Triumph Over Tragedy: September 11 and The Rebirth of A Business
From the Inside Flap
How much human and financial loss can one company endure and still muster the strength and the resources to rebuild itself? The September 11 terrorist attacks pushed many companies beyond what appeared to be the brink of ruin. One of the hardest hit was the investment banking firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., who was headquartered on the 88th and 89th floors in Tower Two of the World Trade Center. KBW lost one-third of its staff, including its chairman and co-CEO, five of its nine board members, and its most prominent financial analysts. In addition to this devastating loss of life, the company lost its headquarters, along with every scrap of paper documentation that was kept there–and yet the survivors did not give up.
Triumph Over Tragedy tells the poignant and inspiring story of KBW’s refusal to succumb to the ravages of terrorism. It introduces a remarkable group of women and men who, having literally fought their way out of a collapsing tower, committed themselves to rebuilding their company, supporting each other, and caring for the families of their fallen coworkers. It also explains how, stunningly, after September 11, the company managed not only to reorganize and relocate its people in various temporary quarters, but to close nine M&A deals begun earlier in the year.
In this book, you’ll meet John Duffy, the determined CEO who, having lost both his son and his longtime business partner, found the strength to lead the surviving staff in their dramatic recovery effort. He introduces numerous employees whose contributions to the recovery went far beyond the call of duty, even as they contended with their own grief and looked for ways to comfort the families of those who died. Firsthand accounts from dozens of staff members at all levels describe both the horrible events of September 11 and the hard work of rebuilding that followed.
This unforgettable account of KBW’s struggle is instructive as well as moving. It reconstructs decision-making processes regarding leadership, support for grieving families, methods for reestablishing the business, and, in the midst of all this, serving clients. Triumph Over Tragedy tells a compelling story that redefines the term "disaster recovery" and confirms the belief that a company is only as good as its employees.