Hundreds of employees of Commonwealth Financial, the country’s fourth-largest independent broker-dealer, were directed to head to the firm’s emergency backup office outside of Boston Friday morning as law enforcement officials announced a citywide lockdown.

“The first email went out to managers at 6:32 a.m. and the staff at 6:48 a.m. alerting everyone who is to go to the second office,” Commonwealth founder and Chairman Joseph Deitch said in an interview. “I would assume that 90% of our people will either be able to be up and running in their homes or in our backup office,” which can accommodate 200 people, he added.

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