James Taylor

Managing Director, Automotive, Truist Securities

JT Taylor was raised and educated in the Midwest near Detroit by a family passionate about all things automotive. Whether it was racing or manufacturing, the industry was fully embraced by the Taylors. Upon graduation from the University of Cincinnati, he entered the car business at a specialty auto engineering firm, Hess & Eisenhardt Co. He was recruited a few years later to join Toyota Motor Sales where he led the product planning team for Toyota in North America. As the third person on the Lexus payroll, JT was part of the initial Lexus planning and rollout team.

After the launch of Lexus in the US and rapid promotions at Toyota, JT recognized his calling was on the retail side of the auto business which he has made the focus of his career. JT rose to become an operating partner in several successful dealerships and worked with Joe Gibbs Racing, Southeast Toyota Distributors, and has advised several automotive technology companies in a variety of automotive opportunities.

In 2014, JT was asked to join The Presidio Group where he headed their investment banking practice for Automotive Retail. In 2019, JT came to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey (now Truist Securities) where he built the Automotive Retail practice within the Consumer & Retail Investment Banking Group. JT’s automotive coverage mandate has several sub-verticals including new and independent automotive, recreational vehicle, heavy duty truck, agriculture and equipment dealerships, vehicle auctions, fleet leasing and other related product and technology companies.

JT provides strategic transaction advisory work for his clients including sell-side and buy-side M&A, public and private equity raises and debt capital structuring and guidance. Throughout his more than 30-year career in the automotive industry, JT has enjoyed being a dealer principal, dealership general manager, roles with the largest Toyota distributor in the world and an enjoyment as an influencer and well-recognized resource throughout the US auto industry.

JT and his wife, Christie, reside in South Florida and Western North Carolina. They enjoy their six adult children, ten grandchildren, serving at their church and travelling. He is a devoted motorsports fanatic and will go to a race of anything with four wheels and a motor.