16. Colin Fan
40u40 main colin fan
Age: 39

Co-head of corporate banking and securities and head of global markets, Deutsche Bank

Fan wanted to be a doctor -- until the Canadian transplant interned with a cardiologist and found that life-or-death decision-making wasn't for him. So the Harvard grad turned to Wall Street. A senior trader at Merrill Lynch persuaded him to take a chance on an esoteric corner of the currency and debt markets: high-risk Mexican and Latin American credit markets, which were reeling from massive currency devaluations. He went on to chase crises from Southeast Asia to Russia, riding his success to the top of Deutsche Bank, where he co-runs investment banking and trading. He encourages young recruits to look for opportunities that have a lot of upside rather than climb well-worn career ladders. "If things don't work out, you're only six months behind your peers. If they do, you're lucky enough to be on the rocketship before it takes off."

Mantra: Fortune favors the bold. (We agree.)

--K.B.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated October 17 2012 05:11 PM ET
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