Now a vice president at prime brokerage Pershing, Brad Neumeister started out with just about the worst-case scenario for a Wall Street hopeful. Upon graduating in 2006 from John Carroll University, a small Jesuit school in Ohio, Neumeister took an associate position at Greenwich, Connecticut–based Amaranth Advisors. A multistrategy hedge fund firm founded by Nicholas Maounis, Amaranth managed $9 billion but quickly began losing money; it collapsed in late 2006 after hemorrhaging more than $6 billion, thanks to bad bets on the natural gas industry. Rather than push Neumeister, who grew up in Buffalo, New York, away from the business, the experience motivated him to move forward. His next stop was Goldman Sachs Group, where he shifted to execution and clearing. Neumeister excelled as an associate in Goldman’s prime brokerage unit, working in high frequency trading and quantitative hedge fund strategies. In late 2012 his interest in liquid alternatives brought him to $1.5 trillion, New York–based Pershing, which is at the forefront of navigating hedge fund clients’ entry into that market. He recently assisted a multibillion-dollar fund manager that has primarily operated in the hedge fund space with a transition to alternative mutual fund strategies, helping with the launch of seven such products. Neumeister, 31, also works closely with Pershing parent and custodian Bank of New York Mellon Corp. to find ways to reduce costs for firms developing new alternatives strategies.