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Friday, January 29, 2010

"They would sell their grandmother for a trade"

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- UBS AG senior currency strategist Benedikt Germanier decided that he had become just another battery hen on a trading floor where money was everything that counted. So he ditched his bonus and banker life in the U.S. for a pair of handmade skis.

“I feel much more down to earth, and I have my destiny in my hands,” says Germanier, 43, sitting in his office in Disentis, an Alpine village 44 miles from Davos where global executives are meeting this week.

He is now chief executive of Zai AG and its 10 staff, including carpenters and craftsmen. Germanier says he halved his pay, without giving figures. He also gave up his $7,000-a-month, 250-square meter house with gardener, located 15 minutes from UBS’s Stamford, Connecticut trading floor, which is the size of two football fields.

Sometimes I even thought they would sell their grandmother for a trade,” he says, talking about East Coast bankers, and he realized that he had become one of these “hens” on a trading floor, reminding him of a battery farm.

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