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- November 1, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 11

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Defection from Wall Street: Garrett Thornburg bailed on New York for Santa Fe more than 30 years ago, and he isn’t looking back

by Mike Consol

The very first deal closed by Garrett Thornburg and his new firm was with Norwest Bank the day after Thanksgiving 1982. On Thanksgiving Day a five-alarm blaze burned Norwest Bank’s 16-story headquarters building in Minneapolis to the ground.

Thornburg Investment Management has been playing a hot hand ever since.

Thornburg had just left a career on Wall Street to start his new firm in, of all places, Santa Fe, N.M. It was the early 1980s and there was no Internet, word processors were just coming to market, people were still using teletype because there were only about 300,000 fax machines in the country, and FedEx was only a couple of years old. The notion of a virtual organization or workforce had not even begun to form in people’s minds. What’s more, Thornburg did not consider the difficulty of trying to attract financial talent to Santa Fe, which — though one of America’s great hotbeds for artists and travelers — was far off

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