In the weeks following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon–that is, after the initial shock wore off–there was a widespread expectation that companies like Schlumberger Sema, which provides back-up operations and business continuity office space for financial companies, should be besieged with new business. After all, as of 9/11, only some 20% of financial institutions even had continuity plans in place.

But in fact the exact opposite was the case. "People decided after the bombing to take a breath. Those who were revising their plans when it happened stopped to re-examine them. Those with no plans decided to start thinking about it," recalls John Kersley, Schlumberger Sema's vice president for business continuity. "It's only this year"–specifically in the last couple of months–"that things have suddenly started to pick up. We've been looking at double-digit growth since then, and our firm has had to double its capacity."

Willis Group Holdings, a global insurance broker, reports the same phenomenon. "Now, we're starting to get a lot of calls," says Dan Prince, a spokesman for Willis. "Remember, security planning has to start out within the company, with a team developing a strategy. It's only after a company has done that that they turn to an outside consultant."

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including PropertyCasualty360.com and Law.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.