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Dave Maloney: Wall Street’s weekend warrior

Former Auburn runner leads Wall Streeters in athletics competition, fundraising


Dave Maloney
Founder and executive producer of The Decathlon

Hometown: Randolph, New Jersey

Current city: Houston

School: Auburn University, bachelor’s degree in communications, 2001

Sports: Track and field, cross country

Fun fact: As a child, my parents allowed my sisters and I on our birthdays to select any cereal box in the grocery aisle. As a result, I have a healthy obsession for Fruity Pebbles.

Competing in track and cross country at Auburn University, Dave Maloney felt a great sense of responsibility that came with being a student-athlete. Named twice to the Southeastern Conference All-Academic Team, he became a master of decision-making and time management and was known for always thinking one step ahead.

The skills learned in competition helped the transition from campus life to Wall Street and his new role as a philanthropist. Today, Maloney produces amateur athletics events whose competitors have raised $7 million for pediatric cancer research and engaged thousands of weekend warriors vying for the title of Wall Street’s best athlete.

Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Maloney and his two sisters were taught the importance of diligence, passion and commitment, thanks to his father, an attorney, and mother, a writer. His passion to excel extended to an early love of sports and camaraderie.

Maloney was surrounded by athletic, competitive kids like himself. He was always at the epicenter, organizing pickup games and neighborhood tournaments. The competition in swimming, football, baseball, basketball, wrestling, tennis and track shaped his world view, approach to life and, ultimately, his career path.

Working at Morgan Stanley in New York City, Maloney was not surprised to discover so many former athletes working on Wall Street.

“The competitive nature of athletics and financial services is similar,” Maloney said. “It’s fast-paced, intense, invigorating, and requires an incredible capacity to work, learn and master a skill. There’s a winner and loser and the field resets daily. As in sports, there’s a feeling of game day most days in the world of finance.” 

After working seven years on Wall Street, he saw the opportunity to merge philanthropy and competitive interests. Along with his financial services colleagues, he launched The Decathlon – an event in which amateur athletes compete in 10 events inspired by the NFL Scouting Combine and the Olympic decathlon.

With the competition now in five U.S. cities, male and female decathletes ranging in age from 22 to 67 represent more than 300 financial services firms. They compete for the titles of top male and female athlete while raising funds for a good cause.

“My mother is a breast cancer survivor and is intimately aware of the time and resources that are dedicated to that type of cancer,” Maloney said. “She saw a real need to direct resources to an underfunded area of cancer research and supported the Decathlon’s decision to have athletes raise funds to benefit pediatric cancer.”

Leaving his desk, but not Wall Street, behind, Maloney inspires post-collegiate “executive athletes” in using their athleticism to produce a profound social impact.

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor,” Maloney said.

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