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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
City marks terror anniversary
The heart of London's financial community has observed a minute's silence on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.

Business came to a halt on the Euronext Liffe derivatives exchange, the Lloyd's of London insurance market, and at Cantor Fitzgerald, the firm which lost 700 employees in the World Trade Center attacks.

The lull began at 1346 BST, the time when the first of two hi-jacked passenger jets was flown into the World Trade Center's twin towers on 11 September last year.

Trading systems on the main London Stock Exchange continued to operate as normal, but transactions are thought to have slowed to a trickle as market participants observed a two minutes' silence.

A minute's silence was also observed at a memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Global financial service firms were hit harder than most in the attacks, with colleagues in sister offices around the world watching helplessly as the tragedy in New York unfolded on television screens.

Thousands to remember

Earlier on Wednesday, the Lloyd's of London insurance market marked the anniversary with a ceremony led by the Lloyd's choir.

The Lutine bell - traditionally sounded to herald news of a missing ship - was rung to signal the start of a minute's silence.

Lutine Bell
Lloyds of London rang the Lutine Bell
Lloyd's chairman Saxon Riley said: "The tragedy of September 11 struck at the heart of our community. We are closing the market for a short time so that people have a chance to remember and pay their respects.

"Many of us will also be following the other services taking place later that day - both here and especially in our sister city of New York - and observing the nationwide one-minute silence."

The ceremony, held in Lloyds' Underwriting Room, was attended by up to 4,000 brokers, underwriters and corporation staff.

US merchant bank Lehman Brothers lost one employee in the attack, but considers itself lucky as the firm occupied the 40th floor of the North Tower and other buildings in the World Trade complex.

Lehman Brothers staff in London also held a minute's silence at 1346 BST.

Staff were able to watch memorial services being held in New York live on television.

'Time to reflect'

Bond brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald was the company worst affected by the attack on the twin towers. It occupied five of the top floors of the North Tower and lost 658 members of staff, 12 of whom were British.

World Trade Center
Silences will mark the times the first plane hit and the first tower fell
The New York office did not trade on Wednesday, with staff meeting in Central Park for a memorial service instead.

Staff in London observed a silence at 1346 BST, and did so again at 1529 BST, the time when the first tower collapsed.

After that, a memorial service was held in-house, and then the company's offices were closed for the day to give staff "extra time to reflect".

Spokeswoman Cara Kiewel said many of the staff had had close ties with the American office.

"There are instances where people had worked in New York and transferred over here and vice versa, so they got to know each other," she said.

"Everybody in the company feels the magnitude of the loss, and Wednesday will be an opportunity for us all to come together and recognise that."

Offices closed

Rory Brown, marketing director for Risk Waters group, said it would be a particularly difficult day for many staff members.

The firm lost 16 people from the New York and UK offices in the disaster.

Mr Brown said the New York office would be closed on Wednesday but there would be people working in London.

"Several members of the company will be going to St Paul's Cathedral for the service," he said.

"We are not imposing anything as a company, we are leaving it for people to decide how they want to mark it themselves."

The silence to mark the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center will be observed almost everywhere throughout the financial world.



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See also:

11 Sep 02 | Business
09 Sep 02 | September 11 one year on
10 Apr 02 | Business
12 Sep 01 | Europe
12 Sep 01 | Business
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