JAMES GORMAN: It's very hard to have been in America in 2001, let alone in New York City, and not be deeply affected by what happened on September 11. It was a traumatic event, obviously cost thousands of lives. But what this firm did and how it responded and how it bounced back from that tragedy, the resilience it showed, the care and humanity for its people, was extraordinary.
TITLE CARD: MORGAN STANLEY REFLECTIONS ON 9/11
BOB SCOTT: The morning of 9/11 was a beautiful, crisp, early fall morning, bright blue sky. I rode down to the World Trade Center because I had to give a talk down there. I was standing at the podium, when all of a sudden there was a loud noise and the building shook. And it was clear that something really terrible was going on.
SOUND UP NEWS REPORTS: PLANE HITS NORTH TOWER AT 8:46AM
“We have a breaking story...There has been some sort of explosion, we don’t fully know the details...apparently a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Center here in New York City…”
BOB SCOTT: We walked out on the street, and you could look up in the sky and see dark smoke billowing out of the building. I watched the second plane bank and fly right into the south tower. It looked to my eye as though it had hit exactly dead center in the floors where we had all our people.
PHIL PURCELL: It wasn't our building that got hit first. It was World Trade Center One. And then the second plane hit our building. I went back to my office and we all started calling, making sure everybody did what they're trained to do. Which is...to get out.
SOUND UP NEWS REPORTS: SOUTH TOWER COLLAPSE 9:59AM
“...There has just been a huge explosion...The second building that was hit by the plane has just completely collapsed. The entire building has just collapsed....It is a surreal and devastating scene over here...”
RICHARD POWERS: When that building went down, we had 27 hundred people in there, we thought they were all in there. We thought we lost everyone.
MANDELL CRAWLEY: There was this sense of horror. You’re just assuming that, you know, your friends, your colleagues, your partners were lost.
BOB SCOTT: We had a meeting at headquarters the next morning, and our number one focus was on our people.
[MORGAN STANLEY 9/12 PRESS CONFERENCE]
Phil Purcell: “It’s my duty to report on events of yesterday. We have all efforts to track down everybody that we know who worked in the building.”
PHIL PURCELL: We were counting down how many people were missing. First night, first night was 750. Second night was 250. And eventually it was down to 13.
[B-ROLL PLAQUE WITH 13 NAMES]
Jennifer de Jesus
Lindsay C. Herkness III
Richard C. Rescorla
Steve R. Strauss
Thomas F. Swift
RICHARD POWERS: We lost 13. 13 is way too many. One is way too many. But we lost 13 people out of 27 hundred.
ROB ROONEY: The miracle of 9/11 for our firm was the fact that the leadership team used their imaginations to understand that a terrible event causing everybody to have to get out of the tower in a hurry could happen.
RICHARD POWERS: All of this started in 1990. A U.S. led coalition was preparing to invade Iraq. Saddam Hussein said, if you come into Iraq, then I am going to attack your high profile buildings. And we realized that there's some chance that we could have a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. We should be thinking about what we're going to do if that happens. And that was the beginning of developing a contingency plan.
[SOUND UP NEWS REPORTS FEBRUARY 26, 1993 BOMBING]
“A massive underground explosion ripped through the World Trade Center just after noon today…All indications are it was a car bomb…”
PHIL PURCELL: People forget that the World Trade Center was bombed in ‘93, and it was way underreported how bad it was. The World Trade Center was woefully unprepared for anything bad to happen.
RICHARD POWERS: The backup lights didn't work. No communications. And people were going down the stairs in absolute darkness.
PHIL PURCELL: We worked with the Port Authority extensively to correct all of that.
BOB SCOTT: When the bombing occurred in 1993, we had a security officer down in the World Trade Center named Rick Rescorla. He was a hardened veteran of Vietnam. And he took his job very, very seriously.
PHIL PURCELL: Rick and Dick Powers did all the heavy lifting on the contingency plan.
RICHARD POWERS: We took it to a new level. We got more sophisticated in our communication systems, our offsite locations. We appointed marshals on each floor who were responsible for evacuation. And then we practiced.
PHIL PURCELL: We made everybody walk eight floors. Every quarter. They hated me for that.
ROB ROONEY: Rick and the organization downtown really were hyper focused on that. They were relentless in getting the teams to practice.
BOB SCOTT: The morning of 9/11, when the attack came, the first plane hit in the north tower. And the World Trade Center people said stay in the south tower because it's dangerous to be out on the street.
MANDELL CRAWLEY: But Rick Rescorla, he instinctively knew that we were under attack and to ignore the guidance that was coming from the Port Authority. That 20 minutes after the first tower was hit made all the difference in the world in terms of getting everyone out.
RICHARD POWERS: To have someone come in and be this incredible leader who went up the stairs, down the stairs, focused on the one thing that saved everyone’s life...
PHIL PURCELL: He did a great job getting our people out. And then he went back in. But he saved a lot of people.
CLINT GARTIN: 9/11 was obviously a horrible day. And at the same time it was a moment where the firm really came together.
JOAN STEINGBERG: On September 14th. We had already institutionalized the victims relief fund. And I'm very proud that we ultimately raised and then distributed 16 million dollars.
CLINT GARTIN: Leadership did a really good job of keeping people informed, reassuring people, trying to bring the firm back together to a place where we could be up and running and do business.
BOB SCOTT: We made sure that we had computers up to support all the operations of our sales and trading. And that was very complicated. We were one of the first firms to be truly ready to resume trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
[NYSE POST 9/11 OPENING BELL]
BOB SCOTT: The commitment of the people that we're working on that effort... It was an incredible demonstration of the strength of the culture.
RICHARD POWERS: I just ask every Morgan Stanley person who sees this to always remember the bravery of the people on 9/11.
ROB ROONEY: We were really just incredibly fortunate that Rick was the leader that he was, preparing the organization for such an event. And on the day, made sure that almost everybody got out.
MANDELL CRAWLEY: The debt of gratitude is... it's hard to articulate. So many lives were saved. Rick and the individuals that made up that security team, they made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this firm.
[9/11 MEMORIAL NAMES]
JAMES GORMAN: September 11 was a very personal tragedy for Morgan Stanley. The families affected, the children who lost their parents, the colleagues who went through the trauma. Many thousands of people's lives changed in that moment. And it's an incredible testament to the resilience of the people who went through that, in particular, of how they've come out the other side.