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Special update: COVID-19 preparedness

March 16, 2020 Blog 4 min read
John Lesser Wealth Management Jim Baird Wealth Management
Although our primary responsibility is to speak on matters as your financial advisor, the concerns and challenges extend well beyond the realm of the financial. Read more to learn how we're currently responding to the situation.

In recent weeks, we’ve been in frequent communication with you to address ongoing global developments related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and other timely matters. Our primary focus has been on how those developments have affected the capital markets, near-term expectations for the economy, and the direction of fiscal and monetary policy. We’ve also acknowledged that, although our primary responsibility is to speak on matters as your financial advisor, the concerns and challenges extend well beyond the realm of the financial. We continue to closely watch the flow of news and experience the same concerns that so many of you have expressed — not only as professionals, but as fellow members of our global community.

eople are at the center of what we do.

PMFA is taking active steps to address the need to appropriately protect the health and welfare of our staff in an exceptionally uncertain environment. Simultaneously, we’re focused on ensuring that we have a plan in place to continue to serve you and all our clients at a high level.

Everything we do starts with putting people first. That’s why we’re taking serious precautionary measures to protect the health and well-being of our community. We’ve assembled a COVID-19 task force of leaders across the firm to monitor, address, and mitigate risks presented by the virus, and we intend to strictly adhere to all guidance presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and other trusted public health officials.

Here’s a brief overview of how we’re currently responding to the situation:

  • Temporary closure of all Plante Moran U.S. offices: Effective Tuesday, March 17, all Plante Moran offices will be closed, and all staff will be working remotely. Recognizing that the situation will continue to evolve in the coming weeks, we currently anticipate this policy will remain in place through mid-April. However, it will be subject to modification or extension as appropriate and as circumstances warrant.
  • Implementation of remote work protocols: Our technology has been field-tested for large-scale remote working situations. We believe that we currently have the technology, resources, and team in place to maintain all requisite operational and trading functions remotely. We’ll continue to do everything within our power to maintain the high level of service you have come to expect and minimize any disruptions.
  • Continuing business as usual with appropriate caution: Maintaining the highest level of client service is still an imperative — second only to the safety of our people. Our staff will continue to stay in close communication with you and all our clients. We’ll continue to closely monitor developments and work with you to ensure that your ongoing needs are being met.
  • Limiting in-person events: In addition to cancelling or postponing events, attendance at large external events and conferences is highly discouraged, and staff will not be permitted to work where there’s been a confirmed case, including client work sites. We have also placed a moratorium on unnecessary in-person meetings with money managers, custodians, and any other external resources. However, it’s critically important that we remain in frequent and ongoing communication with those resources, and we will utilize the full scope of available technology and tools to do so.
  • Travel guidance: Our staff will refrain from all international travel through at least April 14 and nonessential domestic travel through at least April 17.
  • Monitoring changes: Not only are we highly focused on reports from WHO, the CDC, and other governmental and regulatory authorities, we’re keeping a close eye on other developments that might afford additional flexibility or create opportunities for our clients.
  • Investment strategy and other needs: PMFA’s investment committee is actively engaged in frequent and ongoing discussions around market, economic, and policy developments, and in evaluating portfolio positioning and considering any appropriate actions, on a daily basis. Our investment research team has also increased the frequency of discussion with the money managers with whom our clients are invested, and are holding calls daily to evaluate developments, strategy positioning, and the larger effect on client portfolios.

Recognizing that conditions remain very fluid, our firm guidelines will continue to be updated as often as is necessary. We care about you — and your financial concerns and well-being. We will continue to do everything in our power to keep our team — your advisors — safe and continue to serve you through whatever challenges might lie ahead.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your PMFA advisor or any other member of our team. In the meantime, we’ll continue to communicate with you directly on any meaningful developments as we have to this point. In addition, you can access Plante Moran’s COVID-19 business insights here, the CDC here, and the WHO here.

We’re all impacted by the rapidly changing world around us. Our commitment to you doesn’t waver at times like these; we entrench ourselves further to serve you. We wish you good health, and we stand ready to serve you in any way that we can today, tomorrow, and into the future.

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