Patrick Fox ’90
Patrick Fox’s career path took a left turn at Syracuse University. “My original plan was to become the Bob Costas of my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio,” he explains. But he quickly realized that by adding a few extra courses, he could expand his field of study with a second major.
As a result, Fox graduated in 1990 with dual degrees in marketing management and advertising. They in turn led to a successful 25-year career in Wall Street’s municipal bond industry—although it took some creative marketing on his own part to break into the business.
“As a senior, I sent out 100 letters to HR professionals at firms where I wanted to interview for starting positions,” Fox says. After getting back almost zero replies, he took a tack proposed by Russell Hamilton, who was dean at what was then the School of Management. “Dean Hamilton suggested I send another 100 resumes to SU alums at a similar set of firms, and enclose the upcoming Orange basketball schedule.”
The response rate was far better. After meeting many of the alums for lunch at Faegan’s or Hungry Charlie’s, he was offered an opportunity to interview with Merrill Lynch’s corporate intern program. “Thanks in part to SU’s alumni network, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer from Merrill Lynch,” he says.
Over the 10 years that followed, Fox held positions in product management, investor marketing, technology development, and bond trading. He finished his career at Merrill Lynch managing the National Retail Trading group. In 2000, he became one of the initial employees of the leading online municipal securities marketplace, TheMuniCenter.
Since 2002, Fox has managed trading desks and helped build municipal bond businesses at a number of national and regional broker-dealers. Currently, the Winnetka, Illinois, resident is executive vice president of JPMorgan Securities Public Finance Division, where he is leading the effort to build a separately managed account institutional client business.
“From the time I stepped onto campus as a freshman, SU provided diverse experiences in the classroom, an extremely student-invested faculty and staff, skill-building internships, and meaningful work-study positions that led to a variety of career options,” says Fox.
In fact, his work-study position at the Community Internship Program was one of the most influential of his Syracuse experiences. “I was fortunate to work for the great, great Carmel Piccoli,” he recounts. “Carmel made me think strategically about life after SU, the value of relationships made at SU, and planning for a career in the face of an enormous wave of technology.”
Fox also secured internships at IBM and McNeil Pharmaceuticals through CIP. The internships and his position at CIP were “a huge and defining part of my SU experience,” he adds. “They were just as important as any class in my curriculum and helped me achieve what success I’ve had in my career.”
Now a member of Syracuse University’s Chicago Regional Council, Fox believes that alumni in the Chicago area should strengthen their ties with each other, their school, and their town.
“Father Charles Borgognoni constantly encouraged SU students to be persons in service to others,” he says. “The responsibility of our Chicago alumni is to serve that graduating senior looking for a job opportunity, current students who need a mentor or an internship, other alumni in town, and our University, where we can be a model for other groups. This responsibility to serve others is perhaps the most difficult to execute, yet the most important and most enduring of the lessons I learned at SU.”