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Cantor Fitzgerald Slacks On 9/11 Pledge, But Promises $10 Million To Sandy Relief

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CANTOR FITZGERALD DONATION
Michael Lehrman, Executive Managing Director of Cantor Fitzgerld and Co., bows his head at the names of some of the over 600 employees from Cantor Fitzgerald who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The firm still owes most of the $10 million it pledged to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. (AP Photo, Carolyn Cole, Pool) | AP

Updated Jan. 15, 2013, 4:56 p.m. EST

The firm that suffered the biggest death toll on September 11 recently donated $10 million to Sandy relief, but hasn't yet fulfilled a 9/11 pledge of the exact same amount.

Cantor Fitzgerald, the global financial services firm that lost 658 employees in the September 11 terror attacks, pledged $10 million to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum back in 2008. But sources involved with the firm told Crains New York that Cantor has delivered on only less than 10 percent of the funds, the news outlet reports.

Robert Hubbell, a spokesperson for Cantor, told The Huffington Post that the firm intends on fully doling out the $10 million –- a pledge that was critical in helping the memorial reach its $350 million goal -- but explained that it was an "open-ended" commitment for which no hard deadline was set. Hubbell did not disclose the amount of money that Cantor has already given over to the memorial.

The firm’s measured giving is a far cry from the exuberance Cantor shared when it first committed to supporting the “dream” of building the tribute to the victims who were killed that day.

“The tremendous renewal of this firm is more than a business success story, it is a testament to the deep connection between the men and women of Cantor and the families of our employees who perished,” Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald, said in a statement back in 2008. “I am thrilled that our firm has been able to underscore its achievements with this significant gift to the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.”

A spokesman for the memorial declined to comment to Crains, and wasn't available when The Huffington Post reached out. But Hubbell said that Cantor's relationship with the memorial is still intact and that it's "in our hearts, deeply."

"Any organization would like to have it as soon as it can," he said of the contribution. "But I don’t know that they're pressuring us either."

A number of other firms that have pledged the same amount to the memorial have already fulfilled their monetary promise. Goldman Sachs, for example, said it would donate $10 million to the 9/11 Memorial in 2006 and paid out its donation within five years of the announcement, Leslie Shribman, a spokesperson for the company, told The Huffington Post.

But while Cantor has been slow to dish out the $10 million it promised to the 9/11 Memorial, it hopes to fulfill its Sandy relief pledge by March. The firm has "adopted" 19 schools hit hard by the superstorm and is donating -- along with its affiliate BGC Partners -- $1,000 to 10,000 families struggling to recover, according to the AP.

Hubbell suggested that the firm may be completing this pledge more quickly since the needs of Sandy victims are more imminent than those of the memorial.

To be sure, Cantor has remained reliably forthcoming with a number of its other philanthropic endeavors.

Since establishing the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, an initiative that was first launched solely for 9/11 victims and has expanded to help people suffering worldwide, it has collected and distributed more than $180 million to 800 families affected by September 11, according to the organization’s website.

The firm has also continued its tradition of donating 100 percent of the trading revenue it brings in on each anniversary of September 11 to a number of charities.

On the 11th anniversary of the attacks last year, the firm, as it does every year, commissioned the help of a slew of A-listers –- including Ryan Lochte and 50 Cent –- to man the phones during the “Charity Day” project and altogether raised $12 million for a number of causes.

“Charity Day is an integral part of who we are and a day on which we commemorate and honor our friends and colleagues who were lost on 9/11,” Lutnick said in a statement. “It is through the participation of our clients, employees, charities and guests that we are able to make this day into one that has a positive impact on those in need.

Hat tip: Chronicle of Philanthropy

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect the comments of spokespersons from both Goldman Sachs and Cantor Fitzgerald.

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