Hedge fund firm Graham Capital Management knows a thing or two about return on investment. One of its best bets: hiring Leigh Lower. In 2002 Lower was weighing her career options after graduating with honors from Johns Hopkins University’s unique writing and literature program. Rowayton, Connecticut–based GCM appealed to her because she saw an opportunity to apply her creative talents to finance, an industry she knew little about, at a small operation. A self-proclaimed beneficiary of the firm’s culture of promotion from within, Lower took the most junior marketing position and rose to her current role as executive director of investor relations. Having used key client relationships to help GCM grow from roughly $1 billion in assets to some $9.4 billion, she now manages a portion of the firm’s 13-member IR team, including its due diligence and fund administration staff. Lower, 35, who lives in Norwalk, Connecticut, with her husband, a golf professional, finds plenty of use for her writing skills. Besides collaborating on GCM’s client letter, she works with senior management to prepare keynote speeches and presentations for conferences and with in-house marketers to support prospective and current clients. Outside of her work duties, Lower makes time for skiing and golfing (she was champion at her local club a few years ago) and recently returned to competitive equestrian show jumping, a sport she pursued while growing up in Pound Ridge, New York.