This is an excerpt from a long discussion with the men whose firms won Broker-Dealer of the Year honors—as chosen by their own representatives—where they gathered in Chicago in August with Investment Advisor Editor John Sullivan and Group Editor in Chief Jamie Green. The four men were asked to reflect on this solemn 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
BUSINESS CONTINUITY: THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE 9/11 ATTACKS
DeVito: One of the girls in my office, her father died in Cantor Fitzgerald. In my neighborhood, in my county, it was just devastating. It has to change you in some way. Did it change the financial services industry? Not much. Not so sure. I don’t think it changed.
Shepherd: I think it reminded people why business continuity plans makes sense. Obviously there were Wall Street firms obliterated, but I don’t think it changed the landscape of financial services as much as it changed the landscape and direction of our country. I didn’t expect the question frankly and glad you asked it though, because it is the single most important geo-political event in my lifetime and, God, I hope we don’t have anything like it ever again. I don’t think it’s made us change how we approach business, but it has changed the way in which we approach investing. Whether it be 9/11 or the next crisis, it certainly makes you think about how you manage assets from a risk management standpoint, rather than just always going for broke.
DeVito: I have been impressed by a number of people on Wall Street who have put themselves out to help others in raising money for the people who got hurt. They have just become so philanthropic and fundraising-oriented; it’s really amazing. They are taking thousands of hours a year to help others.