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Paul Touradji  

CEO, Touradji Capital

The Iranian-born Touradji's $2.7 billion assets under management make his commodity-based hedge fund the biggest in the U.S. He is said to have a hot temper (former employees have sued over back pay and abusive behavior, claims he denies), but his trading is unusually disciplined in a volatile market.

Since starting his fund in 2005 he's never had a down year, including 2008, when he returned 13%. So far he's up 5.7% in 2009.

Mentor: Julian Robertson of Tiger Management. Touradji wanted to work in the oil industry, but the hedge fund icon put him in commodities -- and he was hooked.

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