Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) says a number of Perpetual Group staff based in Christchurch are currently unaccounted for following the earthquake.
(Update adds morning update from TV3 report, PGC statement).
PGC chief investment officer Craig Stephen told interest.co.nz about 50 Perpetual staff worked out of PGC House - which PGC no longer owns - in central Christchurch. The building has been ruined. More than half the staff had been contacted but PGC was still trying to locate others, said Stephen.
TV3 reported this morning (Wednesday) that nine people had been rescued from the building overnight but others still remained unaccounted for. Yesterday TV3 reported dozens of people were believed to be trapped in PGC House.
Stephen, also treasurer of the Combined Building Society created through the merger of PGC subsidiary Marac Finance, CBS Canterbury and the Southern Cross Building Society, said the financial implications from today's earthquake were secondary at this point in time but he didn't anticipate they would be material. Attention was focused on the group's staff.
Read PGC's statement below:
Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) is concerned for Christchurch-based staff in the wake of the earthquake which caused extensive damage to PGC House at 233 Cambridge Terrace where PGC, Perpetual Trust and MARAC offices are located.
The building is not owned by PGC and is leased. PGC’s Managing Director Jeff Greenslade said that all efforts are being made to contact our staff in the area.
“Our primary focus is on accounting for all staff. While PGC’s operations are mainly based in Auckland, its head office is in Christchurch and it also has a growing presence in the region through BSH and the Perpetual Group,” he said. “We are endeavouring to make contact with all of our staff in Christchurch.1 That is our over-riding priority.”
“The building has suffered severe damage. Perpetual’s head office systems suffered damage as a result of the quake, but the company is switching to its backup systems located elsewhere in the country and those resources will be operating shortly.
“We will issue an update as soon as the situation has become clearer. PGC executives are currently travelling to Christchurch to offer any assistance they can.
“PGC’s major subsidiary, BSH is unaffected. The branch operations in Riccarton and Sydenham are undamaged, although have been closed to allow staff to attend to their families. BSH’s central management in Auckland continues with business as usual.
“Canterbury staff have been advised to attend to their own needs first and the Auckland office has been mobilised to support Christchurch colleagues should that be required.
“The thoughts of everyone connected with PGC are with our Christchurch colleagues, but also everyone in the Christchurch region affected by the earthquake. It is a tragic day for the city,” Mr Greenslade said.
And see Building Society Holdings statement below:
Building Society Holdings (BSH) today advised that its main branch operations in Riccarton and Sydenham are undamaged, although have been closed to allow staff to attend to their families. BSH’s central management in Auckland continues with business as usual.
Canterbury staff have been advised to attend to their own needs first and the Auckland office has been mobilised to support Christchurch colleagues should that be required.
While BSH’s infrastructure in Christchurch has been assessed and is intact and operational, some staff are located in premises on Cambridge Terrace which have suffered extensive damage. BSH’s Managing Director Jeff Greenslade said that the main focus was accounting for staff, business continuity plans are in place and we do not expect any system disruption.