UPDATE 3-Boston's financial staff work from home during lockdown

Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:48pm EDT
 
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By Jed Horowitz and Jennifer Ablan

April 19 (Reuters) - Larry Peruzzi, who runs a trading desk at a small institutional broker in Boston, came into his office at 7:45 a.m. on Friday and told his two-person early morning crew to leave immediately and prepare to work from home.

The city was not yet under virtual lockdown, but police had shot a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing overnight and a manhunt for the second suspect was under way. On Peruzzi's drive in, "The highway was just packed, and crawling," he told Reuters by telephone.

"It was just eerie. There is low cloud cover so you can't see the tops of the building and electronic message boards are flashing directions and amber alerts. I'm looking out the window and a military helicopter is flying by."

Some of the largest U.S. financial companies asked employees in Boston to work from home on Friday, disrupting the biggest center for U.S. mutual fund management and depressing trading activity in some markets.

Fidelity Investments, which manages $1.7 trillion of U.S. investment assets and is the second-biggest mutual fund company, told employees to work from home. Other large financial firms, including Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Manulife Financial Corp's John Hancock unit, also asked Boston employees to work remotely.

Loomis Sayles, which manages $191 billion, had about 50 percent of its staff in the office. Many of the firm's traders and portfolio managers had arrived before authorities widened the travel restrictions, said Dan Fuss, vice chairman and senior portfolio manager.

"All the traders and portfolio managers that need to be here are here, so we did not have to activate our remote site," Fuss said. "We've got every single desk manned, so we are fine."   Continued...