William Beynon, CEO of Capital Wealth Advisors, shares with FA-IQ how he is coping with work-from-home arrangements resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Naples, Fla.-based Benyon has 22 years of industry experience and his firm has $1.6 billion in client assets.
“We were very lucky in the sense that we live in an area where we have hurricanes. A couple of years ago, we had a pretty major hurricane. Things were shut down, offices weren’t accessible, and you couldn’t go into work. So, we really spent a lot of time on that aspect of disruption and it really has helped us as we came into this situation with having employees work remotely. When the hurricanes are coming, we can send employees to our other locations and transition the business in a way so there’s no disruption for our clients. We have offices in North Carolina and will move trading teams and service people there if there is a hurricane here.
We luckily had the systems in place that we could transition. First, we introduced our high-risk employees to a work-from-home environment. Through our phone system and our server system, we were able to get them set up at home within 20 minutes. And the first thing we did is we tested to make sure that would be no disruption from a client perspective. Our receptionist has been manning the phones from her home location through her home login for about a week and a half with no disruption.
Some of our team are on what I’ll call a full lockdown, some are shelter-in-place, some are on social distancing, but in general everybody’s working remotely at this point. We have been able to continue to service and talk to our clients by telephone and a lot of WebEx video calls. We’ve done group sessions with our clients through WebEx, giving them updates on what’s going on in the markets, all the way down to one on one. It’s worked really well. We’ve gotten really good feedback.
The hard part in our businesses is the disruption of what I’ll call new business. So, we worked with our compliance team and found a way to be able to have virtual meetings with new prospects and potential prospective families that may be looking to hire us to be their advisor.
So far, it’s worked out well.
The biggest thing for us, and I think it’s something for people to think about, is my partners and I have been making calls to our team members just to check on them. Even though they’re set up on our login, for some it’s still isolating, so you want to make sure that they don’t feel isolated. It’s different from their normal environment of being in the office and having a collegial work environment.
So, we started instituting regular team calls. We have some employees that are single and so, a big part of their social day is interacting with their teammates on a regular basis. And now you’re not only not in the office environment, but you’re not supposed to leave your home, and I think that can be challenging for some people. So, we just want to make sure that we’re there for them. It’s not just about business and clients. We want to make sure teams are doing well as well.”