NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: PDT Partners
FUNDING AREAS: Health and Human Services, Environment, Education, Music
OVERVIEW: Pete Muller founded The Dancing Tides Foundation, a family foundation he steers with his wife Jillian. In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $2.5 million. The Mullers focus on health and human services, the environment, education, and music. A big winner through the years has been the Robin Hood Foundation, where Muller sits on the board. The foundation does not currently accept unsolicited requests.
BACKGROUND: Peter Muller received a bachelor's in mathematics from Princeton University in 1985. He started out at BARRA, a Berkeley, California, company that was an early player in the quantitative trading business. Muller moved on to Morgan Stanley and founded PDT Partners, a quantitative proprietary trading group within Morgan Stanley. PDT became an independent investment manager in 2013.
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Muller's relationship with the Robin Hood Foundation began in the early 1990s when he was with Morgan Stanley and attended a foundation event. Muller sits on the board of Robin Hood Foundation, which has received millions via the family's foundation. Other grantees include Luma Guild of Seattle Children’s Hospital and City Harvest, though the bulk of the foundation's grantmaking in this area involves Robin Hood.
ENVIRONMENT: The foundation's website page explains that they are "passionate outdoor recreationalists who are motivated to protect the environment we live and play in." Dancing Tides Foundation's grantmaking has supported The Trust For Public Land, Nature Conservancy, Grand Teton National Park Foundation, Land Trust for Santa Barbara, Environmental Defense Center, Waterkeeper Alliance, and National Resources Defense Council.
EDUCATION: The foundation is interested in STEM education, as well as charters. Grantees include Math for America, Computers for Youth, Yale University, Crane Country Day School in Santa Barbara, Harvey Mudd College in suburban Los Angeles, and Princeton University (Muller's alma mater.)
MUSIC: An avid musician, Muller even took a break from Wall Street partly to pursue music more seriously, and played his keyboard in the New York City subway system. The foundation is "most interested in helping ease some of the financial burdens that developing musicians face in pursuing their craft, and helping make sure music is taught well at early levels of schooling." Grantees have included Berklee College of Music and Third Street Music School Settlement.
OTHER: The Mullers also have supported outfits that work on a global level, such as Charity:Water and International Rescue Committee.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Muller's avid interests in STEM, the outdoors, and music to continue to form the basis of his philanthropy.