeling in Excel. All of this, combined with a whimsical, passionate, and supportive teaching style, has made Jerome hands-down one of the best professors I’ve ever had!”

“Often times, professors focus on their research at the expense of instruction and mentoring students. However, Jerome was particularly unique in being able to balance his time and prioritize his students over his other obligations. As a recent graduate from his class, I benefited tremendously from his experience and insight into the world of corporate finance, which I utilize in my work as a growth marketer and product manager. My most memorable moments from his class include the lengthy discussions of current events topics in the WSJ, bridging finance theory into real world examples.”

“His passion about teaching is contagious, engaging and touching, the first thing you notice about him is a huge smile on his face every morning, the second is his excitement presenting current events.  He is so happy and content teaching that it makes every lecture incredibly enjoyable (It’s finance, a torture to most of students), it is clear that he is extremely passionate about what he does and that teaching is not a job to him, it’s a call. Talking to friends from another section who had another professor showed that Jerome really took the course to another level.”

“Professor Taillard prepared for every class meticulously, ready to engage us with real world developments and thoughtful discussion. Of course the lectures also included learning the mathematics at a very demanding level. Wow did I suffer during the first exam of the semester! Professor Taillard managed to turn my disappointment into an eagerness to do better – to truly engage with the material beyond the numbers. What followed was the beginning of a new approach to my education and the opportunities that laid ahead. A new awareness that led to a successful internship at Citi, three analyst years and a move to private equity.”

“Professor Jerome builds close personal relationships with his students. On one hand, he truly understands his students’ personal and professional goals, and always able to incorporates those goals into his class. I believe this is the reason why he enjoys the class registration record in Babson for his elective classes. On the other hand, he makes friends with students and always ready to offer help.”