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Joe Mueller is the Senior Vice President of Merrill Lynch, a private bank on Wall Street. He employed Jack Ryan for a time in the early 2010's. Ryan later left the company in 2013 to become a financial analyst for the CIA. In 2018, Mueller contacted Ryan over phone for the first time since he had left Wall Street and invited him to his birthday party on Saturday to discuss a private matter. Ryan reluctantly agreed to attend. Joe greeted Ryan as he arrived at the party told him that he was managing a new fund for potential investors out of South Korea. He then asked Ryan for insider trading secrets regarding North Korea but was shot down by Ryan. Undeterred, Joe offered to cut Ryan in on the deal if he agrees to divulge the information but Ryan again declines. Angered at his refusal, Joe chastises Ryan's moral compass and states that he will one day wake up to realize that he should have taken the opportunities handed to him. Joe then walks away to socialize with his other guests, telling Ryan to "enjoy the party". As Joe walks away, Ryan meets his daughter, Cathy Mueller. The two would later go on to develop a romantic relationship with one another.