Commentary

Brijesh Malkan
Traders Magazine Online News

Solving the Last Mile Problem in Investment Research

One executive takes a forward look at how will the research value proposition change over the short to medium term, and what are the products and strategies managers will turn to?

Traders Poll

Do you think it's a good idea to conduct an access fee pilot to assess the pricing models used by many trading venues?

Yes 0%
No 0%
Should have had a pilot program a long time ago. 100%

 

Free Site Registration

September 30, 2001

Faith, Hope and Charity The Sorrowful Mysteries in Death and Destruction

By John A. Byrne

Also in this article

  • Faith, Hope and Charity The Sorrowful Mysteries in Death and Destruction

It must have felt like the hundredth call on another cruel and difficult day. "Hello," came his muffled voice over a cell phone, the sound of mourners shuffling slowly, reluctantly, in the background. Peter DaPuzzo, a successful equity trader who does not in ordinary moments raise the curtain that hides a man's emotions from the outside world, had a quiver in his voice.

These were not, of course, ordinary moments.

"I'm at another funeral service," he said, choking back tears. "This is very hard. There is so much heartache and despair." A church bell tolled. Another of Cantor Fitzgerald's young and finest professionals - one of some 700 innocent souls - was gone. His life cut short by an act of war on Sept. 11. It was an act so incomprehensible that it left the trading community searching for intelligent answers.

Pain Sets In

"You know what it is," said Ed Heaney, a veteran trader who has lived through the Great Depression and World War II. "It's like a sports injury. First you go numb. Then later, the pain starts to set in."

On that fateful morning, Sept. 11, a day when the skies seemed bright and promising, DaPuzzo, a senior managing director at Cantor, still active at the firm, was scheduled to visit his office in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He did not visit regularly.

DaPuzzo, who's 60 but looks much younger, had earned his ticket to the good life. He does not say so but his Cantor activity was becoming a bit like a hobby. When he did visit the north tower he usually looked for Tim Grazioso, chief Nasdaq trader and chief operating officer of Nasdaq trading, a 42-year-old man whom he called his brother.

"His mother, his father and his sister told me when I met them how much Tim used to talk about me. It was like they knew me before we had ever met," said DaPuzzo, after returning from a memorial service in Central Park. "You were his role model, they said. And I said back, he was like a brother to me even though I was probably old enough to be his father."

On that fateful morning, DaPuzzo must have had divine protection. He cancelled his trip to the World Trade Center and waited at his home. It was a mundane matter that kept him in Greenwich, Conn. And it was a mundane matter that probably saved his life. He stayed at home because of a visit from an insurance man.

Tim Grazioso, listed as missing after the attack, was DaPuzzo's star pupil. He moved into DaPuzzo's office in the north tower - one of the twins destroyed in the World Trade Center attack. He decorated it with family photographs. He made it look executive. DaPuzzo said Grazioso was one of the few people he would allow take up permanent residence in his office. Grazioso clung onto DaPuzzo's every word. He took his advice to become active in the Security Traders Association and its New York affiliate, STANY. He lived by DaPuzzo's words.