Following is an update on the steps IFS is taking as the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation develops. From Monday 16th March, all IFS teams have been encouraged to work from home. This has now been fully implemented across the business. Business travel has been cancelled, and we are using video conferencing to maintain our client servicing model.
We expect to be able to maintain all services, including licensee services, paraplanning and technical support.
We understand that demand for advice will increase as members seek guidance in response to turbulent investment markets. We have provided services to support our funds’ financial advice teams to provide advice via the phone or video so they can serve their members.
The support we are providing to IFS licenced planners includes:
All planners having access to Suitebox to enable digital client meetings to proceed providing for video and electronic signing capability
All planners having access to self-prepare SOAs to allow single issue limited advice (e.g. Investment Choice) to be provided to members efficiently and cost effectively
A paraplanning offer specifically for planners not able to write their own single issue SOAs
Training – whether it be assisting with digital tools, self-prepare SOAs or other support, we have increased our webinar program to respond to the rising demands on financial planners and their leaders.
Our credit, legal and insolvency teams transferred to work from home this week. We are conscious that many employers will be experiencing cash flow difficulties and will work with each fund to ensure our payment reminder and recoveries processes are responsive to the environment.
The Insurance Solutions (IFSIS) team have also transitioned to work from home arrangements. A small number of IFSIS employees will attend the office, on a rotational basis, each work day to attend to key operational matters. We expect to be able to maintain all services to clients without significant disruption.
While we are confident in our ability to deliver our business services with minimal impact, our plans and capabilities are ultimately dependent upon the health of our people. We will be supporting our employees as best we can through this situation, however we expect some impact on their availability over coming months due to their own health needs and those of family members.
We will continue to monitor the developing situation and communicate as changes occur and decisions are made.
We look forward to continued dialogue with our clients as we support each other during this challenging time.
Anyone requiring information or assistance, can contact us. We’ll be happy to help.