How are international asset managers organizing because of coronavirus?

We know how international asset managers are organizing against the coronavirus. Specifically, its investment decisions teams, in order the day to day of investment funds works normally.

Business Development Manager at RankiaPro

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In the last few days, we have gone from talking about prudence and patience to crash on the markets in a general way, which has caused heavy losses for a large number of investors.

In this sense, many of them are beginning to wonder how international asset managers are organizing against the coronavirus. Specifically, its investment decisions teams, in order the day to day of investment funds works normally.

Allianz Global Investors

The Incident Response Team will be activated in case of an event with crisis potential. This team will initiate damage-limiting measures and be focused on recovering resources which are critical for business operations. In addition, each department has formed a contingency team with essential personnel to ensure contingency procedures are executed appropriately.

Should the plan be activated, information and instructions will be disseminated to all staff (including but not limited to key decision-makers) via an emergency notification system. The Crisis Unit is responsible for decision-making and oversight in case of an event affecting multiple locations within the region.

With regards to the risk of Covid-19, the crisis management team has already conducted appropriate preparation measures and situation assessments to ensure that all the defined processes and procedures can be activated when necessary. Additionally, the following measures and activities are ongoing:

  • Active monitoring of the situation
  • Close alignment with Allianz Group Crisis Management, local authorities and regulators
  • Crisis preparation / recovery strategies are regularly tested
  • Active communication of measures for crisis preparation to staff
  • Travel restrictions are in place and continuously updated
  • Policy for external visitors established (visitors from high risk locations are requested to postpone the visits)
  • Local measures like touchless hand sanitizers, education on hand hygiene, prevention in staff restaurant
  • Targeted self-isolation for staff returning from prohibited regions

La Française

La Française is, therefore, preparing to activate its Business Continuity Plan in the event of a pandemic and has already implemented a number of preventive measures to limit the risk of contagion and ensure the continued operation of its business activities.

On the one hand, it has created a crisis unit to monitor the situation and implement all necessary measures to cope with the epidemic. For each office, a person has been designated to answer questions from staff and relay any relevant matters to the crisis unit. Additionally, it is banned on travel to and within affected areas.

All departments have been instructed to encourage teleworking so as to minimise risks whilst maintaining operational capacity. Staff has been trained and equipped, including front-office management teams, to work from home in the best possible conditions.

Finally, staff members returning from a high-risk area and/or having been in contact with anyone with the virus must inform the Human Resources department; all such staff members are quarantined for 14 days.

MFS Investment Management

MFS continues to monitor developments related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. We have shared information from health experts with our employees, asked them to take appropriate precautions, to monitor for signs of infections and to seek medical treatment if they do not feel well. Their health and safety remain our top priority.

As a precaution, employees in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Milan are working remotely until further notice. All other employees globally have recently been encouraged to work remotely. We have halted business travel for the time being.

MFS has extensive Work-from-Home capabilities and staff in multiple locations to help ensure the continuation of operations. We test and update our Business Continuity program on an annual basis to ensure we can continue to serve clients effectively while protecting the health and safety of our employees.

Amundi

The largest French fund company has announced the adoption of measures to comply with the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the health authorities of the affected countries.

Amundi aims to guarantee the continuation of its activities and services provided to its clients in the event of a global epidemic.

Amundi employees have been ordered to return from trips to risky areas, those that have returned need to comply with a 14 days quarantine after their return. All trips have been postponed and the company will use remote means of communication (telephone, videoconference, email, etc.) instead.

These activity plans have been activated in the countries most affected by the epidemic and, if necessary, are ready for implementation in other countries where it has manifested itself.

Preventive measures have been implemented to limit the spread of the virus in all entities. Personnel working at the Spanish and Milan offices are working remotely.

Amundi

Columbia Threadneedle

Columbia Threadneedle is coordinating our response to the virus regionally and globally to ensure we can continue to deliver for our clients, look after the welfare of our employees and maintain continuity of our business.

We have implemented restrictions on employee travel and some employees are working remotely such as Spain and north Italy. We are monitoring the situation closely, guided by appropriate health organization advice and relevant government guidelines. We will update this information should our position change.

Columbia Threadneedle

Crédit Agricole

French fund managers have approved a plan to comply with the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the health authorities of the affected countries.

Crédit Agricole employees have been ordered to return from trips to risky areas and those who have returned must keep 14 days away from their offices. All trips have been postponed until the situation improves, instead, the employees will work remotely

Plans have been activated in those countries worst affected by the epidemic. 

Credit Agricole

Franklin Templeton

The American emerging markets specialist has temporarily suspended all non-critical business travel and is discouraging personal travel. As an additional safeguard, if their employees have visited an impacted area or have a household member who has done so, they are asked to work remotely and not enter any of our offices for at least 14 days after they return. The company will continue to update its travel policy according with the latest update.

The company is also minimizing face-to-face meetings by encouraging the use of video conferencing in lieu of in-person gatherings, for both internal meetings and meetings with clients, especially in countries with heightened concern.

As part of its global disaster preparedness plan, the company routinely test our employees’ ability to work from home and the majority of its employees around the world have the flexibility to work remotely.

Franklin Templeton has established an online resource center for employees. This includes updates on the spread of COVID-19, its travel policy and tips related to hygiene best practices to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

The company has implemented a comprehensive firm-wide business continuity plan that provides for the recovery of critical business unit operations, hardware, software and networks, including the provision of alternative sites from which to work and the ability to work at home securely.

The investment teams are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to provide their timely views on our website as the situation evolves. These views will help add important context to the impacts on our clients’ portfolios.

Franklin Templeton

J O Hambro

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all of us across the global community, I would like to update you on the measures and precautions we have taken to ensure the health and safety of our employees, while maintaining our ability to continue to service our clients and operate our business effectively.

As of 16 March, all J O Hambro Capital Management (JOHCM) staff are now working remotely as a preventative measure.

JOHCM has a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place for all of our offices that allows us to continue to operate in these types of situations. We recently successfully re-tested our BCP across all offices, including confirmation that our staff can work remotely. Our team members retain full access to all critical systems and resources needed to conduct business on behalf of our clients in an uninterrupted manner.

We have contacted our core suppliers and have confirmed their level of preparedness in order to minimise the risk of disruption to our core services.

We have restricted all non-essential domestic and international business travel and have a self-isolation policy for all employees who have traveled internationally. We have restricted attendance at conferences, encouraged employees to conduct meetings with external parties via electronic means and promoted local social distancing protocols.

We are confident that we have taken all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of our employees, look after our clients and continue our operations without disruption.

These are unprecedented times and the situation is changing daily. We will continue to closely monitor the local and World Health Organisation updates and practices in local jurisdictions. Where required we will take further sensible and informed action.

Lastly, but most importantly, the welfare of our staff and clients, and their families, is clearly uppermost in these most challenging times. We wish you and your family the best of health.

Alexandra Altinger CEO UK, Europe, and Asia
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How are international asset managers organizing because of coronavirus?