A Message to Our Clients
A Message to Our Clients
March 21, 2020
About a week ago, on March 12, we wrote to our clients and friends about the prospect of our team working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was framed as a possibility, and we noted that we felt we were well prepared.
Looking back today, it almost seems quaint that we viewed this as only a potential path we would find ourselves on. The world has continued to change with breathtaking rapidity, and that has impacted our staff and business, just like it has millions of others around the country.
Our entire team is now working from home, and we are pleased to report that we are functioning extremely well. It’s not “normal” by any sense of the word, but we are getting our work done.
In short, we are fully functional. We are executing trades. We are depositing checks, making distributions, and moving funds. We are maintaining our systems. Our Business Continuity team is conducting twice-daily phone calls to assess how the team is functioning and address any needs. Most importantly, we are talking with clients daily to help make sense of these unprecedented times.
While we are very pleased with how things have run this week, we would be naïve to suggest that there haven’t been or won’t be glitches, especially on the technology front. Sometimes phone calls result in fast-busy signals, or the voice mail doesn’t pick up as promptly as we’d expect, or the video chat and screen-sharing features don’t quite work as planned. We are reporting such issues to our vendors to resolve them as needed. These are all minor frustrations in the grand scheme of things.
We would simply ask that if you do experience an issue, please know that our virtual offices are absolutely open, and we are conducting business as closely to normal as possible. You can continue to call us at our regular office numbers, as these “follow us” even when we’re out of the office. If you reach our voice mail, we will return your call as promptly as we can. Each of our staff also has a cell phone number that is displayed in their e-mail signature, so feel free to use that as well. And finally, you can always call the main number (224-632-1600 for Illinois and 414-359-1000 for Wisconsin).
We’d like you to be aware of a few other details:
- Mail sent to our offices is being picked up at least a couple times per week. So please expect a slightly slower turnaround on mailed documents.
- Likewise, we are having overnight mail and other packages re-routed if possible, or will pick them up periodically.
- You can continue to send us faxes as normal since we receive these electronically.
- If you have checks to be deposited into your account, you can continue to send them via mail. But if you prefer, you can often deposit checks electronically yourself. For help in doing so, please contact Toni Bregenzer at 224-632-1598 or .
And lastly, please know that we are being especially vigilant about fraud attempts and other cyber-security threats. In times of stress, fraudsters try to take advantage of weakened systems. As a reminder, all of our systems and applications are accessed via a secure portal, so working remotely does not pose any additional security threats.
Please remember that we will never ask for sensitive information like account numbers, tax identification numbers, and the like via email. And be careful about clicking on any links in an email if you aren’t 100% certain of the source.
Like many around the country, several of our team members are doing double-duty, acting as caretakers, parents, and school teachers in addition to doing their day jobs. That makes for yet another layer of challenges as they work with clients, or help keep the SWP trains running on time. We are extremely grateful for our outstanding staff, and immensely proud of how they have mobilized our contingency plans quickly and effectively.
These are profoundly unsettling times, certainly on a very personal level for all of us. After your personal health and that of your loved ones, safeguarding your wealth in times of stress is likely high on your list of concerns. We take that responsibility seriously, and remain committed to doing the work you’ve engaged us to do.
I am confident that you have experienced the same level of excellent service as always, and would be happy to discuss any concerns that you may have. If you have any issues that you’d like to discuss, please reach out to me (224-632-1610 or ) or to David Copeland (224-632-1620 or ) directly.
Our very best wishes to you and your family to stay safe and healthy.
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