Class Year: 1979
Position and Employer: President and Chief Investment Officer, Mount Lucas Management
A math degree in a terrible economy didn’t allow Tim Rudderow to secure a job following his graduation from college. So he enrolled in the Drexel LeBow MBA program and worked closely with faculty as a teaching assistant to absorb all the education and experience that he could.
“I had very hands-on experience and I got to know the professors very well,” said the co-founder and president of Mount Lucas, a Newtown, Pa.-based hedge fund that manages $1.8 billion in assets. “Unlike many programs, Drexel LeBow let me craft pretty much what I wanted, and I had high-level discussions with the faculty that gave me the confidence to hit the ground running at age 24.”
Tim’s first stops: a soybean analyst and a trader in futures, equity and fixed income markets. Then, at age 31, he co-founded Mount Lucas Management.
“Critical analysis is the apex of what I learned throughout my Drexel LeBow MBA, and that’s what you do as a trader,” said Rudderow. “You piece together the limited information you have. In business school they call it behavioral economics. What we essentially do today is decision making under uncertainty. In trading you want well-defined risk, and you want to understand the downside very clearly.”
Since founding Mount Lucas, Tim hasn’t experienced a lot of downside.
“We are in the trading business, so it is volatile,” he acknowledged. “But I take a lot of pride in the people here. The one thing I really enjoy about going into business is seeing your people do well. I like to see children being born, houses being bought, and lives being formulated.
“You can’t plan all of this. If you just try to do right, things work out.”