Coronavirus  

Adviser diary: Crisis is catalyst for efficiency

Adviser diary: Crisis is catalyst for efficiency

Damian Fantato speaks to advisers about how their businesses are adapting to the coronavirus crisis. Today Richard Ross, director at Chadwicks, discusses the challenges for his firm.

Everything we have got is pretty much cloud based - even our telephones - so that hasn't changed. I'm still rubbish at transferring calls.

We are not quite there on the client portal which is a shame, but we should be within two or three weeks and it gives us an opportunity to focus on that. The back office is there though.

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We spent a little bit on better kit for people working at home but generally it has worked just fine.

Maintaining team morale within the company is important, so we have a 9 o'clock meeting every morning and while people were resistant originally they have had their camera on so it feels like we are in the same room.

Most of our client meetings have been video calls and they have worked well. We sent out an email, pre-warning them what the video call would be about which was a good idea.

Video calls are better for us, better for the planet and better for them because we can give them more frequent servicing calls than if they came into the office. 

Clients are more open to the concept of video conferencing and more at home with it. After a week of it I don't even notice it really, it becomes comfortable.

What's going to happen generally as a result of this is it will act a catalyst for lots of less efficient businesses to fail. That will apply to the advice sector as well.

We will finish up with a smaller, but leaner and fitter advice community.

Fortunately we generally planned for this since the financial crisis. Having gone through that I didn't want to go through those conversations again.

As soon as we saw markets starting to go pear shaped we started sending stuff out to people on a 12-month view to get our clients to stand back and look at the bigger picture.

Actually, if you do take a 12-month view you are looking at single digit falls, not the 30 per cent drops you see in the papers.

The other thing we have spent quite a bit of time on is financial wellbeing for our corporate clients, who are having to make tough decisions for their employees.

So we are running some webinars for them to give them support.

The team has really stepped up to the mark and are full of enthusiasm. It has been really quite satisfying.

damian.fantato@ft.com