Thursday, December 2, 2010

Losses of Enormous Magnitude

September 13, 2001, CoStar Group News, by Mark Heschmeyer,

Losses of Enormous Magnitude,

Tenants from the World Trade Center Disaster Come To Grips with Loss of Family, Friends and Staff

As the human and financial toll mounts in the wake of the terrorist destruction of the two 110-story World Trade Center towers, the magnitude of the loss for tenants in the landmark structures may never be measured. Companies have lost nearly entire staffs -- including family members -- and their capabilities to operate going forward have been severely disrupted.

Fred Alger Management, which manages about $16 billion in assets, lost its president, David Alger, and many of the firm's key research analysts and portfolio managers who remain unaccounted for as of today. Approximately 55 employees worked at the World Trade Center; 38 remained unaccounted for. The firm employs 235 people worldwide.

It is a personal loss for Fred Alger, chairman of the firm.

"The terrorist attack is a personal tragedy for my family as well as for all of our employees and their families," said Alger. "Fortunately a nucleus of research analysts survived the attack. All of our administrative, marketing, and fund pricing functions, which operate out of our Morristown, New Jersey office, were unaffected.

Fred Alger said that he has resumed day-to-day active management of the investment management firm that he founded in 1964.

"We will spare no expense in aggressively rebuilding this firm, beginning today," he said. "Clearly, we have experienced a loss of enormous magnitude. However, I am confident that, with the core of talented and experienced professionals who have survived this unspeakable attack on democracy, we will succeed in rebuilding this firm in accordance with the historic investment philosophy that has served us and our clients well for nearly four decades."

Click here for CoStar Group's WTC info page.

Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P., a full-service investment banking firm which occupied the 104th Floor of Two World Trade Center, confirmed today that 67 of its employees and two outside consultants remain unaccounted for as of 2 p.m. EDT Thursday.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of so many of our dear friends and colleagues," said Jimmy Dunne, managing principal, who has managed the firm's operations since its founding in 1988. "Since Tuesday morning, we have been doing everything possible to locate those who are missing and share all new information with their families. We will continue to reach out to area hospitals, rescue organizations and authorities around the clock."

The firm is currently operating out of two other Manhattan offices.

"In the long days and hours following Tuesday's attack on our country, all of us in the Bank of America family have anxiously awaited news of our teammates in New York," said Ken Lewis, chairman and CEO of Bank of America. "I want to share with all of you what we know.

"At this writing, there remain eight Bank of America associates who worked in the World Trade Center whom we have not been able to contact," Lewis said. "We are continuing our aggressive outreach efforts to contact these individuals or their families. I ask that all of us keep these teammates in our hearts and prayers as the rescue work continues. More than 400 of our associates who worked in the World Trade Center are accounted for and safe, and we confirmed yesterday that all of our associates who work in the Pentagon escaped the attack unharmed."

Speaking from San Francisco mid-morning yesterday, president and CEO Henrik Slipsager of ABM Industries Inc. confirmed that the World Trade Center in New York is ABM's largest single job site, with annual sales of approximately $65 million (3 percent of ABM's consolidated revenues) and upwards of 800 operating engineers, janitorial workers and lighting technicians from three subsidiaries of the company working various shifts throughout the day and night.

"We're very concerned about the well-being of those employees and all other occupants and neighbors of the Center, as well as the rescue and other emergency service personnel now at that location. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and with their families, co-workers and other friends. It is, of course, far too early for us to assess the human and financial toll of this tragedy."

ABM is the largest facility services contractor listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

In the higher stories of the towers, the fear and dread are even worse, as these companies suffered the largest loss of life. Cantor Fitzgerald International and eSpeed International reported it could not account for nearly 700 of its combined 1,000 employees.

The London offices of Cantor Fitzgerald and eSpeed were doing everything possible to assess the situation at their world headquarters at One World Trade Center in New York City. Both companies had operations on the 101, 103, 104 and 105 floors.

"Currently we are unable to determine how many employees were in the building at the time of the attack or confirm if they were safely evacuated. All of our thoughts and prayers are with our NY colleagues and their families and friends at this time," said Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman of both companies. "In a very difficult and confused situation we are doing all that we can to determine more about the situations of colleagues."

eSpeed Inc. operates multiple buyer/multiple seller real-time electronic marketplaces Cantor Fitzgerald L.P. is a financial services firm intermediary in both the equity and fixed income markets.

"We lost our corporate headquarters in yesterday's disaster. However, our organization is intact and Empire's management team is operating from other Empire locations," said Michael A. Stocker, CEO of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, "Our first concern is the safety of our employees. As of 2 p.m. today, we have accounted for 1875 of 1914 employees who worked at the World Trade Center. Twelve of these employees are hospitalized. We are doing everything possible to verify the whereabouts of our employees who are still unaccounted for."

"With respect to our business operations, we have lost two day's worth of incoming mail (Sept. 10th and 11th)," Stocker added. "There are additional operational issues that are still being evaluated. "Despite a very difficult disruption, our basic staff and operations are intact."

Aon Corp. reported that the vast majority of its approximately 1,100 World Trade Center employees were reported safe as of yesterday afternoon. Aon also said that it has contacted nearly all of its employees who were traveling to New York City from other offices.

"Given the communication challenges in lower Manhattan and difficulties locating those who might have been injured or unable to return home, we are still working toward a full accounting of all of our employees' whereabouts," said Aon's chairman and CEO, Patrick G. Ryan.

Aon is a holding company that is comprised of a family of insurance brokerage, consulting and insurance underwriting subsidiaries.

Investment banking giant Morgan Stanley was the largest tenant in the tower with nearly 3,500 staff members. It announced today that the number of employees who may have lost their lives is less than 40.

Philip J. Purcell, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, said "Even several days later it is difficult to comprehend this senseless atrocity. The loss of just a single life is too many. But when you consider the incredible destruction that occurred, the loss of fewer than 40 of our people out of the 3,700 who worked there is a near miracle. We have heard countless stories of great courage and compassion. If it weren't for the heroism of a number of people, the toll would have been much higher."

"Despite this tragedy, our firm has much to be grateful for. We feel very fortunate in the generosity and friendship that has been shown us the past several days. Literally thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies have come forward to offer support, resources, space and help in other ways. And we will certainly do the same--we are going to be there for those less fortunate than we are," Purcell said.

And the messages hope and reassurances were coming in from other tenants as well.

"We are thankful that all of the 598 OppenheimerFunds employees in our World Trade Center offices are safe," the mutual funds company announced in a press statement. "Only two injuries were reported - both of which were minor in nature. Our business is operational. We are confident that we will be able to handle our normal demands. Critical services in our New York office have been relocated to other venues. Shareholder records are kept in our out of state facilities and are backed-up daily. Importantly, we expect to establish a new, temporary headquarters very shortly. We want to assure you that we have long-standing and detailed business continuity plans that have been successfully implemented to assure that we are here to serve your needs."

Harder to account for in the disaster is the numerous visitors to the World Trade Center. On the morning of the attack, London-based Risk Waters Group was hosting a Financial Technology Congress on the 106th floor of the North Tower.

"From the moment the company heard the news about what had taken place yesterday we have been making every possible effort to establish the whereabouts of delegates, sponsors, speakers and staff who were attending this event," said Peter Field, CEO of Risk Waters Group. "We have been working round the clock with the registered delegates own companies and have already established that some people who were due to attend the conference were not there at the time when the planes hit. We have also been calling all local hospitals in the New York area. So far those efforts have yielded no information but communications have obviously been extremely difficult."

"In the absence of any concrete news all we can do is to hope and pray that all attendees are safe," Field added.

No comments: