Brokerages Respond to Tsunami Tragedy

As Americans donate to tsunami disaster-relief efforts, the brokerage industry is chipping in as well. According to the SIA, there is no organized, industrywide effort to raise relief funds, but individual firms are doing their part.

As Americans donate to tsunami disaster-relief efforts, the brokerage industry is chipping in as well. According to the SIA, there is no organized industrywide effort to raise relief funds, but individual firms are doing their part.

Morgan Stanley, for instance, has done “extensive work with the Red Cross” and is matching any contribution its employees make toward the relief organizations, according to a spokesperson. The firm declines to be more specific about its efforts lest it be perceived as trying to profit from the tragedy, whose still-rising death toll now approaches 150,000.

Citigroup, the corporate parent of Smith Barney, announced last week that it would contribute $3 million in aid while also matching employee contributions.

Merrill Lynch has not announced any formal contribution but did release a statement that said the firm’s offices in the region are safe and that all employees have been accounted for.

A spokesperson for Wachovia says the firm’s securities arm has no operations in the area. The firm did make a corporate donation of $100,000 and is matching employee donations up to $1,000. “There has been a tremendous outpouring of interest from our brokers and brokerage associates in using that program right now,” the Wachovia spokesperson says.

At press time, A.G. Edwards and Edward Jones had not responded to inquiries about their programs.

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