Coronavirus  

Adviser diary: Crisis poses wills dilemma

Adviser diary: Crisis poses wills dilemma

Damian Fantato speaks to advisers about how their businesses are adapting to the coronavirus crisis. Today Andrew Oliver, director at Andrew Oliver & Co, discusses the challenges for his firm.

I work from home anyway. I have got a purpose built log cabin in the garden with broadband. There are two of us who work here and that’s not changed - we just make sure we wash our hands.

About 80 per cent of the business we do is looking after pensions and portfolios. We are not reliant on a day-to-day basis of going out and signing up new clients.

We are emailing our clients the documents and sharing them through a portal and achieving the same ends without leaving the office. We have not really had to change much at all.

The only issue I can see going forward is that we also do wills. While we are able to take instructions online or over the phone or by Skype, we still have the issue of when the wills are going to be signed and witnessed.

We have got two in place where they don’t have anyone to call on locally, so we would have to do that.

We will probably be going out with face masks and rubber gloves. We will give them a pen and let them keep it.

We are only at the stage where we have drafted them and prepared them to approve. We will have a discussion with the client at that point.

If any of them had concerns about us going there, we would address that at the time.

I have actually had two clients call me and I had a meeting with a client last week before it started. None of them seem too panicked to be honest. I have not got a single client that’s exposed wholeheartedly to the FTSE or the Dow Jones.

They have accepted it as part of the journey and that goes back to the conversation we had at the outset.

This isn’t the time to abandon ship. It is the time to stay on board.

I think certainly with some of the older clients they have seen these stock market falls before. These crashes come around, but we know that in the weeks that follow the markets come back, and that no doubt will happen again.

Interviewed by Damian Fantato

damian.fantato@ft.com