On September 11, 2001, Cantor-Fitzgerald – headquartered at the top of the North Tower – suffered the inconceivable loss of 658 of the firm’s employees and contractors, representing over half of its workforce. Those spared death that Tuesday morning were either out sick, on vacation, or protected by the vagaries of fate. Among the few survivors were David Kravette and Christopher Pepe.
David Kravette, a veteran with Cantor Fitzgerald who served as one of its managing directors, reported as usual to his 105th floor office on the morning of 9/11. Minutes before 8:46 a.m., Kravette learned that the business clients he was expecting for a meeting had neglected to bring along their proper identification and were in the building’s lobby, waiting for a company escort. Instead of sending his pregnant secretary to retrieve the guests, he decided to go himself and caught an elevator down to the lobby. Just after he arrived there, he remembered hearing elevators falling and crashing, followed by a huge explosion, releasing a fireball out of the elevator banks. Kravette and his clients managed to escape from the building. He later walked uptown to seek shelter with relatives. Conceding that survivor’s guilt plagued him, he nonetheless found consolation in helping to re-establish the firm and build back its profitability to a level that would enable Cantor Fitzgerald to provide for the needs of the families of its 658 victims.
On 9/11, Christopher Pepe was head of sales for the bond firm at Cantor Fitzgerald. He might have been among the day’s death statistics had he not been summoned by phone at the last moment, to a previously unscheduled meeting at Goldman Sachs. Pepe left the North Tower before 8:30 AM to walk over to Broad Street and consequently was not in his office at 8:46 a.m. when hijacked Flight 11 slammed into the building. He, too, stayed with the firm in the aftermath to address the crisis and help rebuild the company.
David Kravette donated his Cantor Fitzgerald business card and his WTC parking pass
to the collection.