Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged swaths of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, a number of money management firms still are waiting for their offices to be reopened.
Among investment managers and financial service providers that have kept operations up and running through contingency planning but still are waiting for their lower Manhattan offices to become habitable are Prudential Financial Inc., BNY Mellon Corp. and CUSIP Global Services.
OppenheimerFunds Inc.'s office in hard-hit Two World Financial Center was closed at the height of the Oct. 29 hurricane and for several days afterward. Lord Abbett & Co. LLC is back to normal operations in its Jersey City, N.J., office but with New Jersey Transit's train lines still out of service, charter buses are shuttling many employees to work.
Midtown Manhattan investment managers imposed office closures and directed employees to work remotely during, and for a few days after, Sandy's landfall, but most were able to resume regular operations by Nov. 2. Contingency plans that moved essential processes to remote data recovery sites or kept only critical employees in the New York offices were invoked by many companies including BlackRock Inc., Christian Brothers Investment Services Inc., Goldman Sachs Asset Management, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Neuberger Berman Group.
BNY Mellon's downtown offices didn't suffer storm damage but the lack of electricity and heat likely will keep them closed until early this week, said Ronald R. Gruendl, a company spokesman based in Philadelphia. BNY employees based in lower Manhattan have been working remotely or their work was transferred to employees in other locations, Mr. Gruendl said in an e-mail.
The 50 employees of CUSIP Global Services, on the other hand, have no idea when their severely flood-damaged office at 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan will reopen, said Matthew Bastian, director of market and business development.
Because CUSIP issues identification codes for most publicly traded assets in the U.S., it was essential that the company's emergency plan work perfectly so stocks, bonds and other securities could be viewed by potential investors and traded when possible, Mr. Bastian said. The firm is a subsidiary of Standard & Poor's.
CUSIP's contingency plan was implemented on Oct. 29 and it ensured employees could tap into everything they have on their regular desktops remotely. Operations were shifted to an East Windsor, N.J., disaster recovery site owned by S&P's parent company, The McGraw Hill Cos.
CUSIP employees have been working from home, if they have power and web connectivity, or at the disaster center. “Basically, we all are doing whatever we need to do to get to a desk with power,” Mr. Bastian said.