Firms counting, coping
September 13, 2001 Posted: 2124 GMT
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Companies whose offices were destroyed in the World Trade Center attack continued the grueling task of trying to account for all their employees Thursday, while rescue officials estimated nearly 4,800 people are missing.
Cantor Fitzgerald, a leading treasury bond brokerage, which had 1,000 working in the World Trade Center's north tower, said in a press release 320 are on its list of those safe and accounted for.
But the company said it is still working on verifying the accuracy of its list, and currently has no news of any employees in the companies officer from the 101st to 105th floors.
"The staff count for New York was about 1,000," said David Buik, who is based in Cantor Fitzgerald's London office. "But one has no idea with holidays, with biz trips, biz meetings during the day, who was there and who wasn't. We are still waiting to find out."
Cantor is expecting to have a verified list on its site on Friday.
Insurance company Aon Corp., whose principal New York offices were in the south tower (2 World Trade Center), said the "vast majority" of its 1,100 New-York based employees are safe.
Aon Chairman and CEO Patrick G. Ryan said in a conference call "the number of confirmed survivors continues to grow," but added Aon has been unable to contact some employees who were said to either return to the building to aid others or remained on floors to ensure others were evacuated.
As an insurance company, Aon is also trying to make sure its business is running smoothly. The company's global office is open and arrangements are currently being made to return New York-based employees to work.
"While our highest focus will be on our colleagues and our families, we also need to be responsible to our clients," Ryan said.
CIBC World Markets, which had offices in the nearby World Financial Center, said by this morning it had accounted for about 72 percent of its employees there.
"The problem we're running into with our offices at World Financial is that we have a lot of people who live within walking distance to work and our contact number for them is their apartment," CIBC Spokesman Eric Morse told CNNfn. "We're relying on them to get in touch with us."
"We know of no fatalities, which is just wonderful news," Morse added.
This afternoon rescue workers were pulled away from the American Express building at the World Financial Center on concerns of structural stability.
CIBC has moved operations to its Lexington Avenue headquarters, while employees will also share offices in the company's CIBC Oppenheimer building, and the company says it will be ready when the markets open.
Morse said the company had already announced a new headquarters on Madison Avenue needed because the company was "stressed for space" and employees will be working three-to-four per office.
Investment bank Lehman Brothers, also with offices in the World Financial Center, said on its Web site it is open for business across the Hudson River in Jersey City, N.J., but calls to that building's main numbers were not answered.
Risk Waters Group is looking for delegates to its financial technology conference at the Windows on the World restaurant, located atop the north tower (No. 1 World Trade Center), as well as employees.
The company said 47 delegates and its 16 employees were confirmed to be in the building at the time and are now unaccounted for. One hundred delegates are confirmed as having not arrived on time and are safe. No information is available on 74 delegates.
Reuters reported that Eurobrokers, a subsidiary of Maxcor Financial Group, has accounted for about 70 percent of its 280 employees; 80 remain missing.
At the headquarters of Keefe Bruyette Woods, a small investment bank, 69 of its 171 are unaccounted for.
Fred Alger Management said 38 of its 56 employees are missing, including the company's president, David Alger, a frequent guest on CNNfn.
Frenkel & Co, an international insurance brokerage firm, has four employees out of 180 unaccounted for. Internet network operator Genuity says it has been unable to locate three technicians working in the World Trade Center. Cisco Systems says one employee was killed.
Other firms with significant numbers of employees said only that they have accounted for a majority of them. Among the companies: Banc of America, Thomson Financial, Wachovia Capital Management, Garben-Intercapital Investments, and Carr Futures.