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WTC housed 3 major AMCs

Morgan Stanley was reportedly the biggest tenant and occupied 50 floors of the Trade Centre's south tower

The twin World Trade Centre (WTC) Towers, which were blown up on Tuesday, housed at least three major asset management companies. The hub of global finance had offices of Oppenheimer Funds, Citigroup Asset Management (formerly SSB Citi Asset Management Group) and Salomon Brothers Funds. While Oppenheimer Funds was located at 2, World Trade Centre, Citigroup had its main office at 7, World Trade Centre. Morgan Stanley, with more than 3500 employees, was reportedly the biggest tenant and occupied 50 floors of the Trade Centre's south tower. Further, Deutshe Bank Asset Management is also believed to have offices in the towers.

While the impact of the devastation on the operations of these fund houses is difficult to assess at this juncture, asset management companies normally keep backup records of investments accounts at other places. For instance, at a note on its website, www.oppenheimerfunds.com, the fund house states that all its accounts are secure and are kept at Denver facility & backed-up daily. "At this time, the New York Stock Exchange has halted trading as a precaution. Accordingly, no purchases, exchanges or redemptions are permitted at this time,'' it adds. Morgan Stanley, at its site www.morganstanley.com, also states that in spite of the tragedy, its businesses are functioning and will continue to function. "We are committed to resume full operations as exchanges and markets reopen. All our clients should rest assured that their assets are safe,'' it reiterates.

All the three asset management companies at the WTC Towers are key players in the global markets with large assets under management. For instance, Oppenheimer Funds has $125 billion in assets, including funds with over 5 million shareholder accounts. Citigroup, with investment offices in 25 countries, has an asset base of over $400 billion. Thus, the size of a single AMC is far larger than the total size of the Indian fund market, which is currently estimated at around $21 billion.