NU Online News Service, Sept. 20, 12:55 p.m. — Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks shuttered or damaged their downtown New York headquarters, workers and managers at three major rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch IBCA, have come together and been working through the crisis.
With its headquarters on Church Street in New York, about three blocks from Ground Zero, Moody’s is among the hardest hit by the incident. “We are up and running, we are doing business and doing ratings,” Fran Laserson, senior vice president of communications at Moody’s, said.
Although Moody’s did not lose any employees in the incident, it is still feeling the effects of the aftershocks.
Because the electricity, telephone lines and e-mail system at the Moody’s headquarters building are still down, most Moody’s employees in New York, including Laserson, are operating out of temporary facilities in Manhattan and using their personal telephones and private e-mail accounts to stay in touch.
But the Moody’s “building is largely intact,” Laserson said. “City inspectors have already declared that the building is structurally sound.” Authorities let some employees enter the building Sept. 15.
As for company data, “we have removed our laptops and some of our servers [from the headquarters],” Laserson said.
In spite of the lingering effects of the attacks, “iIt’s been remarkable how much we have accomplished in a week in terms of conducting our business,” Laserson said. “Our rating teams are assigning and monitoring ratings. We are responding to investors’ calls.”