Stephen Taddie, managing partner at Stellar Capital Management, shares with FA-IQ how he is coping with work-from-home arrangements resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Phoenix-based Taddie has 35 years of experience in the industry and his firm has $450 million in client assets.
“Interesting times, as they say.
I think it is a case of contingency planning versus not having a contingency plan for many advisors. And for those wise enough to divert resources in prior years to create contingency plans, testing and upgrading those plans over the years has proven critical. Implementing a contingency plan in the midst of a market upheaval is challenging, even for the most experienced individuals and firms.
Understanding that every individual has work-related goals, ambitions and stressors, as well as personal-related goals, ambitions and stressors. Making work-related things easier increases an individual’s capacity to deal with other stressors. In addition, being up front with employees about the issues the firm is facing — economy-related issues, industry-related issues, customer-related issues and what impact those things have on the firm and its ability to continue supporting its employees’ families — that has been my goal as the managing partner of Stellar, and I think in practice it has been well received.
We implemented our disaster plan two weeks ago as a dry run, in case we were ‘ordered’ in the near future to disburse employees away from the home office. That plan had been in place since 2005 and was subject to periodic updates and tests. Mentally, we all thought deploying a disaster plan would last a week or so, and at this point, I don’t know how long deployment may last. That said, we are working through improved self-sufficiency, without losing the cohesiveness and thought process of the investment committee, which has been a cornerstone of our success.
Leadership, straight talk and communication are the best medicine for times like this, as corporate leaders do not really have much — if any — influence over the personal lives of others. We have employees with kids at home, and those with some immune deficiency issues either personally or with a loved one, that we need to help the employees help themselves.”