Charity trading day is something positive from tragedy of 9/11, says BGC boss

Celebrities trading in honour of those killed in 9/11 was a “positive idea” born from a “truly traumatic day”, the chief executive of BGC has said.

A host of famous faces including Damian Lewis, Holly Willoughby and Davina McCall returned to the annual event at brokerage firm BGC Partners on Thursday to raise money in memory of the 658 BGC employees and 61 Eurobrokers employees who died during the attacks in 2001.

Chief executive Sean Windeatt recalled working in the London office on the day the tragedy unfolded.

He told the PA news agency: “For me personally I was working at the company in the London office at the time and on the phone to one of my colleagues so a truly traumatic day.

“You start the day, you have your dark thoughts and you go back to the memories of that particular day and for me personally I remember being on the phone and the phone going dead, you never forget that.”

The brokerage boss went on to describe how the tragic events led to the creation of Charity Day, which celebrated its 18th year on Thursday.

He said: “It came about from the tragic events of September 11 when we unfortunately lost all of the colleagues who were in the building on that day, a tragedy.

“The first thing we had to do post 9/11 was look after the families of the people we had lost and once we had done that we thought what a great idea to turn something so tragic into something so positive so we came up with the idea of Charity Day and here we are at the 18th Charity Day for BGC.

“We’ve raised over 192 million dollars and hopefully today we will make it over 200 million dollars and it’s all about supporting as many charities as we possibly can.

“It’s part of the DNA of the company. For us it’s about giving something back from something that was so traumatic for us.”

Edie Lutnick, who co-founded the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund in the wake of 9/11, created Charity Day.

She told the PA news agency: “I am so proud. We raise a tremendous amount of money here and we have men and women on the floor who are just so engaged and they love it and they look forward to it and they are so delighted that we could still do it even though it was postponed (due to the Queen’s funeral.)”