Anthrax Clean-Up: No Windfall

Start Ups


Management Moves


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This article was prepared for the January 16, 2002 edition of U.S.

1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

On Wednesday, January 9, Merrill Lynch announced it

had laid off 9,000 employees, 16 percent of its staff, and that it

was taking a $2.2 billion charge. The country’s number one brokerage

house is leading its peers in slashing jobs. Its staffing, as high

as 72,000 not too long ago, is down to 57,000, and more cuts are


In October the company offered severance packages to all of its


and the lay-offs began in November.

The Princeton area lost some jobs but also gained some. A Denver


center will close by midyear and 650 customer service jobs, about

two-thirds of those at the Denver Meridian Complex, will move to the

Hopewell campus.

Merrill Lynch will hire locally to fill the positions of Denver


who choose not to move. Most of these jobs will involve customer


— answering calls from current and prospective clients. Some will

require a license to give financial advice.

As Merrill consolidates, the Hopewell campus is rapidly adding people

and there are now 5,000 people there. Another 3,000 people are spread

among the Scudders Mill headquarters campus, Morgan Lane, College

Road, and Roszel Road, swelling the total in Central Jersey to 8,000,

up from 6,500 last year.

Other slashes in the budget amounting to $1 billion involve closing

and subletting excess office space ($500 million), writing down


assets ($300 million) and other costs totaling $200 million.

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Anthrax Clean-Up: No Windfall

`We haven’t dealt with anthrax


Nobody has," says Bill Mulvey, spokesman for the IT Group


The corporation, with headquarters in Pittsburgh and a 175-person

office in the Horizon Business Center, does, however, have substantial

experience in hazardous waste clean-up. When the deadly toxin was

sent through the mail last fall, the IT Group got the call to clean

it up in contaminated post offices and in the Hart Senate Office


Now the IT Group itself is in dire need of remediation. In


with debt approaching $700 million, and its stock priced at 38 cents

a share, the New York Stock Exchange applied to the SEC to delist

the company. The stock had traded as high as $7.85 a share during

the previous 52 weeks.

The company is retrenching, and Mulvey says it is looking into all

options, including restructuring its loans, the sale of all or part

of its business, and bankruptcy. Four hundred employees, out of a

staff of 8,000, were laid off at the end of last year, and more


are possible in 2002. Nine of the employees who lost their jobs had

been working out of the Hamilton office. The company has announced

that 21 of its offices will be closed or consolidated. Mulvey says

the Hamilton office is not among them, and will stay open.

The IT Corporation, the entity in charge of the anthrax clean-ups,

is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of the IT Group. In addition

to environmental clean-ups, the IT Group manages facilities, including

the Kennedy Space Center and a number of military bases, and takes

on wetlands projects. "We put the Kissimmee River back on its

natural course," Mulvey gives as an example.

Work on the anthrax clean ups continues. Mulvey says he checked into

the clean-up of the Trenton main post office, in Hamilton, as recently

as last week. "There’s nothing new in Hamilton," he says.

The post office still has not decided how to rid that facility of

its extensive anthrax contamination. Until a more encompassing


is decided upon, Mulvey says his company’s employees are working at

purging the anthrax by hand.

There has been talk that the Trenton post office clean up is just

too difficult, and that the facility should be abandoned. "If

they decide the clean-up is not worth it, I don’t know what that


says Mulvey. Could the building just be sealed? Or bulldozed? Would

that take care of the problem? Mulvey says it is a thorny question

and would require extensive input from the CDC and other experts in

disease control.

Meanwhile, the IT Group is working on a solution to its financial

problems. Mulvey says he expects the company will be able to complete

its anthrax clean-up contracts. After all, he says, "anthrax is

a short term problem. Or, at least, we hope it is."

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

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Start Ups

Novatia Corporation, 301A College Road East,


08540. Mark E. Hail, president. 609-951-0181; fax, 609-951-0185.



Four partners — one of them the owner of Taylor

Technology — have opened an analytical chemical services company

within the walls of Taylor Technology. It works with research


and managers to do consulting, contract analysis, devise products,

and research collaborations. It can work with mass spectrometry,


technology, nuclear magnetic resonance, and data management in any

of these industries: pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemical.

The partners are Jeff Whitney, Mark Hail, Dave Detlefsen, and Paul


"We provide our services and products separately or as complete

solutions that integrate all aspects of instrumentation, methods,

and data management," says Whitney. He majored in molecular and

cell biology at the University of Massachusetts (Class of 1990) and

joined B-MS in Connecticut, where he led work on ultra-high throughput

data processing. In 1998, for Coelacanth in East Windsor, he


the Analytical Chemistry Group. He is now vice president at


Taylor is a graduate of Michigan State with a doctorate in plant


from the University of Wisconsin who very successfully founded and

sold his first firm. He had opened an analytical environmental


that merged with others to form Enesco, the largest of its kind in

the country. It was sold to Corning in 1989. Then he opened Taylor

Technology in 1991 (U.S. 1, November 20, 1991). With Novatia, he plans

to collaborate on new drugs and proteomics.

Hail went to the University of Kentucky, Class of 1984, and has a

PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Florida. He worked

on triple gradupole tandem mass spectrometers at Finnigan Corporation

in San Jose. He joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1994 as part of a


group, Investigative Analytical Research, to help automate the


of biological drug targets and synthetic organic compounds. He left

B-MS last year.

Detlefsen went to Nebraska Wesleyan University (Class of 1983) and

has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Michigan. He did


research at Harvard Medical School and went to Bristol-Myers Squibb,

where he developed NMR-based methods for the structure analysis of

biomolecules. He left B-MS last July.

"Our goal is to accelerate drug discovery and product development

cycles by providing services and products that address critical


application needs," says Whitney.

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Merrill-Adams Associates, 202 Carnegie Center,

Suite 103, Princeton 08540. Ken Levinson, senior vice president.


fax, 609-951-9110. E-mail:,

The six-person office of an executive career marketing

firm has tripled its space with a move from Forrestal Village to the

Carnegie Center. Founded by Grant Shannon, Merrill-Adams Associates

is based in Parsippany and also has offices in Philadelphia and


Center in Manhattan. It had been at Forrestal Village for 10 years.

Merrill Adams works in 100 different industries but focuses on a niche

market: fee-based services for senior level executives making between

$75,000 and $1 million. In 15 years it has placed more than 8,000


Merrill-Adams’ fees are determined by the effort that needs to put

forth. "If someone contracts with us, we do everything for


says Ken Levinson, senior vice president, "but we can do different

things for different people. Someone may require three resumes.


may need a biography and cover letter. The fee depends on how much

research and how much coaching is needed."

"Many times we will work with someone who is fully employed but

wants to make a change," says Levinson. He can help individuals

get an advancement within a company or empower them to transition

to a new industry. "I don’t think other companies specialize in


Levinson grew up in New York City and graduated in 1983 from York

College, in Queens, as a geological sciences major. He sold insurance

for Prudential and rose to managerial positions with a staff of 300

people in multiple locations. When he left in 1999 to join


he was a vice president.

The move was a quality of life decision, says Levinson. "I went

from managing large numbers of people in the insurance industry to

a very small company, from a very high-profile stressful job to a

family-owned business. And my involvement with marketing programs,

recruiting, and training gives me an unusual perspective on various

job markets."

Levinson makes no promises about his success rate, which he says will

fluctuate according to the industry and the job market as a whole.

And just because the client pays a fee, he or she is not guaranteed

a job. "It is against the law for us to promise a job," says

Levinson. "We are not a job placement agency."

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Management Moves

American Re Corporation, 555 College Road East,

Box 5241, Princeton 08543-5241. Edward J. Noonan, president, CEO.

609-243-4200; fax, 609-243-4257. Home page:

After 18 years with American Re Corporation, Edward J. Noonan, 43,

will resign as president and CEO in March. The announcement was made

by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company, which paid

$3.3 billion for American Re in 1996. Noonan took over as president

early in 1997.

As the company finished its third straight year of losses, Rainer

Kueppers, spokesman for Munich Re, told Rueters that "the


of American Re has not been as good as we would have wanted it to


Last year, with a huge bill from the September 11 attacks, was


bad, but there was trouble well before that. The Financial Times


in early-2000 that the entire U.S. re-insurance industry was in


and that things were particularly bad for American Re. The publication

quoted Noonan as saying, "it is hard to identify a line of


in the industry today which is adequately priced."

The Financial Times went on to say "while the industry’s combined

ratio in 1999 was already 114.3, the third highest of the decade,

American Reinsurance’s ratio was a desperate 120. In other words,

the company’s expenses and claims outweighed the income taken in on

premiums by an incredible 20 cents on the dollar."

Noonan subsequently reduced the ratio, and there was hope that the

company, the second largest in the U.S. reinsurance market, would

be profitable in 2001. Said Kueppers, "Our senior managers agreed

with Noonan that 2001 should end in profit. It became clear weeks

before the end of the year that this would not be the case, even


the losses from September 11. We discussed the situation and Noonan

has resigned."

Noonan, a graduate of St. John’s University, joined American Re in

1983 as a production assistant in the Treaty Division. In 1989, he

assumed responsibility for U.S. treaty operations, and in 1992, for

all business with U.S. insurance companies.

Noonan’s replacement is John P. Phelan, president of Munich Re’s


group. Phelan, 54, was born and raised in Kilkenny, Ireland, graduated

from Patrician College in Ireland, and worked for Guardian Insurance

and Lukis Stewart Price Forbes in Montreal. He joined Munich


Company of Canada in 1973.

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David Fox Milton, 41, on December 8 in Quito, Ecuador.

He was a corporate account executive for Peterson’s.

John F. Drake, 64, on January 5. He was a real estate

agent for Weidel Realtors.

Ira N. Weinstein, 53, on January 8. He had been vice


of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in Princeton.

William J. Lister, 64, on January 11. He was a


certified public accountant. A memorial mass will be Saturday, January

19, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church in Princeton.

Jacqueline Washington, 61, on January 13. She had worked

at the Medical Center of Princeton for more than 40 years.

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