Click here to read John’s thoughts on investment strategy in response to COVID-19 volatility

The severity and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is continuing to evolve. We know it will have an impact on a companies’ ability to conduct business as usual. To that end, we have reviewed and recharged our business risk and business continuity plans to adapt to this “Black swan” event; and as this rapidly developing crisis unfolded, we put our business risk /disaster recovery protocols into action. To manage and minimize the impact of the crisis, we have comprehensive, long-term business continuity plans (BCP) in place. While BCPs have multiple components that provide a blueprint for how to proceed in times like these, few have been designed to address longer-term disruptions that the pandemic may trigger.

We have clearly defined chains-of-command for each team and function. We have upgraded our methods of communication and remote staff support, ensuring that all staff can practice recommended social and physical distancing while working effectively from home. We have ensured that each role has a backup should an employee fall ill. We have taken specific actions to ensure the business can withstand this crisis, such as securing extended health care coverage for employees if needed, ensuring that payroll is continued, bills are paid, fees are collected and importantly, that we continue to monitor and manage our clients’ portfolios. Our portfolio managers are all connected to the trading floors and systems to facilitate seamless management of our clients’ mandates. The investment teams are in constant contact with the traders, analysts and companies we are researching, and we are conducting meetings telephonically and via video conference. All clients are receiving regular updates on the capital markets and their portfolios and regular reporting is continuing as usual.

Since the end of March 13th, all of our staff have been working remotely. Our systems have been upgraded including firewalls and other safeguards and our organization has proved resilient. In these uncertain, volatile times, it is important that clients know their investments remain in good hands.

In summary, we have:

  • developed an infrastructure for remote work
  • successfully tested alternate site and remote access capabilities
  • upgraded systems, remote access and data protection protocols
  • utilized cloud and hybrid-based solutions to support ongoing business requirements in these uncertain times
  • encouraged  the employees to remain in a safe and secure environment and adopt the recommendations of Health Canada
  • ensure that the employees have peace of mind that bills will be paid, salaries paid and investment fees collected