On May 20-21 the NATO summit will take place in Chicago. Financial industry firms and exchanges have braced themselves for potential protests and traffic snarls, and even cyber attacks. While the vast majority of entities will conduct business as usual, off site work plans and contingency and disaster recovery maps have been put into place to ensure it’s business uninterrupted.
Five Minutes With ChicagoFIRST Executive Director Brian Tishuk
Brian Tishuk became the first executive director of ChicagoFIRST in February of 2004. At the non-profit organization – formed in 2003 to help financial firms in the Chicagoland business community to collaborate with one another and government to promote resilience for the organizations – he is responsible for forging a relationship between members and government to promote information sharing about employee safety and business continuity issues. He’s been very busy lately working with the current 31 firm members ahead of the NATO summit to be held in Chicago Sunday and Monday. Despite his schedule, he was able to talk with JLN Managing Editor, Christine Nielsen.
Q: So what is ChicagoFIRST telling members of the Chicago financial community in reference to NATO?
A: What we are doing with members is twofold. We have been providing opportunities since last fall to learn what the city is planning for the event so [members] can put together their security and continuity plan. We have sent out surveys, had related calls and meetings and discussed the surveys for operational plans. Executives like to know what other companies are doing.
Members are taking several approaches. They are focusing on communication with employees. They want to make sure employees and executives understand what parts of the plan impact them.
For many firms, some portion of a plan will involve working from home or working from alternate sites. Everybody is operating, though. Some banks will close a branch here or there, but other branches will be open.
It’s being done for a couple of reasons. There will be some disruption in the area, even if there are no protests. There will be motorcades. marches, rallies, etc. that cause concern. This could make it difficult for people to commute.
Most of the firms have home plans. [With the NATO summit] they will be testing them. A number of firms are looking at this as a good opportunity in that regard. If they have to report to their executives that something nefarious has happened, [having a plan] will put them in a better situation to do so.
Some firms are doing business as usual, but they do have a contingency plan in place.
Q: Is there a specific list of recommendations being made? Were these instructions derived from any similar events in the past?
A: There has been a good deal of experience working from home. Certainly this got a spark when Avian Flu was coming in 2006. They developed work-from-home plans then. The financial regulators also released guidelines at that point, and so most of the members are very well versed in work-from-home plans.
Q: What types of questions have you been getting from members of the community?
A: Aside from planning-type questions, there’s a great deal of interest in knowing what protesters are planning. The protest community is a very fluid one, so some events are known about with very little lead time. We’ve been trying to keep everyone up to speed, watching social media.
Right now it’s just a matter of being ready to act upon whatever comes their way. Our contribution is having daily communications about this. We’ll be working through the weekend to make sure they get the information they need.
Q: Will there be a review next week to look at how the plans worked?
A: We’ve spent a good amount of time putting together the planning process. Then you have the event. You look at what succeeded and what wasn’t contemplated that should have been learned. The one thing we have learned during the planning process is that a National Special Security Event is different from a regular emergency because you are dealing with national government as well as local government.
Q: Is there anything else that members of the Chicago financial community or financial community outside of Chicago should know about preparation for NATO?
A: The preparation has been as robust as it could be. It’s been very collaborative and cooperative. It’s all a go. It looks to be set up well enough to get the information needed in a timely fashion.
A Sample Of Organization Plans
National Futures Association
The NFA will be open and is allowing employees to telecommute, or if they wish to do so, take a personal day on Monday, May 21.
Chicago Board Options Exchange
During the week leading up to the summit and immediately after the summit (May 14th through May 22nd):
- CBOE will operate during normal business hours.
- There may be times that an individual will not be allowed to leave the building (not more than one hour) or not be allowed into the building without a valid CBOE ID.
- Casual dress code will be in effect.
NYSE Liffe U.S.
Has a contingency notification and employees have been told that they can work from home on Monday. The exchange only has business development people in Chicago, no exchange mechanics.
3Points reports that the firm will be open 24/7/364, but that they have a plan in place where their team can work from home if things “get hairy.”
The Chicago Stock Exchange will be operating under normal business hours, with most departments open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Plans to keep all business operations running as normal and trading floors will remain open during normal business hours.
The Options Industry Council and the Options Clearing Corporation will be open during normal business hours.
Guides and Maps
The 2012 NATO Summit
A guide to the world leaders who will be visiting Chicago,
Road Closures Announced
The U.S. Secret Service has announced its plans for road closures and parking changes for the Summit weekend.
From ChicagoNATO.com: http://jlne.ws/JTLqmx
From Chicago Sun-Times: http://jlne.ws/J8F9V0
Follow the Chicago NATO meetings and news on Twitter:
Metra unveils tough rules for NATO weekend
Crain’s Chicago Business
NATO Protest Guide
Chicago investment executives expect best, prepare for worst as NATO comes to town
Pensions & Investments
As Chicago girds for the first NATO summit held in an American city outside of Washington, investment executives in the city are setting plans in place to minimize disruptions, but expect it to be “business as usual.”
Companies prepare defense against hackers during NATO summit
Behind the fear of protesters shutting down Chicago during this month’s NATO summit lurks a more sinister threat: hackers.
Open for business — sort of
Some companies will allow workers to telecommute
There are an estimated 300,000 people who work in the Loop each weekday. On Friday and the following Monday, a good number of them will be staying home.
Police, Secret Service tighten the Loop
Chicago police officers are used to flooding hot spots on the South and West sides to fight the street gang violence that drives most of the mayhem in the city, but this week they have begun to flood another side of the metropolis: the glittering lakefront showpiece of office towers, parks and restaurants.
Big Gathering for NATO Puts Chicago on High Alert
Foreign delegations are to arrive in this city over the weekend for a NATO summit meeting, the first such gathering to be held in the United States outside of Washington, and Chicago is bracing for all that will bring: thousands of international dignitaries, reporters and others; protesters from around the country; road closings and possible train delays — and what amounts to a significant trial for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, one year into his leadership of the nation’s third-largest city.
Out-of-state police to help during NATO
ABC 7 Chicago
Chicago Police Department officials say their main goal is to have a safe and secure NATO summit, and in order to do that, they are going to be bringing in backup patrols from all over the country.
NATO parking bans in effect near McCormick Place
ABC 7 Chicago
Finding a parking spot in the South Loop just got harder. A weeklong parking ban went into effect Tuesday at 6 a.m. The restrictions, which were implemented to coincide with the NATO Summit, which runs May 20 and 21 at nearby McCormick Place.
NATO Protests Will Send in the Clowns
Chicago Tonight | WTTW
Clowns — that’s right, clowns — are coming to Chicago this week to protest the “absurdity” of NATO and participate in the May 18 rally organized by National Nurses United. A group called ClownBloq announced its intentions Monday morning to demonstrate during the NATO summit, “to provide hilarity in the face of a humorless police state and to provide a fool’s critique of organized and militarized oppression of the people,” according to a press release.
Protesters in Chicago target evictions, foreclosures
About 150 protesters in Chicago marched to banks and government offices on Wednesday to demand a one-year moratorium on local home evictions and foreclosures, the latest in a series of demonstrations leading up to next week’s NATO summit. The protesters performed a piece of street theater at Daley Plaza featuring a bank trying to evict a family from their home, and neighbors stepping in to stop it.
Emanuel on NATO Summit: It’s going to be historic — ‘The Chicago Accords’
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday offered Chicago area residents a new and compelling reason to welcome a NATO summit many are dreading as a giant inconvenience: a place in world history. No matter what happens with the thousands of demonstrators on the streets of Chicago outside McCormick Place, serious foreign policy business will be conducted inside the convention center, he said.
Rules for NATO protest signs, materials outlined
ABC 7 Chicago
While protesters will not be allowed inside McCormick Place during the NATO Summit, they will be allowed to display banners and signs. Those banners and signs can be placed outside the doors to the Hilton and McCormick North and South.
Chicago businesses prepare for NATO summit
Some Chicago businesses have told employees they can work at home Friday and next Monday because of NATO summit-related security and transportation concerns. Companies including Aon and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois have told workers they would be allowed to telecommute Friday, when a major downtown protest is scheduled, and Monday, the last day of the two-day summit, the Chicago Tribune reported.
NATO Summit Gives Chicago Coveted Global Spotlight
The famous skyline is etched with distinctive buildings. The downtown boasts a vibrant cultural district. And the stunning lakefront and art-filled parks attract thousands of visitors every day. The Chicago of 2012 is a sparkling, fast-globalizing financial-services center and a cradle for high-tech startups. Yet in much of the world, the nation’s third-largest city is more likely to conjure images of long-dead mobsters, demolished steel mills or a red-faced Mayor Richard J. Daley defending how police cracked protesters’ heads at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Emanuel Gambles Chicago on NATO Event to Get Global Stage
Laurence Geller, who runs luxury hotels around the globe, figures it will cost him half a million dollars when his adopted hometown, Chicago, hosts world leaders this month at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit. That’s his estimated bill for increased security, staffing and canceled reservations from tourists wanting to avoid the swarm of demonstrators, police and diplomats at the May 20-21 event. Geller, chief executive officer of Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. (BEE) (BEE), will gladly absorb the loss because the meeting may be a turning point for a city, he says, where short-term thinking has replaced boldness.
Occupy protesters plan to march without permits, target Boeing at NATO summit
Occupy Chicago will join with fellow demonstrators in the large formal marches planned for next weekend’s NATO summit but also plan their own protests, including one aimed at Boeing Co., organizers say.
Busloads of protesters on their way to Chicago for NATO Summit
Look out Chicago. Here comes Occupy Wall Street.More than 40 protesters from the original occupation of New York’s financial district that inspired a national movement left for Chicago on a bus in the early hours of Wednesday.Singing protest songs and planning a series of actions against the upcoming NATO Summit, they’re due to be the first of 17 busloads of protesters coming from across the country when they arrive in Chicago tonight.” http://jlne.ws/JhfcDW
Amtrak: Bomb-sniffing dogs to check passengers during NATO
Bomb-sniffing dogs will be checking passengers and trains at Amtrak’s Homewood and Union stations during the NATO summit at McCormick Place later this month, Amtrak said Thursday.
3 museums to shut for entire NATO summit weekend
Due to the closing of Lake Shore Drive early Saturday, May 19, until the Monday, May 21, evening rush hour, as well as parking restrictions at the Museum Campus, Shedd and Adler will not be open to the public,
Chicago Tribune NATO Coverage Page
Chicago Sun-Times NATO Coverage Page