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ATTACK ON THE U.S.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Financial firms try to find Trade Center workers

Bloomberg News

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. chairman Philip Purcell said "the vast majority" of its 3,500 World Trade Center employees survived the terrorist attack on the buildings, as other firms searched for missing workers.

More than a day after two hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center's twin towers, turning a New York landmark into a pile of rubble, banks, brokerages and financial firms said they still cannot account for about 3,000 employees.

Fred Alger Management Inc., which manages about $16-billion (U.S.), said in a statement that its president, David Alger, probably died in the Trade Center and it can't locate 38 of the 55 employees who worked at its offices there. Fred Alger, the chairman and David's brother, will assume the presidency, while Dan Chung will take over as chief investment officer.

The loss of life and facilities by the financial firms probably means that even when markets reopen trading will remain subdued.

About 180 people who attended a financial technology conference at Windows on the World, the 106th-floor restaurant in the first tower hit by one of the hijacked commercial jets, haven't been accounted for, the conference organizer said.

"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, chief executive officer of the Risk Waters Group, in a statement. "So far those efforts have yielded no information."

Cantor Fitzgerald LP, which trades about one-fourth of the U.S. government bond market, said it doesn't know how many of its 1,000 employees in offices on the 101st to 105th floors of 1 World Trade Center were in the building during the attack. Included among the firm's missing is William Meehan, chief market analyst.

Mizuho Holdings Inc. of Tokyo, the biggest bank by assets, said it had located all but about 50 of the 1,491 employees who worked in the towers. All three Mizuho banks are maintaining operations at backup facilities, said Eric Tarlow, general counsel for Industrial Bank of Japan, one of the three.

Credit Agricole Indosuez, the securities unit of France's No. 2 bank, said about 100 employees of its Carr Futures unit were missing. The unit's offices were on the 92nd floor.

"About 140 people work in our offices, of which around 100 were present at the time of the attack," said Credit Agricole Indosuez spokeswoman Anne Robert. "We've heard from all those who were supposed to be there but weren't, but no news from the rest."

Sandler, O'Neill & Partners LP, which was on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center, said 70 of the 150 employees who worked at the investment firm are missing.

Marsh & McLennan Inc. chairman Jeffrey Greenberg said in a letter to employees posted on its Web site that about 1,000 of its 1,700 employees in the twin towers were safe as of noon Wednesday. "And for that we are deeply grateful."

UnionBanCal Corp., the No. 2 California-based bank, said all 100 employees that were in the World Trade Center during Wednesday's attack are alive.

Morgan Stanley's Mitchell Merin, chief of the 5,500-person asset management division, and John Schaefer, head of the 14,200-broker retail unit, were in meetings at the company headquarters building on Broadway at 48th Street at the time of the attack.

Michael Lyons, a trader at Morgan Stanley who worked on the 60th floor of Tower 2, said he had confirmed that all members of his 11-person team had survived. Mr. Lyons said he believed all employees were safely evacuated from the 60th floor.

Howard Lutnick, chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald International, was in New York, but out of the office at the time of the terrorist attacks. Harry Fry, a senior managing director in New York, was in Houston visiting a Cantor subsidiary. Other known survivors include William (Bud) Flanagan, a senior managing director and a former U.S. Navy admiral; Steve Merkel, the general counsel; Phil Ginsberg and Michael Williams. So far, 85 of its World Trade Center employees have been accounted for, CBS Radio reported.

More than 40,000 people worked in the complex of seven buildings. There is no known death toll, though New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said "thousands and thousands" of people may have perished.

Standard Chartered PLC said it hasn't accounted for all of its 450 staff members whose offices were in the World Trade Center complex.

Citigroup Inc., the biggest financial services company in the United States, had employees of its Salomon Smith Barney investment bank at World Trade Center 7, adjacent to the towers, which collapsed Wednesday night. The building "was evacuated very early but nobody knows if they're safe," said company spokesman Stephen Goldman.

Merrill Lynch & Co. said it had evacuated 9,000 employees from its offices at 4 World Financial Center, across from the World Trade Center, and was still seeking to confirm that all its employees were safe.

Credit Suisse First Boston said 800 employees were safely removed from an office building next to the World Trade Center towers. The firm said on its Web site that its business was open.

Allianz AG's 400 employees who were working in the World Trade Center are "all well," spokesman Hubertus Kuelps said.

Bank of America Corp., which had about 400 employees working in offices on floors nine through 11 and 81 of Tower 2, said it was looking for its workers "one by one" and still had not located some of them.

AON Corp., an insurance broker and underwriter, said about 1,100 of its 50,000 employees worked in 2 World Trade Center.

AON is trying to check on employees by calling their homes, said spokesman Stephen Ban. He said some have been found safe, but declined to say more.



 PHOTOS

Life Goes On
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SPECIAL
Voices From After the Fall, The Facts Behind the Fear, and the preview of a new Discovery documentary filmed at Ground Zero.


VIDEO






spaceTHE LATEST:
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  • Six-month Memorial for Sept. 11 - U.S. President George Bush speaks from the White House. "The terrorists will remember Sept. 11 as the day their reckoning began," he said.

  • In Canada - Relatives of Canadian victims of the World Trade Centre attacks wonder why there's no six-month memorial here at home.

    CTVNEWS.com video reports



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