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Visitors sign steel beams that will be used in the construction of the National Sept. 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center. - 


Renita Jablonski: At the New York Stock Exchange this morning, a moment of silence will be observed before the opening bell as Wall Street marks the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After that day, major Wall Street firms moved their offices away from lower Manhattan. Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson looks at impact of those moves seven years later.

Jeremy Hobson: Since 9/11, Wall Street firms have moved thousands of employees to mid-town Manhattan, Jersey City and beyond. John Boyd helps relocate Fortune 500 companies. He says the No. 1 advantage of a move away from Wall Street is the bottom line.

John Boyd: A close-in move to Jersey City would reduce operating costs substantially. And a more remote move could result in an operating cost savings in the 30 to 40 percent range.

Boyd says his modeling shows a company in Manhattan with 75 employees costs about $21 million a year to run. The same company could cut its costs in half by moving to, say, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And Boyd says even if firms stay headquartered in New York, having a number of locations doesn't hurt.

Boyd: Companies are factoring in both man-made risks and natural disasters.

He says one downside to leaving Manhattan is that it's harder to recruit experienced financial services employees elsewhere.

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson