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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Wall Street counts the cost
Morgan Stanley website
Morgan Stanley is still trying to account for all its staff
Wall Street firms continue to search for missing staff after the devastating attack on New York's financial district.

But they started looking for new offices and begun grappling with restoring computer and phone networks so that trading can resume.

We don't want to bring hundreds of thousands of people into Manhattan that could in any way impede that recovery process

Richard Grasso, New York Stock Exchange
A survey of firms in and around the World Trade Centre (WTC) showed 2,888 people were known to be missing on Thursday, according to CNN.

But this figure is not exhaustive, as many firms contacted refused to release details.

An official with the New York Port Authority official has estimated that 20,000 could be dead.

Death toll still uncertain

There were 435 companies based in the twin towers, employing about 40,000 people.

Bond trader Cantor Fitzgerald - the largest dealer in US government bonds - appears to have suffered the heaviest losses for a single firm.

The company occupied the top floors of the North Tower, the first to be hit, and 800 of its 1,000 staff were still missing by early Thursday.

Investment and consultancy firm Marsh & McLennan has about 700 staff missing out of 1,700.

Thousands of professionals who worked in and around the World Trade Center are presumed dead, and rival banks have been co-operating to account for all their staff.

Web message boards

The internet has become a key tool for companies to stay in touch with their employees.

Corporate websites are showing telephone numbers where employees can check in with their firms to confirm that they are alright.

Detailed instructions are given which staff should report for work where, or whether they should stay at home for the time being.

Wrecked infrastructure

Wall Street firms are trying to patch up their operations - problems include wrecked offices, destroyed phone and IT networks - and there are fears that apparently undamaged buildings may not be safe.

Richard Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange is due to meet with lower Manhattan's phone company Verizon on Thursday for talks on the state the district's network.

The New York Stock Exchange remains closed and major banks have resisted pressure from the White House for an early reopening, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Mr Grasso said the NYSE would re-open "at the worst case" on Monday and was still aiming for trading to resume on Friday.

However, he stressed that nothing should get in the way of the rescue operation: "We don't want to bring hundreds of thousands of people into Manhattan that could in any way impede that recovery process."

The bond market, however, is due to reopen on Thursday at 1200 GMT, enabling trade in US government bonds.

Move to the suburbs

The destruction has wiped out 12% of lower Manhattan's office space, about 12m square metres.

Firms which had World Trade Center offices
American Express
Bank of America
Credit Suisse Group
Dai-ichi Bank
Deutsche Bank
Fuji Bank
Kemper Insurance
Lehman Brothers
Mizuho Holdings
Morgan Stanley
New York Board of Trade
Nikko Securities
Salomon Brothers
Sinochem American Holdings of China
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Sun Microsystems
Zim-American Israeli Shipping

(A selection only)
Some firms - such as Lehman Brothers and Salomon Smith Barney - have opened offices in New Jersey to cope with situation.

Lehman's said it expects to operate from New Jersey "for the foreseeable future".

But attempts to resume business remain overshadowed by the loss of life.

"The shocking events of this week at the World Trade Center have not posed a financial problem for Morgan Stanley but a deeply human one", said the bank's chairman, Philip Purcell.

Morgan Stanley, the largest tenant in one of the two towers, said the "vast majority" of its 3,500 of retail brokers escaped safely and all its businesses are functioning.

Japanese firms Mizuho Holdings, Fuji Bank and Daichi Kangyo bank have 532 employees missing.

Keefe Bruyette Woods said 69 employees are missing and fellow investment banking house Sandler, O'Neill has 70 of 150 staff unaccounted for.

Janitors killed?

San-Francisco based ABM Industries said "it is far too early to assess the human toll".

It had 800 engineers, lighting technicians and janitors working in the World Trade Center.

Fiduciary Trust said 120 workers are missing, and Eurobrokers is looking for 80 people.

ICAP, formerly Garban-Intercapital, the world's largest inter-dealer broker, said the "vast majority" of its 675 staff escaped but a small number are still unaccounted for.

See also:

12 Sep 01 | Business
New York: Global financial centre
12 Sep 01 | Business
Will US consumer confidence fade?
13 Sep 01 | Business
UK firms fear human losses
13 Sep 01 | Business
Only one tower insured, report says
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