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February 1, 2002

Trader at the Helm

By Staff Report

John Ragan who has spent nearly nine years at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, his entire professional career, is directing the Keefe, Bruyette & Woods equity trading desk. He had worked at the World Trade Center up until July of last year-when he moved to Boston - and saw the horrible events of Sept. 11 on television. Most of the employees who were located on the 88th floor made it safely out of the burning building, but those who were on the 89th floor, where the trading floor was based, were lost.

"Traders were on the phones and the lights were ringing," Ragan said. "It was approaching nine o'clock."

"They were making their morning calls, getting ready for the market to open and going through their tickets from the previous trading day," Ragan added. He noted that they never imagined a terrorist attack was underway.

Phone Call

Ragan succeeds Frank Doyle, 39, who was the firm's head trader and was among the some three thousand people who perished on Sept. 11. Soon after the first plane hit the World Trade Center's North Tower, Doyle, the father of two young children, called his wife, Kimmy Chedel. "I have to stay," he told his wife.

Then, after the South Tower was struck, Doyle phoned her once again and said that he and many others from KBW were trapped. "He very calmly said, We need your help,'" Chedel recalled in an interview soon after Sept. 11. "Up to the last minute of his life, he was a team player."

KBW has launched a fund to aid the families of their employees who died. Information on the fund can be found by going to the firm's Web site at