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Four years ago, engineer Paul Murphy worked outdoors at 14,000 feet above sea level in the Peruvian Andes, building a 300-kilometer slurry pipeline for the world’s second-largest copper mine. He directed local contractors in broken Spanish. He got sunburned and windburned. Some days he never sat down. Today, the treasury associate sits on the fifth floor of a San Francisco office building, running Bechtel Group’s substantial investment portfolio under Treasurer Kevin Leader. Some days he doesn’t get to leave his desk.

Hundreds of miles north, Seth Eisner works away as director of capital markets for Microsoft Corp., running the equity and strategic investment sub-portfolios of the company’s $40 billion investment portfolio. It is a far cry from his days, only six years ago, as a New England Culinary Institute-trained chef, preparing mostly classic French dishes at a series of award-winning restaurants in New England and Washington State.

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