NEW YORK — Tumbleweeds won't be rolling down the middle of Park Avenue, but if you're looking for your New York money manager during the Republican National Convention, you stand a very good chance of reaching voice mail.
Although few money management firms are located around Madison Square Garden, where the RNC is being held Aug. 30-Sept. 2, most will experience some impact because many employees — mostly from New Jersey and Long Island — commute to and from the city through Penn Station, located right next to the Garden.
"The whole convention thing will mainly impact people from New Jersey," said Merik Sarmieno, director of institutional services and marketing at midtown Manhattan money manager Forstmann-Leff Associates LLC.
Commute times likely will be much longer, even for pedestrians, because many streets around the convention center will be closed to cars and foot traffic. Access to Penn Station will be limited to two entrances, and train schedules will be altered during the convention. Transportation by car, cab or bus to and from Manhattan also will be more chaotic because of the street closures around the Garden, as well as by the presence of protestors throughout the island.
To mitigate the commuting problem through Penn Station, management at BlackRock Inc., New York, asked department heads to make sure employees who live in Manhattan are around during the RNC and don't leave for vacation in droves, said Paul Audet, chief financial officer. The company can rely on its Boston and Delaware offices for backup in case of "commuter dislocation," Mr. Audet said, and a number of employees at the technologically savvy company will work from home.
"If people end up spending five hours a day commuting, we'd rather they worked from home," he said.
New York Life Investment Management LLC, New York, is setting up a second trading desk in its Parsippany, N.J., office, said Gary E. Wendlandt, chief executive officer and chairman. "People involved in trading can work from either office, depending on where they live," Mr. Wendlandt said. In all, about 60 NYLIM employees who normally work in Manhattan will work from New Jersey.