The Informed Investor
The Investment Counsel Company has been closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rapidly evolving circumstances relating to the outbreak. ICC’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our employees, their families, and our clients. Therefore, we want to share with you information regarding how our Firm is proactively monitoring the situation, and the steps we are taking to help ensure that we continue to operate safely and effectively while continuing to deliver a high level of support and service to our clients. Pursuant to our fiduciary duty to our clients as well as client expectations, ICC has maintained business continuity plans to respond to emergencies, disasters, and contingencies. These policies and procedures are designed to safeguard employees and allow our clients to transact business with minimal to no interruption.
ICC’s business continuity plan is comprehensive and incorporates an emergency management team structure. It was designed to minimize potential disruption in services during an emergency or disaster. The plan has been successfully tested and we are prepared to implement it at any time. The protocols and capabilities within the plan include:
- State-of-the-art technical infrastructure and network capacity to support both an essential staff work-from-home scenario and, in a worst-case scenario, the entire company on an off-site property or work-from-home basis
- Secure, remote access for all employees
- Video capability in place for all employees and senior staff across the firm to communicate with staff, vendors, and clients
- Fully cross-trained key employees for each business unit
Furthermore, our executive team has been meeting regularly to review the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as all state, local and other guidance. The team continues to review the business continuity plan to ensure we have appropriate measures in place that are both proactive and responsive given the unique nature of this outbreak and minimize business disruptions and ensure employee and others’ safety.
Continued Client Service: Our Client Services Managers and Investment Advisors will remain consistently available to handle day-to-day client needs and answer any questions related to your accounts and activity therein. They are supported by a team that will ensure continuity of services and the facilitation of transactions and the production of required analysis.
Additionally, to support our clients’ needs we understand that some in-person meetings may be essential to deliver our services. When in-person meetings occur, we will continue with preventative measures already in place, such as providing hand sanitizer in our offices and wiping down door handles and other surfaces regularly. However, in light of current conditions, we encourage our clients to take advantage of phone and/or web conferencing in lieu of in-person meetings where available and when convenient.
Internal Systems and Data: Technology and reporting capabilities are an important component of our client services. Applications such as email, electronic records, data availability, research resources and analytics are also of utmost importance to us in delivering a high level of client service. These applications are accessible remotely and within a secure environment.
Service Providers and Custodians: We communicated with our vendors to reaffirm our understanding of their business continuity plans should there be a disruption of service, with a focus on continuity of services and support availability.
In the event that we are required to implement our business continuity plan, we will repeatedly assess the plan to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our clients and adjust it as needed. It is our sincere hope that that these precautions will not be implemented, but again, our employee’s health and well-being, and the integrity of our Firm’s operational units remain our utmost priority.
Thank you for your continued confidence and trust.
Randy A. Garcia, Chief Executive Officer