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Thomas Mucha, 31
Manager (Pension Investments Worldwide), Eastman Kodak
You've met Tiger Cubs. You've noticed Yale Pups. But Mucha is an even newer breed of offspring: a Bridgewater Cub.
It should be no surprise that Ray Dalio's alpha factory has produced—and will continue to produce—talented offshoots. However, Mucha's career moves set him apart. Rarely does talent flow from asset gatherer/manager to asset owner, but Mucha has done just that, making his way after several years in Westport to Eastman Kodak's Rochester locale for a variety of reasons. "My wife and I are from upstate New York and we want to raise our family here," the affable Harvardian says. "Also, I wanted to stay in the investment world but not necessarily be of the investment world. I want to focus that love of investing on supporting a worthwhile cause (scholarships, research, pensions) versus collecting maximum fees." But it was not just location and life goals that drew him northwards in 2011 after a few years at the Williams College endowment. Mucha has all the praise in the world for his former employer, but "Bridgewater is a closed system, in a sense," he says. "You do what you do, you try to do it better every day, but you're solving one equation. At an institution like Kodak, there are dozens of equations. The investment universe is infinite." Dalio's loss is Kodak's gain—and many an investment board hopes that Mucha isn't the last to come to their side.
The Transplants: They didn't start in this industry, but here's hoping that they stay. While some pension and endowment investors began as fresh-faced college graduates, others took alternative routes—be they via philosophy degrees, hedge funds, or even (gasp!) journalism. There's an argument to be made, of course, that a richness of experience helps one see more holistically. In today's increasingly complex investment landscape, this rings true—and these five represent the outcome of this argument.