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January 13, 2009

Wall St. Firms Give LIft to Charities

By Nina Mehta

In these hard times on Wall Street, traders at a number of firms continue to give up their commissions for a day to support charities. Charity-day events remain annual rites at many firms, including ICAP, BGC Partners and CIBC.

Interdealer-broker ICAP raised $16.3 million for more than 100 charities on Dec. 10, its 16th annual global Charity Day event. In the U.S., the charities supported included Communities in Schools, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Boomer Esiason Foundation.

ICAP held its first Charity Day in 1993, and has so far raised $79.2 million globally. In the firm's Jersey City, N.J. office, former athletes Boomer Esiason, Joe Montana and Don Zimmer, and actors Meryl Streep and Matt Dillon, manned the phones before handing clients off to actual traders.

CIBC and BGC Partners also had recent events. CIBC World Markets and CIBC Wood Gundy in Canada held their long-running Miracle Day on Dec. 3, raising more than $2 million for charities focused on children's education and health. Since its inception in 1984, Miracle Day has raised more than $192 million globally, including $43 million in Canada.

Interdealer-broker BGC Partners held its fourth annual Global Charity Day on Sept. 11, raising more than $8 million with the help of stage, screen and sports celebs. BGC has raised more than $23 million since 2005.

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