Some business managers braced for the snowstorm that struck the Northeast this week by ordering key employees to hotels and motels near work over the weekend.

But not Richard B. Lieb, president of SEI Corp.'s division of investment systems and services. He pushed corporate fealty a step further, asking his most essential troops to bed down in the office.

"Staying in a motel a mile away wasn't good enough," said Mr. Lieb. "So we made provisions."

Mr. Lieb oversees an SEI data center that processes transactions for 650,000 trust accounts. The center, in SEI's Wayne, Pa., headquarters, operates 365 days a year.

With so many accounts at stake, Mr. Lieb, a former Marine Corps major, wanted nothing left to chance. For all he knew, the government might close down the roads.

Six or seven employees spent Saturday and Sunday night on the office floor, and kept the place running without a hitch, he said. "On Monday morning, everyone logged on and there were no problems."

Mr. Lieb is an old hand at staging backup plans. In 1979, when state officials were contemplating a massive evacuation in the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, he helped SEI develop a contingency plan to keep its trust processing business running. The plan, however, never had to be used.

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