Fox Business: Bankers Assess Storm Damage From Irene In Tri‑State Area

Fox Business: Bankers Assess Storm Damage From Irene In Tri‑State Area

Bankers and money managers Sunday began assessing their Eastern seaboard operations in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, a system that appeared to cause less damage than many officials and businesses had feared.

For Citigroup Inc. (C), a spokeswoman said the company’s investment-banking and trading operations, housed on Greenwich Street in Tribeca in Lower Manhattan, “are fully functional” and that the storm has so far had no impact on business.

Citi was now checking for any damage to retail-banking branches and was prepared to offer customers adversely affected by the storm “a variety of financial-recovery options,” a spokesman said. “Our customer-service team will be on high alert throughout this weekend, ready to take action as needed,” he said.

Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC said that it had received no reports of difficulties for its some 400 employees based in New York City and no problems with its Northeast operations. Pimco, the $1.4 trillion Newport Beach, Calif.-based asset manager, added that it had issued a protocol that allows employees to work remotely should transportation or weather still be limited on Monday morning.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been keeping in touch this weekend with exchanges and companies about whether markets will open in New York on Monday, an SEC spokesman said Sunday.

“We have been in communication with the markets and securities firms since Friday and discussions will continue today as appropriate,” spokesman John Nester told . “The decision whether to open will be made by the markets in consultation with the SEC.”

A spokesman for & Co. (WFC) said the bank has no reports of serious damage to its branches on the East Coast, though some are without power and some automated teller machines are down. The spokesman said the bank’s emergency response team will be having a conference call at about 1:00 p.m. EDT to gather more information and plan responses.

Wells Fargo, which operates the nation’s largest branch network and has significant east-coast operations from its crisis-era takeover of Corp., had said Friday it had about 2,200 outlets in the path of Irene. That would be about one-quarter of the network for the San Francisco-based bank.

Legg Mason Inc., a money manager with offices in New York City and Baltimore, Md., suffered no damage this weekend, a spokeswoman said. Even with power outages in Baltimore, New York suburbs and Connecticut, individual departments at the firm set up ways for employees to communicate via or cellphone over the weekend, she said. The firm expects trading to be up and running Monday, but with potentially reduced staff depending on the state of transportation.

Elsewhere, conditions were more difficult. Michael Holland, the founder of Holland & Co., a money manager, lost power early this morning at his home in New Canaan, Conn.

“It is a little bit of a war zone,” Holland said Sunday morning. “We are coming through the last of it right now.” Holland had a backup generator and is planning to work at home on Monday.

The storm left Jorie Johnson, a financial planner with Financial Futures LLC in Manasquan, N.J., without power at her home briefly Sunday morning. But by 10:00 a.m. all systems were on and she planned to walk to her office, one mile away, for a normal day of work Monday.

As a precaution, Johnson rescheduled several of her appointments from Monday and Tuesday to Wednesday and later this week. Most of her clients are nearing retirement or are recent retirees in the Monmouth County area. “Most of them were excited to have something in the news that wasn’t related to the economy or the stock market,” she said, noting that she has had an uptick in client calls in recent weeks about the debt ceiling and market gyrations.

“Still, if I have to hear one more person say ‘The Situation at the Jersey Shore,’” she said, making a nod to the popular MTV program, “I think I’m going to gag.”

— Liz Moyer, David Benoit, Tom Barkley, Steve Eder and Mary Pilon contributed to this article.

Previous Post
Money Magazine: Help Desk: How can I make sure my 401(k) investments don’t overlap with those in my wife’s plan?
Next Post
Review Journal: REITs offer real holdings without traditional costs of ownership

Related Posts