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Wall Street Remains in Limbo

Stocks in this article: NDAQ NYC MMC AXS

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wall Street hasn't been the same since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 but much of the damage of the past decade has been self-inflicted.

Since the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93, Wall Street has lost century-old institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns and large banks such as Washington Mutual and Wachovia .

But those losses were due to the 2008 financial crisis and not any attacks from abroad.

In fact, the firms that suffered the greatest losses on 9/11 have experienced profound growth and rebounded.

Cantor Fitzgerald, a powerhouse in fixed-income, was the hardest hit of the Wall Street firms. Cantor's headquarters -- located near the top of Tower One -- was nearly wiped out in the attacks with 658 employees losing their lives, including CEO Howard Lutnick's brother.

But Lutnick vowed to keep his company together after the attacks, rebuilding the firm's highly regarded U.S. Treasury trading operations. Today, according to a firm statement, Cantor has offices in more than 30 locations around the world and approximately 1,400 employees. It is also one of the few private partnerships left on Wall Street.

Keefe Bruyette & Woods, the venerable investment banking firm the focuses on financial stocks, has pressed on and thrived despite losing 67 people in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

At the time of the attacks, KBW had 224 employees, with 171 of those located at its New York headquarters.

Today the firm has 600 employees with 368 based in the city, according to a firm spokesman. Many on Wall Street questioned whether the firm would survive, but CEO John Duffy -- whose son Christopher was killed in the attacks -- was able to retain its most important clients and then expand internationally in 2004.

The firm's annualized revenue has jumped to $425 million from $185 million in 2001.

Insurance giant Marsh & McLennan Cos. (MMC) lost 295 workers in the North Tower, including 63 consultants, in the attacks.

But the firm quickly rebounded, creating Axis (AXS) in 2001, a $1.6 billion reinsurance company that was able to fill the insurance gap following the terrorist attacks. Axis was spun off by the firm in 2004. Marsh also continued its acquisitions spree with purchases of consulting firms Oliver, Wyman & Co. and Kroll.

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