Supporting our clients & staff through Covid-19

Supporting our clients and staff through the coronavirus pandemic

A message to you all

In these unprecedented times, we would like to outline the steps that Legal & Medical Investments has taken to support and protect our staff, and clients while still maintaining our services to you during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our main objective is to protect and minimise both our advisor’s, and our client’s exposure to the Coronavirus.

Many of you, as medics will have a greater insight into the impact the virus is going to have over the coming months. You will have seen or been party to various risk assessments that will affect the entire population. Our response is based on a similar, if less scientific risk assessment, and carries a balance between the service that we need to provide in volatile financial markets, against the health of our staff. 

Legal & Medical Investments will continue to provide its high-quality service while maintaining open lines of communication should you have any concerns during these extreme circumstances.

Financial Advice

All of our advisers continue to work at full capacity and are available in the same way they have always been. The only real change you will see is in the way appointments will be carried out. We will be using a range of remote services including; Telephone, Skype, Facetime, and WhatsApp. 

Many of you already experience these options being used for annual reviews, and we suspect that this outbreak may, in the end, speed up the use of more efficient tools in the future – time will tell. 

However, this is not to say we don’t all enjoy the personal touch of meeting with our clients! In these testing circumstances, it just may not happen face to face for some time. We will only meet in person if we feel it is crucial. With the use of our portal as a means to transfer important documents, along with the other forms of communication outlined above, it seems unlikely that this will need to happen.

Our Annual Reviews for those clients for whom we manage Investments and Pensions are an essential part of the advice process, and it could be argued is more important than ever in this current environment. Obviously, not all of the news will be good at this point, however, it is important to place where we are in context, and the review process allows for this to happen. 

I would encourage you all to respond to the invitations for review that come to you via email, but as mentioned, perhaps arrange for those to be completed using an electronic medium. All of our systems are online, so your data and the tools that we use to provide you with information, illustrations and valuations will still be available to each of our advisers. You should be able to contact and transact with them in almost the same way as before.

Administrative Support

We have already put measures in place for any staff at an increased risk from the virus, and those that can, have been working from home since the end of last week. We have also provided all of our administrators with any equipment they may need to be able to work remotely. We have maintained skeleton office-based staff of 1 or 2 per day (well separated) to manage any incoming post, although that is likely to reduce in the coming weeks.

As it stands we have 2 staff members self-isolating. However, both are still working at full capacity at the moment! This is one of the problems of not seeing our staff day to day – we are unable to stop them even if they are poorly! We have outlined to all of our colleagues that if they feel ill, rest is an important part of healing. All of our senior staff stand ready to step in and fill the shoes of those who may not be well enough to work. 

Developmental work has also been placed on ‘go-slow’ so every effort can be made to maintain our immediate service to you.

All of our systems are web-based, so those working from home should not have technical issues preventing them from working similarly to as if they were in the office. Everyone will need to adapt to working from home and learn to self manage their time, from senior management to our advisors, and our administration staff. Some may find this more challenging than others, but we aim to succeed. We would appreciate it if you give us a little latitude while we all adjust to working without our team together in the office.

Our telephone systems are also web-based so calling the office should feel the same as it has done previously. Our goal is to ensure the company continues to run as smoothly as ever. Access to reports, information and handling new items should not change. The timing, with the end of the tax year looming, could be better! However, this gives us a great opportunity to test our systems under albeit (hopefully not too much) pressure.

To ensure the system does run smoothly please try to transact as much electronically as possible. If you require to make forms of payment, can we ask that you use bank transfers as much as possible and avoid sending cheques unless absolutely necessary? We are aware there are often limits on how much money you can move this way, which is why our skeleton staff are in place. Bank transfer within the set limits would be preferable.

Financial Markets

You cannot avoid seeing how badly all of the world’s stock markets have reacted to the pandemic – which isn’t a surprise. Rather than make this communication overly long, can I draw your attention to our article: Covid-19: The impact on investments Q&A > which has a review of where we are and the outlook. Hopefully, you will find it useful.

Finally

We are all aware that many of you will be on the front line and likely to have to work extra hours, make difficult and important decisions and delay plans. Many of you could experience a higher level of exposure than the general population, and while for many this will mean quarantine time with little impact of note happening health-wise, we have all seen cases where people have been very unwell or worse. 

We have also seen the stress and pressure that it has been imposed on health care workers around the world, particularly China and Italy. 

On behalf of all of us here at Legal & Medical Investments, we would like to thank any, and all involved in protecting each and every one of us from this virus. Above all, we hope that you and your families can cope and get the help, supplies, and protection that you need.

Keep well & kind regards,

Richard Major, Managing Director

This article was written by Richard Major

Richard is an independent financial adviser to doctors and dentists in the West of England and Wales. He holds the Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA®), the Mortgage Advice Qualification (MAQ) and the CII's CF2 (Investment and Risk) qualification. He is also Managing Director at Legal & Medical Investments.

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