Floyd Tyler, Jr. Ph.D.

By Tribune Staff

The Memphis community is mourning the loss of Dr. Floyd Tyler, Jr., Ph.D., CFA, who passed away at Methodist LeBonheur Hospital January 23 and was laid to rest Saturday, Jan. 28.

Dr. Tyler was the founder and President/Chief Investment Officer of money management firm Preserver Partners LLC, a multimillion dollar business rooted deeply in the region. 

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal’s John Beifuss reported that “Preserver Partners is the only African American-owned investment management firm in the region and one of only six African American-owned mutual fund managers in the U.S.” That’s a stellar achievement, considering that, when Preserver was established back in just 2009, Dr. Tyler was the sole employee.

According to his bio on the Methodist Le Bonheur website, Dr. Tyler and his family moved to Memphis from Chicago when he was five, living his childhood in the Orange Mound area and graduating from Central High School. Though he left to pursue his educational career, he returned after graduation from Florida State University to the community he grew up in with the intention of giving back. 

In an August 2017 article, Deborah Douglas (mlk50.com) wrote that Dr. Tyler’s “vision comes down to helping people in the community that nurtured and educated him, as well as working people throughout the country, experience financial freedom and their piece of the dream.” 

He held several distinctions and served in numerous roles, including service on the boards of the Le Bonheur Foundation and Methodist Healthcare Foundation. “I wanted to see if I could build something that reflected my vision and values,” reads his bio on Methodist Le Bonheur’s site. 

Dr. Tyler’s life has been one of great impact to his community; through his service in managing the economic interests of clients such as the Shelby County Government, he merged the realms of bureaucracy and economic justice. 

Growing up poor, Dr. Tyler was determined to make a better life for himself, Douglas wrote, and that expanded to his daughter and the Memphis region. He was a fierce advocate for true representation in the political and corporate worlds, which are key: “Tyler notes it’s not enough to have elected two black mayors and some black city council members; those representatives must stay focused on economic opportunity and inclusion,” Douglas said.

He began the Preserver Alternative Opportunities Fund in 2016 to widen opportunities for more people to be able to invest and was a vigilant advocate for financial literacy.

He did that through conducting workshops and speeches, but also through a foundation with the purpose of providing scholarships to young students who need it most. In turn, that Foundation has now set up a scholarship fund with the University of Memphis “that provided assistance to eight African American men who were at-risk of failing to earn degrees in their senior year because of financial hardship,” reported the Commercial-Appeal.

“The Preserver Family is deeply saddened to announce the passing of its Founder, Dr. Floyd N, Tyler, Jr., one of the most treasured members of our community. A legend in the world of investment management. His presence, knowledge, and mentorship provided insight and foresight to many when it mattered most. He will be greatly missed,” his firm announced via Twitter.

Per his firm’s website,”Prior to starting Preserver, Dr. Tyler was a Partner and Director of Research at Gerber/Taylor Capital Advisors from 1999-2009. He served as Assistant Professor of Finance at The University of Memphis from 1996-1999 and Instructor of Economics at The University of Tennessee (1991-1992). Dr. Tyler held a B.B.A. in Economics from The University of Tennessee and graduate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (M.S. in Public Management and Policy) and The Florida State University (Ph.D. in Finance). He received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA Institute) . . .  Dr. Tyler’s diverse contributions involved board service in health care (Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, LifeBlood Foundation, Methodist Healthcare Foundation, and Sickle Cell Advisory Council); in youth development and education (St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Gestalt Community Charter Schools, University of Tennessee Alumni Board of Governors, University of Tennessee at Martin Business Advisory Council) and economic development/poverty alleviation (Memphis Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency Board, Tri-State Bank of Memphis, and Memphis Shelby County Growth Alliance). He was a member of Leadership Memphis Executive Class of 2002.”

Dr. Floyd Tyler, Jr. leaves behind a daughter, Rian; mother, Aubrey Della Pinion; two sisters, Sadiya Muhammad and Toni Singer; two brothers, Argentry Dean and Anthony Tyler; fiancée Angel Price and many beloved family members and friends.