On Sept. 11, 2001, John “Jack” Markwalter Jr. was doing what every wealth advisory executive deplores: Sitting at a computer taking an industry-mandated compliance test. He was working for Morgan Stanley at that time and commuting regularly between two offices, one in Atlanta, the other in the second tower of the World Trade Center. Markwalter was scheduled to be at his New York office that infamous Tuesday morning, but the compliance requirement kept him locked down in his Atlanta office because he had to take the exam on a specific computer there.
“My assistant came to the door and said, ‘Gosh, a small plane hit the World Trade Center,’ and we had a little TV out by her desk,” he recalls. “I paused the computer and stepped out and started watching. I watched for the next few hours.”
That was long enough to figure out that the incident did not involve a small plane but a full-scale jetliner, and to see the other tower get hit — and his New York offic