Platts to Offer Staff New York Move to Escape Olympics

Platts, the energy and pricing unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. (MHP), plans to temporarily relocate some London employees during the Olympic Games to ensure market coverage isn’t disrupted, three people familiar with the matter said.

Staff involved in oil-price assessments who rely on public transport to get to the company’s office in Canary Wharf have been asked to work from New York or Maidenhead, west of London, the people said, declining to be identified because the plan hasn’t been made public. Elizabeth Catalano, a spokeswoman in London, said yesterday Platts will make use of other cities during the games, without specifying which locations.

Canary Wharf, where Barclays Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc have their global headquarters, is less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Olympic stadium. The number of journeys on the city’s tube, bus and rail network will rise by 25 percent to 15 million a day during the event, according to Transport for London, an agency that oversees the city’s travel routes. The games run from July 27 to Aug. 12.

“Every crude market and product market in Europe and the U.S., apart from the odd exception, is dependent on Platts for their assessments,” Ehsan Ul-Haq, senior market consultant at KBC Energy Economics in Walton-on-Thames, England, said by phone. “Nowadays there’s enough communication available that as long as the same people are doing the assessments, the fact they are located in different countries shouldn’t be a problem.”

Stress Test

Businesses in the capital are scheduled to undertake a “stress test” on May 8 and May 9 to simulate conditions during the games, when companies will try out plans such as flexible working hours, according to Canary Wharf Group Plc, the developer and manager of the 97-acre estate in London’s former docklands.

BP Plc (BP/), which runs its global oil-trading operations from the same building as Platts in Canary Wharf, will allow some employees to work from other locations, Sheila Williams, a spokeswoman, said by phone yesterday from London. About 160,000 commuters travel daily into Canary Wharf on the underground’s Jubilee Line, according to Transport for London.

“Many organizations are already putting their plans in place to ensure they can continue to run effectively and profitably during the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Mark Evers, director of Games Transport, said in an April 10 statement from the network operator.

Tube Journeys

Transport for London advises Canary Wharf commuters to make their return journey before 4 p.m. local time or after 8 p.m. on weekdays during the competition. The business district is on the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway, both of which also serve the Olympic site at Stratford.

An additional 20 million trips will be made by spectators within London during the 2012 Games, including three million on Aug. 3 which is expected to be the busiest day, according to London 2012, the event organizer.

Platts assesses various grades of crude and oil products, as well as other energy commodities, often using a so-called Market on Close session where traders and brokers declare bids, offers and trades until about 4:30 p.m. in London. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with Platts in providing energy-markets news and information.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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