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Foreign Exchange

FX comment: Waitrose – Something in the City to Eat

UK sandwich chain Eat looks like it will finally be sold to Waitrose.

Niall Ferguson, Eat’s managing director, reportedly tried unsuccessfully to cash in his (and his wife’s) 45% holding back in 2008. Eat is now valued at around £100 million.

Over the years the mainstream media has variously described Ferguson as an ex-investment banker or hedge fund manager. Neither description is true: he joined Bankers Trust in the early 1980s, and was a prop trader alongside the legendary Phil Davis before quitting to set up Eat in 1996, two years before the bank’s acquisition by Deutsche.

Which makes him a far better trader than I ever was. At the time, I also noticed that the days of the long liquid lunch were coming to an end, but it didn’t occur to me that this meant the best trade was to jack in the FX lark and open a sandwich bar.


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