Is very rich lonely

Sebastian Hirsch, 30, is a polite person. He lets the guest go ahead when entering the London cafe. This is unusual in a city where everyone else is jostling. Hirsch looks relaxed and uncomplicated. You quickly realize that money doesn't mean that much to him personally, even though he deals with millionaires and billionaires on a daily basis.

SZ: Mr. Hirsch, let's talk about money. You have just come from Dubai. What did you do there?

Deer: I was in contact with a wealthy sheikh. He's looking for a butler. A responsible position. After all, this should also guide the entire house staff. I am tasked with finding a suitable butler. I did not speak to the sheikh myself, but I did speak to his personal assistant.

SZ: Do you also arrange butler services?

Deer: Yes, I have specialized in the placement of domestic staff for upscale private households all over the world and also created the website butlerforyou.com for this purpose. The job market for serious, highly qualified servants is expanding. I want to be there with my business. Unfortunately there are also many poorly trained butlers. They damage our reputation.

SZ: You take care of the rich and the beautiful of this world. Are you attracted by other people's big bucks?

Deer: I have no problem with wealth or money. On the contrary: Those who can afford it should make their life more comfortable. I am a service provider and consider the butler profession to be a privilege. I like to be with successful people and enjoy pampering my customers.

SZ: In view of the financial crisis, it is doubtful whether wealth always has to do with honorable success. Bankers and brokers have fit in at the common expense. Billions of dollars have been burned by dubious deals.

Deer: I am staying out of this debate. The financial crisis will pass. The number of millionaires and billionaires will continue to grow. I'm confident of that. It's also not my job to research where the money comes from. Of course, I wouldn't work for a mafia boss. But as a butler, I am obliged to be neutral. I do have a kind of helper syndrome. My rich clientele is often stressed. I make sure to make life less complicated. A very exciting and demanding task.

SZ: So the old saying that wealth doesn't make you happy.

Deer: That's right. I keep observing that many rich people are afraid of losing their wealth. It can even become an obsession. They then withdraw more and more from their surroundings and are even suspicious of friends because they could be after their money. I know a very wealthy widow who has become very lonely because of it. In this respect, I am quite happy that I am not rich.

SZ: What does a butler actually earn?

Deer: That's an average of £ 60,000 (€ 68,000) a year in the UK. But the range is very wide. A colleague of mine working for a hedge fund manager in London has a salary of around 100,000 euros, including room and board. It depends on work experience and working hours. In addition, the size of the household staff that a butler instructs also plays a role. Incidentally, there are also bonuses. Valuable watches or a cruise are common.

SZ: You were born in what was then the GDR. Can you still remember real socialism?

Deer: I was eleven years old when the wall came down. We lived in Dessau at the time. I don't have many memories anymore. Of course, I learned Russian at school. That helps me today with my Russian clientele. Socialism was a disaster. I don't believe in leveling out. Style and demeanor were no longer worth anything. If the wall were still standing, I would have fled long ago.

On the next page you can read what a good butler has to be able to do.