Important note: Effectively immediately, until further notice we are temporarily closing all physical Allworth office locations. We’re still fully functional and able to serve you remotely. More details are included below.
Here are the key things you should know about how we are continuing to serve our clients and subscribers, and what we’ve done in just the last few weeks to update our operations and technology to help you financially navigate the pandemic.
- A personal message
- Something big was happening
- A new “normal” for meetings
- Closure of physical offices
- New resources created for you
1. A personal message from Allworth CEO Scott Hanson
Paying bills and opening the mail. Life is filled with mundane tasks we do to make our lives work.
This morning, as we continue to adjust to a new normal, I briefly found myself missing those kinds of tasks.
Then I began to think about the healthcare professionals, truck drivers, shelf stockers and the customer service people at places like Costco and the supermarket. The police, firefighters and utility workers, and the numerous other essential professions that are filled with the people who work on the front lines to keep us healthy, fed, safe and supplied with the things we need.
I know we all feel an intense sense of gratitude to each of these essential people. And thinking about them this morning, I know I will never look at many of them in quite the same way again.
Some of you reading this have reached out to let us know how you’re faring. Your challenges and hopes and plans for when our lives return to normal.
We thank you for that. In times like these, it’s easy to feel disconnected. Make no mistake, we have a special relationship with our clients. And we always look forward to hearing from you.
Entire sectors of businesses are struggling to adapt to the new working “normal” of having large numbers of employees work from home. Some businesses have made no or little traction at all.
I’m proud to say that is not at all the case with Allworth.
Below are key things we are doing as a firm to seamlessly serve our clients and to continue to guide you through this volatile economic time in our nation’s history.
We are absolutely all in this together. And, while it won’t be easy, we are going to get through this and emerge stronger than before.
2. When it became apparent that something big was happening
It’s difficult to believe, but it was only 30 days ago that a critical mass of people became concerned about the severity of the threat that the coronavirus posed to the world.
In response to the threat, the first week of March, our senior leadership team convened to review our continuity plan, and then formed our Coronavirus Task Force (CV Task Force).
Financial services firms are required by law to have a continuity plan, and while those plans are detailed, they’re typically heavily focused on, frankly, war and natural disasters.
Simply, what to do if our region’s or even the nation’s communication grid fails.
We decided in early March to prepare for the possibility (which seemed unlikely at that exact moment) for making certain Allworth had 100% remote operations capabilities.
That is, to make certain that each of our staff members had laptops, headphones and all the necessary training and software so that we could all work from home. (As an essential business sector, our offices are of course always staffed by those people whose job responsibilities legally or logistically dictate that they must be on site. Extreme social distancing is the norm.)
As unlikely as it may have seemed in the first days of March, within two weeks we had 100% remote capability for all our more than 200 team members. Simply, when you call your advisor (or our offices), for the time being, you may well be speaking with a person who is working from their home office.
3. How meetings are being held now
All advisory meetings and consultations are currently being held via phone or the video conferencing service Zoom.
Zoom is actually very easy to use, and, in fact, one of our longest-tenured clients just had the very first video conferencing appointment of her life.
82 years young, she was reportedly impressed by the ease and clarity of the process.
Still, lots of people prefer phone appointments.
Rest assured, when local and federal authorities issue the “all clear,” and we return to normal, while we’ve always offered phone appointments (as many clients don’t live near one of our offices), and while we enjoy seeing our clients in person, I’m willing to bet that some people will continue to use the video conferencing option in the future.
4. Physical office closures
As part of our endeavor to help ensure your safety and the health and safety of our team members—while we are of-course fully and completely operational in every respect—for the time being, we have closed our physical offices to all visitors.
While we obviously hope these restrictions will only last a few days or weeks, please note that the closures will remain in effect until the pandemic has subsided.
If you need to speak to your advisor (or any member of our team), or if you have documents that we need to process or review, please don’t hesitate to call 888-242-6766 and we will make certain that your needs are met promptly and accurately. (You can also easily contact us via email.)
5. New resources available to you
Via workshops, podcasts, articles, guides and tutorials, we’re a firm that focuses on providing clients (and even those who may not be clients but appreciate the tools) with loads of timely and interesting educational materials.
With that in mind, our creative team is in overdrive building, writing, recording and filming a plethora of timely content.
Here are just a few examples of new content:
- A detailed article, a lively podcast, and a new video detailing the specifics of the CARES Act on you
- And they’re working on three digital “shorts” on topics including:
- 4 things you should be doing right now
- A Forced Retirement guide
- A Furloughed Action Plan guide
In closing, these are indeed extraordinary times. We are all pitching in to beat the threat posed by the coronavirus and are very much looking forward to a return to normalcy.
Until then, if you have questions, or if we can be of service to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to call, or you can always contact us via email.
From everyone here at Allworth, we look forward to seeing you very soon.