US firms brace for historic blizzard

Heavy snowfall in the US Northeast may prompt many private fund professionals to work from home on Tuesday as well as test firms’ business continuity planning.

A major snowstorm for the US Northeast Monday through Tuesday night, lingering into Wednesday morning, is prompting private investment firms to encourage staff to work remotely until conditions improve.

In advance of Winter Storm Juno, governors in five states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island – have declared states of emergency.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned residents not to take the storm lightly.

“Prepare for something worse than we have seen before. Prepare to be safe. Take every precaution,” he said at a press conference on Sunday. “Now is the time to get ready for this extreme weather.”

A number of private investment firms were contacted on Monday about their plans for the inclement weather. Several firms said offices will remain open but staff are encouraged to consider their safety before braving the weather.

StepStone, The Carlyle Group, Neuberger Berman and Landmark Partners plan to open their New York offices on Tuesday. Landmark added its staff across its Boston, New York and Simsbury, Connecticut offices rescheduled their travel plans to later in the week to avoid the storm.

A spokesperson for Partners Group said the firm allowed staff to leave around noon on Monday to work from home through Tuesday.

Not all firms will allow staff the option to come into work however. Newbury Partners, based in Stamford, Connecticut, will be closed on Tuesday.

“We have never done this in the past even with Hurricane Sandy. Our policy is usually to allow people to decide what makes sense for them given different travel conditions from the various locations where people live,” a spokesperson for the firm said.

The storm will also test GPs’ business continuity and disaster recovery planning, which regulators made a focus area after Hurricane Sandy, one of the costliest hurricanes in US history, disrupted financial markets along the East Coast in late 2012. StepStone, for example, has been testing its emergency contact system ahead of the storm, a spokesperson explained.

Chelsea Stevenson and Katherine Bucaccio contributed to this report.