Neither snow, nor ice, nor mud, nor gloom of power outages kept pension executives, money managers and consultants from their appointed fiduciuary duties during storms that lashed Washington state during the last week of 1996.
The local investment management community was able to sidestep the massive problems that resulted from about two feet of snow and subsequent power outages, rain, flooding and mud slides.
Pension funds, money managers, and consultants got an assist from the holiday season, which already had limited the amount of time people were expected to be working, and the number of people anticipated to be in the offices.
"It's been a heck of a storm," said Chris Phillips, a spokesman for Frank Russell Co., Tacoma, Wash.
Although some Russell employees were among those who lost power, the firm has been open and operating on its regular schedule, he said.
Brian Langstraat, senior investment manager for Parametric Portfolio Associates, Seattle, said executives used modems when necessary to connect to the company from their homes.
But for most, the storms led merely to added drive times, he said.
"We've been able to operate fairly smoothly," Mr. Langstraat said.
Mr. Langstraat said that in general Seattle is not used to getting the extreme amounts of snow that it received in a short amount of time.
A spokesman for Seattle-based Sirach Capital Management Inc. said they had no problems during the snow, with increased commuting times for some employees the only consequence.
Likewise, a spokeswoman for the Seattle City Employees' Retirement System said their operations weren't affected.