James F. Muzzy (1957)
“I admit that I was not much of a student and I had more fun working on cars, especially my ’50 Olds, and shop classes got most of my attention,” says the selected 2008 Alumnus of the Year.
A 1957 CHS graduate, James F. Muzzy recalls he loved being somewhat of a rebel with ducktails (groomed with Pomade), rolled T-shirts, suede shoes, and Levis. But after graduation he joined the Air National Guard and went on active duty. “This was a real eye opener, and was largely the reason I decided to go on to college.”
He graduated from The University of Arizona with a B.A. in Business in 1961 and an MBA in 1963. In 2007 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UA Eller College of Business for his accomplishments and service to the college and the university.
During his business career, Muzzy and two associates created a company called Pimco. More than thirty years later, it is one of the world’s largest fixed-income fund managers.
Muzzy and Pimco co-founder Bill Gross have had success because they keep their organization flat, not hierarchical. Muzzy admits, “I work 12-13 hours a day. I have to work every bit as hard (as the other partners) to justify my remuneration.”
Muzzy now serves as the managing director of the Newport Beach office and is director of the firm’s boards in London, Munich, Sydney, Singapore, and Tokyo. He works with human resources to develop training programs across the firm’s global offices. Muzzy recently sold his stake in Pimco when Allianz, the giant German insurer, paid $3.3 B for a controlling share.
In 2005 the Pamela and James Muzzy Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship was established at the U of A Eller College by Muzzy with the intent to attract “best of class” professors to enhance the business college.
Muzzy points out, “Luck plays a big role in all of our lives, but to be lucky, you must first be prepared for the opportunity, then recognize it, and then take advantage of it.”
From a 70-year-old man who goes to the office every day, he advises CMHS students, “Stay focused, work hard, have a goal, believe in yourself, and amazing things will happen!”
Margaret-Ann Fangmeier (‘58)