Momtchil Pojarliev
Traders Magazine Online News

Some Like It Hedged

BNP Asset Management's Pojarliev discusses a variety of options to address foreign currency exposures. Although there is no single best-practice solution for addressing foreign currency exposures, institutional investors have three main choices, he says.

Traders Poll

Amid changes in builder, do you think the CAT project will be completed by 2020?

Free Site Registration

November 1, 2001

Staten Island Sadness

By Sanford Wexler

The offices of Hill Thompson Magid in Jersey City, N.J., command a bird's eye view of the Lower Manhattan skyline. On Sept. 11, Nick Ponzio, the market maker's president and dozens of its traders, were stunned when their usual view turned into something horrible: The destruction and the eventual collapse of the World Trade Center.

"Our building looks right across the Hudson River," said Ponzio. "As we were watching the first tower smoke and smolder, we noticed a plane flying really low. The next thing you know it hooked a turn and it went right into the second tower."

On that fateful day, like countless others in the New York metropolitan area, Ponzio lost people he knew. "I lost one of my best friends," he said sadly.

Cantor Fitzgerald

The friend was John Badaglacca, a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. Badaglacca resided with his wife and their two small children in Staten Island, the same New York City borough that Ponzio calls his home.

"John was the kind of guy who would make everyone in a room laugh," Ponzio recalled. "He made me laugh every time I saw him and he never told me a joke."

Over 240 people from Staten Island are among the some 5,500 lost or missing in the World Trade Center attack, about five percent of the total.

At last count, there were over 100 charities raising money for the victims. Ponzio, like thousands of ordinary individuals, did not waste time thinking up a way to add to the funds.

Active in local charities, Ponzio serves on the boards of the Staten Island Children's Museum and Staten Island's Friends for Hospice Care. His latest contribution is a unique blend of Wall Street charity and Staten Island razzmatazz.

Ponzio, who co-owns the Staten Island Hockey Sports Facility, figured the best way he could help the victims' families in the borough was a day's proceeds to the Staten Island September 11th Fund. "When the Sept. 11th tragedy occurred," Ponzio said, "I immediately thought of how I could best use our sports facility to raise money."

So on the first Friday of last October, the sports facility raised some $5,000 for the fund.

The Staten Island September 11th Fund is supported by the Staten Island Advance, a local newspaper, the Staten Island Children's Campaign Fund, and the borough's congressman, Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.).

"I wanted to do something that was close to home," Ponzio said. "The proceeds of our event was expressly for the people on Staten Island."

The generosity has not gone unnoticed. "I don't think there is an individual on Staten Island who has not been touched directly or indirectly by this tragedy," said Rep. Fossella. "Nick Ponzio is reflective of the spirit that has resonated in Staten Island and across the country."

Hockey Player

As a youngster, Ponzio was an avid hockey player and he often dreamed of owning a sports center. This childhood dream became a reality several years ago when he teamed up with a group of investors to purchase the Staten Island Hockey Sports Facility. The venture's partners include Jerry Finkelstein, chairman of the board of News Communications, a consortium of New York community newspapers; Steve Markowitz, a partner at the New York brokerage firm of Joseph Stevens & Co., and Mike Mancusi, a professional amusement facility expert.

The sports center, sitting on eight acres of New York City parkland, is home to a regulation size hockey rink, some 20 baseball batting cages, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.

"The ultimate thing that you want to own when you are a kid is a hockey rink if you play hockey or a batting cage if you play baseball," Ponzio said. "Now, my partners and I have both." They also have directed their good fortune to many on Staten Island who lost their loved ones on Sept. 11.

* Donations to the Staten Island September 11th Fund, Inc. c/o The Staten Island Advance, 950 Fingerboard Road, Staten Island, NY 10305

Tel: 718-981-1234. (Checks payable: The Staten Island September 11th Fund, Inc.)