Education: University of North Carolina, class of 1995; Marine Officer Candidate School, 2002
Military experience: Marines, 2002-06, Captain
Mission: Two deployments to Iraq; led Marine reconnaissance platoon near Fallujah
Corporate path: Earned MBA from UNC in 2009; now associate investment banker at Morgan Stanley
Why he has an edge: Like many young officers, he learned the invaluable lesson of leaning on his squad leaders. "I'd say nine times out of 10 I listened to what they thought I should do, but the order always came from me," he says. That, he found is not so different from the role of an associate in investment banking. "The officer comes in, and everyone in the platoon has more expertise than he does. You come in as an investment banker, and the analysts are infinitely better versed than you on the companies and industries involved."
NEXT: Steve Mumm