Credit Suisse First Boston
Credit Suisse First Boston

Dec 1, 1997 12:00 PM

A leading investment banking firm relocates in New York and implements a security system that is networkable throughout its international holdings.

Credit Suisse First Boston is a leading global corporate and investment banking firm, providing comprehensive financial advisory, capital raising, sales and trading, and financial products for users and suppliers of capital around the world. It operates in more than 50 offices across more than 30 countries and six continents and has more than 10,000 employees.

Increasingly, the banking firm is implementing security measures that reflect its global reach. According to Bob Rupp, CFE, vice president and director of security for Credit Suisse First Boston, within the next few years all bank branches will be on a common access control system and on the corporate computer network.

Rupp is in charge of physical security for North America, South America and the Caribbean, along with corporate services and new installations at all the firm's branches.

New York consolidation In New York City, consolidation has created an opportunity to install a new, internationally compatible security system. Previously, corporate offices in New York had been in five locations scattered throughout the Big Apple. At the end of 1996, the company began relocating all its New York City holdings into the old Met Life building in downtown Manhattan.

The Met Life building is a New York City landmark, so structural changes to the building had to be approved by the Landmark Commission, which created difficulties for the bank. For example, should the company ever leave the building, it will have to replace the Kentucky marble that was drilled through in the lobby to anchor turnstiles, manufactured by Tomsed Corp., Fuquay-Varina, N.C.

Rupp also had to obtain permission from the Landmark Commission to install CCTV cameras in elevator lobby areas, and for any other changes the bank made to the main lobby.

The entire security installation was handled by PEI, Long Island City, N.Y.

Versatile card access The access control system from Casi-Rusco Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., and Wiegand swipe cards from HID Corp., Tustin, Calif., have enabled the use of a single access card throughout Credit Suisse First Boston holdings, nationally and internationally.

"We went to Wiegand technology because our security system had to be global, covering London, Tokyo and the Americas. In this way, executives from Credit Suisse First Boston branches overseas can use their cards to gain entry into all company locations, here or in other countries," says Rupp.

Card access is used throughout the New York offices in areas such as computer floors, internal staircases and highly sensitive locations such as the legal department, trading floors, purchasing, cashier locations and IDF closets (cabling closets for controlling all information systems).

Because there was a short timetable for the move, PEI helped coordinate the software interface with the Credit Suisse First Boston human resources department. As a result, 4,000 employee records were imported from the human resources database into the access control system, eliminating the need to enter records manually.

PEI also set up video badging enrollment stations at all Credit Suisse First Boston entry points by using stand-alone digital cameras. Employee images were then imported into Casi-Rusco's Portrait Perfect system.

The need to provide time and attendance records, along with separation of different areas, necessitates use of access control stations at all turnstile locations. They limit ingress and egress to access card holders after normal working hours only. Turnstiles are also used in the company's fitness center.


fire door control PEI had to overcome an unusual situation involving the building's fire stairwells. In the city of New York, fire stairwells are normally not used for internal purposes, but Credit Suisse First Boston is sectioned off from other building tenants, so the company's workers use the staircases to travel between floors, explains Ray Dean, president of PEI. "These staircases are equipped with fire doors; it was these doors that the building management insisted they must also have control of," he says.

The security installation had to interface with building management's fire door control system. Design plans had to include a secondary set of door contacts on each fire door that leads to a staircase. In this way, both security managements are able to release doors during a fire condition.

Concealed door contacts, located on all electronically controlled doors, are from Sentrol Inc., Tualatin, Ore. Motion detectors are used to shunt alarms when employees use the fire stairwells for inter-company travel. The shunt overrides the alarm, telling it that this is not an alarm condition. Fire stairwell doors are alarmed for ingress onto floors. The alarm is only shunted for egress from floors. Therefore, an employee does not need an access card to leave a floor, but does need it to return or enter another floor.

A currency-free operation Identification cards incorporate a picture of the employee, a Wiegand stripe, a bar code, a picture of the Credit Suisse First Boston building and a Debitek stripe. The card is designed to accommodate use of the company library, food services and fitness center.

The bar code incorporates an employee's number, which is used to conduct transactions in the library for removal of books and periodicals.

Food services and vending machines within the company are on a cashless system. The Debitek stripe enables employees to credit their identification cards with cash for purchasing all food and vending machine items.

The fitness center uses the identification card for controlling membership access to the facility by requiring that the employee swipe his or her card when entering.

Comprehensive camera system A Burle, Lancaster, Pa., CCTV system interacts with the access control and alarm system to provide total coverage throughout the facility. All CCTV cameras are from Sony Security Systems, Montvale, N.J., and are model SSC-C104, 1/3-inch color CCD, mounted on wall brackets. The cameras are equipped with varifocal lenses from Tamron Industries Inc., Farmingdale, N.Y. They watch areas such as elevator lobbies, stairway exits and entrances, loading dock areas and computer rooms.

VCRs from Panasonic Video Imaging Systems Co., Secaucus, N.J., record camera images in real-time or time-lapse mode 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A 30-day tape library houses the tapes, after which they are erased - unless a recorded incident necessitates archiving.

The control room incorporates Sony 20-inch color monitors, model SSM-20NIU, and Sony 14-inch monitors, model SSM-14NIU, along with a Burle TC8801 matrix switcher bay. The room also houses a ZERO Stantron, Pacoima, Calif., seven-bay Command Center Console and a five-bay Security Control Console, along with Aurora color multiplexers from Vicon Industries Inc., Melville, N.Y. The command center also monitors environmental conditions such as air conditioning and heat alarms.

The Credit Suisse First Boston security operation is working well, and the company is planning to incorporate it in other facilities by using member vendors of SecurityNet, an independent network of security systems integrators including PEI.

"We've already added sites in Brazil and Atlanta, and we're in the process of planning new security installations in Palo Alto, Calif., and in Nassau, Bahamas," concludes Rupp.

Bob Rupp runs his operation at Credit Suisse First Boston with a staff of 60, which includes contract guards and proprietary supervisors.

Recently, the staff was faced with the mysterious disappearance of large amounts of bond paper. Says Rupp, "We began an investigation that was brought to our attention by the purchasing department. Boxes of bond paper were ordered, signed for, but never received.

"The investigation brought out the fact that the boxes never got off the delivery truck. After reviewing the videotape recorded at the loading dock, it was discovered that the person receiving the shipment was involved with the truck driver in a scam. Money changing hands was recorded on the tape. The employee was paid $25 for each box. The truck driver was selling the boxes for a couple of hundred dollars each. After the discovery, the receiving employee was dismissed and arrested. The trucking company made full restitution for the missing boxes, dismissed the truck driver and had him prosecuted."

A successfully resolved incident at Credit Suisse First Boston started with a complaint received at one of the company's courier services. Two individuals had received packages containing pornographic material that had originated from the banking firm.

Bob Rupp began his investigation by conducting interviews with the courier service, the individuals receiving the packages (who lived in Georgia and Maryland), and with the Credit Suisse First Boston mail room personnel.

"A check of our courier invoices came up with a name and employee identification number of a person who was supposed to be responsible for sending the packages. After extensive questioning of the recipients, it was determined that the employee listed on the courier invoice was not the person responsible for sending the material. In other words, someone else was using his name," recalls Rupp.

The investigation led Rupp to an associate of the employee listed in the courier's records. "When confronted with the evidence, the associate admitted to sending the parcels, and was immediately terminated. An arrest may be forthcoming - pending investigation by Maryland and Georgia authorities," indicates Rupp.

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