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Big Easy Shops Survive

Traders Magazine, November 2005

Peter Chapman

New Orleans' trading houses are high and dry after Katrina. The trading shops based in New Orleans hardly missed a beat when the levees broke. All four of New Orleans' major equities houses invoked their disaster recovery plans and set up shop outside the city before Hurricane Katrina hit. The firms - Johnson, Rice & Company, Howard, Weil, Inc., Hibernia Southcoast Capital, and Pritchard Capital were operational outside the New Orleans area on Monday, August 29th, the day Katrina made landfall. "We were watching the hurricane on television from Dallas," said Sherry Craig, a sales trader with Hibernia Southcoast. "We had the weekend to prepare and had practiced disaster recovery last year when Hurricane Ivan hit." Of its approximately 50 staffers, Hibernia Southcoast counts nine in equity trading. The firm normally makes markets in about 35 stocks. For now, though, it is trading all securities on an agency or riskless principal basis. The firm also sought refuge in Dallas but opted to continue making markets in its 28 stocks.

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