Best Practices in a Crisis

By: The Ensemble Practice

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape the financial advisory industry and ways that firms do business and interact with clients, we have fielded many of the same questions from members of the G2 Community: What is everyone else doing? What are the best ideas that you have seen in action? We believe that there is a lot of power in learning from each other, and so we reached out to current and former participants of the G2 Leadership Institute to crowdsource their best practices for managing a crisis.

The G2 Leadership Institute is an intensive two-year simulation-based training program that develops the management and leadership skills of second-generation professionals who are in positions to become the industry's future leaders. You can learn more about the G2 Leadership Institute here. Applications for our next class open this June.

In this fourth episode of our limited webcast series on Crisis Management, we've collected five creative initiatives from the many best practices we received that we thought deserved further discussion. In Best Practices in a Crisis: G2 Community Initiatives, CEO Philip Palaveev moderates a panel of G2 professionals and firm leaders as they discuss how their organizations have come together during this crisis and undertaken initiatives to strengthen their teams, improve their client services and reach out to the larger community.

Best Practices in a Crisis: Five Initiatives

MC Community Give Back

Jeff Sarti, CEO of Morton Capital: We launched a community give back initiative to be a resource for those in our community who are looking for financial advice in this time of need. This complimentary service is specifically for those who can’t meet our AUM/fee minimum. Our advisors allot an hour to answer questions for individuals who are facing hardship and/or looking for financial advice.

Transitioning to Virtual with E-Signature and Quip

Crissy Antal, VP of Client Service with Sequoia Financial Group: I lead our team of Client Service Associates (CSAs) and am proud of how seamlessly we have been able to switch to a work from home environment. In just a few days, we went to most of our clients signing electronically. We also host bi-weekly Webex meetings where we discuss different training opportunities, tips and tricks, custodian updates and procedure updates. To preserve our fun team culture, we set up a “Fun with COVID” folder on Quip.

Employee Experience Committee

Susan Mitcheltree, Parter at Berman McAleer: In addition to virtual happy hours and lunch dates, we have set up an “Employee Experience Committee.” (We actually did this before COVID-19.) Some outside-the-box things we have done include sending care packages to people at their homes, establishing an intranet site, hosting a series of wellness workshops and challenges and group sharing of the things we are grateful for amid the pandemic.

Increasing Communication (Plus, Kids!)

Matt Masterson, Wealth Advisor at RegentAtlantic: Since we can no longer stop by each other’s offices or have discussions in the kitchen, Zoom calls create the opportunity to see everyone, share investment and planning ideas, talk about client successes and challenges, provide firm updates and discuss what we are thinking about reopening. As a bonus, everyone with kids at home is encouraged to bring them on video. It’s been a great way for us to stay in touch and see everyone in a different light outside the office.

Securing Outside Capital

Diane Gabianelli, President and CFO of Parallel Advisors: The biggest initiative we have undertaken in the last three months is to secure outside capital to both ensure our durability to weather this downturn and take advantage of growth opportunities. Benefits include bringing the partnership among our existing shareholders even closer, boosting morale during this difficult time as we look excitedly toward the future, and accessing resources and expertise now available to us to provide even better service and grow our business.