COVID-19 – Our plans for managing service and continuity – Update 2nd October 2020

Given the ongoing situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), HFMC Wealth continues to align its incident response to the advice of the UK Government.

We have no concerns regarding our ability to continue to provide our service to our customers. To minimise any risk to colleagues and clients, we have taken the following precautions:

  • HFMC Wealth advisers are providing meetings using video conferencing and conference call technology with clients and referrals.
  • We have taken the decision to close our London office until further notice.
  • Face to face meetings may now be held, though our preference remains for a virtual meeting.  Any face to face meeting should be at a mutually convenient and safe location, with COVID guidelines being adhered to.
  • All staff are working from home.

Government advice is continuing to evolve on a day-by-day basis, and we will provide further updates to our clients when they will be directly affected by a change in events.

Our priority remains the safety of our staff and clients, and we have systems in place to ensure continuity and to minimise any business or service disruption. These are as follows:

  • All advisers, client support teams and central staff continue to have access to laptops and have full capabilities to work remotely, allowing 100% of staff to support our clients.
  • We make extensive usage of SaaS tools, which allow access to data from any device with an Internet connection and web browser.  This means that presence in a specific location is not now required to do our jobs.
  • We make extensive usage of remote working and collaboration capabilities (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Facetime & Skype) which means that we can fully support our customers as normal from any location.
  • We have a business continuity plan in place with “buddy” advisers arranged as cover to assist you should your adviser be unwell for a period of time.

We have additionally made a small number of operational changes to ensure the smooth running of our service for our clients.

  • Physical post is now being redirected to our Weybridge office. We ask that you consider using digital signing where this is permissible for your own safety and that of our staff.
  • Please do use email and the telephone to make contact with us (020 7400 4700 or 01932 870 000). We’ll do the same with you. All our usual phone numbers and email addresses remain operational with phone calls being redirected.
  • For data security reasons you should not send sensitive information that you wouldn’t ordinarily want to share with a stranger via a simple email – while we have robust security systems in place, email is by its nature an insecure way of communicating personal data so password protection will help. Please ask us if you need help with this.
  • For our HFMC Asset Management discretionary clients and for clients using Transact we have arranged for documents to be signed securely electronically, so there really is no need for paper for new contributions or withdrawals.
  • If a provider does still require physical paperwork/ wet signatures, such as transfer forms or for some 3rd party discretionary managers and providers, then we will contact you so that we can find a mutually agreeable solution, probably involving couriers.

We remain extremely focused on making sure that we keep doing what you expect of us and we will continue to do our utmost to react speedily and professionally to events as they emerge and to continue to put you and your financial planning first.

Finally, we are aware that there are many families who are unsure as to how to formulate a plan in their current circumstances; in a number of cases their financial affairs will have changed significantly with virtually no notice. So if you have relatives, friends or colleagues who you feel might benefit from a conversation with us please let us know and will be happy to have an initial Virtual meeting at no cost or obligation to them.

In the meantime, on behalf of the whole team at HFMC Wealth, thank you for your support and patience.  I wish you and your families all good health during this difficult time.

Phil Patient

Group Chief Operating Officer