Through his networking efforts, New York native Daniel Ben-David got himself a summer internship at investment bank Bear, Stearns & Co. when he was still in high school. After earning a finance degree from Lehigh University, he returned to New York to take a full-time job in Bear Stearns’ institutional equities department. Ben-David, 36, stayed with Bear until 2006, when he joined New York–based hedge fund firm Owl Creek Asset Management as an equities trader. This was an excellent switch given that the mortgage market collapse of 2008 forced Ben-David’s overleveraged former employer into a government-brokered wedding with JPMorgan Chase & Co. When Ben-David arrived at Owl Creek, the multistrategy hedge fund firm had fewer than $1 billion in assets. Today, after a phenomenal run — particularly in 2013, when it was up 48 percent after fees — it manages $3.5 billion. Ben-David, head of the equity trading desk, made partner last year.