At this challenging time, I would like to update you on Blackfinch’s position and the work we have been doing in order to provide the highest level of support and continuity to our advisers and investors.
First and foremost, I would like to assure you that it is very much ‘business as usual’ at Blackfinch. Our teams are all still working across the business and carrying out all of our regular day-to-day functions. All of the products and services are running as usual and we continue to receive regular inflows of new investor money.
ENHANCED RISK MANAGEMENT
All risk management and monitoring controls have been increased across the investments which we manage. For our listed funds, within the Blackfinch Wealth Managed Portfolio Service and the Adapt AIM Portfolios, we are producing internal reporting on the markets on a daily basis as part of ensuring that our products are performing as intended.
Our unlisted products, including the Blackfinch Spring VCT, Blackfinch Ventures EIS Portfolios and Adapt IHT Portfolios, have a much-reduced correlation to the markets. However, we are still monitoring them and meeting frequently in order that any new risks are analysed and managed quickly and effectively.
Internally, we are following all of the government guidance, including having teams sitting further apart, regular hand washing, and ensuring that anyone with symptoms remains at home for seven days.
FURTHER CONTINGENCY MEASURES
In order to ensure that we are able to maintain our ‘business as usual’ continuity level, Blackfinch has taken several other important steps over the last week. This is in order to provide a robust and well-tested approach in the weeks and months ahead.
Firstly, we have increased our IT capability, enabling our teams to work remotely if required. Our teams then successfully tested this capability, confirming that they could access the systems we use, and the information we share, from a remote location. This ensures that we can continue to provide the same level of uninterrupted service.
As of today, we have now activated a rotation strategy whereby teams are split into two halves, with an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ team. The teams then rotate their office time and remote working on a weekly basis, and we provide a thorough deep clean of our office space over the weekend, in between team rotations. Team members are also asked not to socialise with members of the alternate team, to prevent potential cross-contamination.
This is designed to restrict the potential spreading of the virus across the company and to minimise any impact on our business continuity plan. We are pleased that our teams are fully supportive of our measures for business continuity.
Blackfinch also has a localised risk, in that we are situated close to Cheltenham, where there was recently a large concentration of people who attended the horse-racing festival from 10th-13th March. The company always supports this event in great numbers, but this year we made the decision that nobody would attend, in order to minimise undue risk of exposure to the virus. This was in line with our corporate strategy to reduce risks wherever possible. As such, I can confirm that none of our team attended the festival this year.
Over the course of the coming weeks and months, I will be sending a weekly update to all of our financial planning partners. This is to ensure that we provide a regular flow of information to help with your client conversations and meetings, as well as making informed decisions during this difficult period. I recognise that we are working together, in partnership, and I want to assure you of the extent to which we are working as a company to provide the level of service you need in these times.
I hope that this letter provides additional comfort. Should you have any questions which we can help to answer, please speak to your relationship manager, or our support teams. We look forward to navigating this situation together and returning to more certain times as an even stronger team.
Richard Cook, CEO and Founder, Blackfinch Group
Important Information: Capital at risk. This article is issued by Blackfinch Investments Limited (Blackfinch), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA number 153860). Registered address: 1350-1360 Montpellier Court, Gloucester Business Park, Gloucester, GL3 4AH. Registered in England and Wales company number 02705948. This article is for intermediary information only and does not form any offer or invitation to invest. All information correct at March 2020. *