to the Fall 2001
Jose Carlos Ferreira
Merrill Lynch Resumes Business Critical
Functions Within Minutes of Attack
by Janette Ballman
Lynch and Co. Inc. preparedness and proper testing of contingency plans
kept their company doing business as usual following the
terrorist attacks of September 11. Merrill Lynch is one of the worlds
leading financial management and advisory companies. Their headquarters
is located in the World Financial Center, directly across from where
the World Trade Center towers once stood.
to Paul Honey, Director of Global Contingency Planning, the financial
firm was able to successfully evacuate their headquarters and resume
critical management functions within minutes of the terrorist attack.
In addition to the companys headquarters, several more of Merrill Lynchs office buildings were affected by the terrorist attacks. In all, some 9000 employees were impacted by the event.
attack at the World Trade Center began, Honey said employees first
reactions were shock and disbelief.
The companys headquarters sustained some damage, including broken windows and fallen debris. But the main difficulty for the company has been access to the building, since the firms headquarters is located in what has been termed ground zero - the space immediately surrounding the World Trade Center. Honey and several others on the team entered their headquarters shortly after the disaster to do an initial damage assessment, but employees have not been permitted to return.
full access to the building could be weeks or even longer, said
Honey. Right now the whole area is cordoned off and all efforts
are focused on rescue and recovery.
is prepared to maintain its business operations outside of the building
for as long as necessary. When the exchanges opened on Monday, Merrill
Lynch was ready. It has taken a massive effort by all of our employees,
but it is business as usual at Merrill Lynch. We were very, very well
prepared, said Honey.
also upgraded their plans and testing procedures following the Y2K experience.
The Y2K tests really helped us to prepare for this event. During
that time, we had 60 command centers around the world. We honed our
plans and testing then, and have since improved our contingency planning
efforts, said Honey. We learned a lot during the Y2K planning
stages and leveraged that knowledge to upgrade and improve our command
is also working with other brokerage firms in the area to coordinate
This event not only affected a company, but an entire industry, he said. But the most important aspect has been the human side. Were taking care of our employees. Thats what counts. Our employees are the firms greatest asset.
is an Editor for DRJ.
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