Telford Mann explains how they are supporting clients through the Covid lockdown
Corporate Chartered case study
25 June 2020
14 July 2020
In this case study, we explore how Telford Mann Financial Planners have adapted business operations and services to meet the demands which the COVID 19 pandemic presented.
When COVID 19 hit, we were conscious that our client bank contains a lot of clients who fell into the vulnerable bracket either through age or health. Then as our own team adapted to working from home, often living on their own without company, it was clear that the impact of lockdown was going to be extensive for so many people in so many ways.
Throughout this year, we have been active on the investment side of things, using our discretionary mandate to protect client portfolios from the worst of the losses and we have made a conscious effort to write to clients every 7 to 10 days, to update them on what was happening in investment markets and provide plenty of reassurance over the impact of COVID 19 on their portfolios. This was important because clients are stuck at home reliant on a barrage of newspaper headlines and television programs providing nothing but negativity. It was important for us to let clients know that the reality was not quite so bad.
As part of those communications, we would ask clients to let us know if they needed any help from us. We have a young, fit team of people who had all volunteered at the start of lockdown to go out and deliver goods to clients who were stuck and needed help. When clients did request help, they would send us their shopping list and we would arrange to collect the goods and deliver them to their houses. Even some of our clients came on board and offered their time to help with the service as well.
Continuing our efforts throughout the pandemic
Alongside this, every day our advising team has been calling their clients on rotation, primarily the vulnerable ones, but then also those whose businesses were affected by the protracted lockdown as well. From our vulnerable clients, some of whom had contracted COVID or were mid-way through cancer treatments, we received nothing but a positive response. Very few of the conversations were about the portfolios or markets, more just an opportunity to talk to a friendly voice when they perhaps had gone days without speaking to anyone. We are still making these calls as it has become obvious over the last couple of weeks that clients have found it increasingly hard to deal with lockdown the longer it has gone on, so it is something we want to continue with for as long as our clients want and need us to do so.
In addition to the help, we have provided to individuals over the last few months, we are now also offering a pro bono discussion to any local business or self-employed individual worried about the impact of COVID 19 on their ability to keep trading. We came through the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/9 and we want to use our experience of helping clients through that period to help people in the current environment.
Supporting our staff
We worked in conjunction with our associated business, Ironstone Wellbeing Centre, to provide free online yoga, Pilates, meditation, and dance classes to help with the team’s mental and physical wellbeing, as well as undertaking a raft of charity challenges to boost morale.
Showing our human side at work
We see our role in helping clients as more than just an advice or investment management service. The last few months have been a test of humanity as much as financial planning and so for us, we saw this as the right thing to do and hopefully something that further cements our relationship with our clients for the longer term.