Sometimes, the grass truly is greener.

Several of the young rising stars who once occupied the Denver offices of Janus Capital Group during the highflying 1990s have exited the financial services business entirely and don't regret it for a minute, according to a report in the Rocky Mountain News.

Jason Shidler and Patrick Farrelly crisscrossed the globe for Janus before the firm suffered badly through the recent bear market and allegations of improper trading practices. While Shidler told the Denver paper he was laid off, Farrelly said he left of his own accord.

They've since reinvented themselves in the very entrepreneurial spirit that Janus has long claimed to look for in companies it chooses to invest in - as the sandwich-making owners of two Heidi's Brooklyn Delis franchises.

One franchise is in the Denver Tech Center, and a second is located in the city's downtown.

Meanwhile, Richard Garland, a high-ranking international executive at Janus who left at the outset of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's investigation of the firm, guides body armor and helmet supplier Global Armor from its offices in Connecticut. Garland wouldn't comment for the news report.

Enrique Sanchez-Rivera, another former executive from the international team, now owns an up-and-coming luxury bikini company, La Isla Couture, on the East Coast.

"I have nothing bad to say about Janus," the 28-year-old told the Rocky Mountain News.

Shidler, 35, and Farrelly, 38, said they also recall their Janus days fondly, although they don't seem to miss the ups and downs of money management.

"Making sandwiches as opposed to watching mutual fund prices drop every day?" Shidler asked. "I'd rather make sandwiches."

For the record, Janus spokesman Blair Johnson said spirits are running high again at the firm.

(c) 2005 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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