MONTECITO JOURNAL | Balancing Act

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Smiling broadly, Pete Muller emerges from behind the piano to thank the family, friends, and fans who have gathered at SOhO, the downtown Santa Barbara music venue, on a late spring evening in 2019 to celebrate the release of Muller's new album, Dissolve. The singer­songwriter's fourth record, like its predecessors, features mostly jazz and soul-tinged Americana, songs that explore themes of connection, love, heartbreak, and acceptance in relationships of all kinds.


Neither Muller's easygoing stage presence nor the vulnerable nature of songs such as "Scraps of Your Love," "Gentle With My Heart," "Loving and Loathing," "Let You In," and "Kindred Soul" hint at his day job as a pioneering and highly successful hedge fund creator who brought cutting-edge quantitative analysis to the New York finance world in the early 1990s when he created an innovative proprietary trading group at Morgan Stanley he named Process Driven Trading (PDT).


After scaling the heights of New York's financial world in the whirlwind late-'90s/early 2000s era, Muller took a step back to reassess his life, traveling in Asia and plumbing the depths of his inner world through music and meditation. He was able to spin PDT off into his own firm in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis while also making a home for himself and his family here in Montecito, where he keeps the company ahead of the competition by managing scores of PhDs and computer specialists while also finding time to create music and surf as often as he can.