Black History Month 2023: Meet James Alalade

February 7, 2023 - 3 Minutes
Image of James Alalade

At TD Securities, we are committed to creating positive changes, championing an inclusive workplace and amplifying the voices of the next generation of TD talent. In celebration of Black History Month, we're spotlighting four rising Black colleagues, sharing how they kickstarted their careers with TD Securities and highlighting their experiences and the significance of this month to them.

This week, we're celebrating James Alalade, a Rotational Associate in the FX Forwards Trading Group. James joined TD in 2021 as a Customer Experience Associate while completing his degree. Following graduation, he then would go on to be an Associate in the Asset Securitization Group in 2022, moving into his current role shortly after.

Tell us about your educational background. Where did you study?

I received an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from the University of Windsor. During this time, I was also a varsity athlete on the volleyball team and while juggling athletics as well as majoring in STEM provided many unique opportunities, there have been a lot of challenges. During my undergrad I participated in a co-op program at various manufacturing and automotive factories which gave some insight into what I knew I didn't want to do in my career, and ultimately lead to pursuing my MBA.

What attracted you to TD Securities and how has the experience been so far?

While I was in school, I worked as a teller at TD Bank. By networking withing the organization I discovered how supportive leadership staff is towards junior talent, encouraging me to pursue a role within TD Securities. After moving into this role, I participated in the Black Experience Committee's mentorship program, which connects newer Black colleagues with senior Black leaders across the firm. It's been an above and beyond experience and the ability to connect with leadership and ask questions about career progression is a highlight. I've received a tremendous amount of support and growth opportunities within the firm, and I hope to continue to grow professionally here.

As a young Black leader, what aspirations do you have for yourself?

My goal is to continue to march forward, regardless of what life throws at me. I strive to be a top performer at work and with things that go beyond the desk.

Ultimately, I want to foster an environment where marginalized individuals can succeed in finance, and I want to be a mentor for young Black individuals in the same way I was mentored. Before working in this industry, I didn't know a lot about the financial industry because I wasn't located in a city with a renowned financial hub. The mentorship program was a means for me to gain exposure, learn about the industry and access available opportunities. A lot of people don't know about the opportunities available to them. TD provided me with mentorship and exposure. I want to pay that forward.

Which Black leader has inspired you the most in your life?

LeBron James. Aside from his obvious accomplishments in his athletic career, he is a champion of change, an active leader in his communities and a generous philanthropist.

He founded a school in his hometown, headlined the More Than a Vote campaign and is an active member of Black Lives Matter, demonstrating his resounding ability to foster growth and promote positive change in the Black Community. One of my favorite quotes from him is: "I’ve grown to know who I am and what I stand for – and it’s not just about me, it’s about my people. That’s why I’m leading the charge". His leadership is something that inspires me to do better and more importantly, give back every day.
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