Stephane Monier, global head of fixed income and currencies at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority at the time, had been in a staff meeting discussing the ADIA's investment strategy when someone knocked on the door to announce that a plane hit the World Trade Center.
Stephane Monier: 'At first, we thought ... a small private plane had lost its way'
“At first, we thought ... a small private plane had lost its way and went into the World Trade Center. It wasn't until about 10 minutes later that the same person came back ... We all went out of the conference room to watch what was happening on television, and that's when the gravity of the situation struck.”
Being based in Abu Dhabi, many of the ADIA's Arabic employees found it difficult to travel to the U.S. immediately following Sept. 11. “As a consequence, travel to the U.S. was limited to what was absolutely essential,” Mr. Monier said. “There were no research trips or trips for training purposes, things like that.”
His memories from the following weeks and months included two key speeches — one delivered by Tony Blair, Britain's prime minister at the time, and the other by Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf.
“The ... tools used by both leaders were vastly different in communicating to very culturally different electorates,” Mr. Monier said. “We were lucky at ADIA in the sense that it's a culturally diverse place where I could turn to my Pakistani colleagues and ask them to explain the significance of General Musharraf's speech ... and it wasn't necessarily the words he was saying.”
Mr. Monier now is global head of fixed income and currencies at Lombard Odier in Geneva.