We Are Here For You - Northern Trust's Response to the Coronavirus

Posted by FlexShares on Mar 11, 2020 12:00:00 PM

During these turbulent times, we want you, our advisor partners, to know how we are preparing for and reacting to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

Northern Trust continues to closely monitor the situation, taking into account guidance from the CDC and World Health Organization, regulators and local public health departments. Throughout this period, the health and well-being of our clients, advisor partners, workforce, and guests remain our priority.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OUR PREPAREDNESS FOR COVID-19 

We maintain a robust Business Resiliency plan, which includes a detailed Enterprise Pandemic Plan, to enable resilient and recoverable operations to serve our clients. Our Global Business Continuity and Recovery Services team coordinates with multiple groups across the organization to enable a comprehensive approach to the continuity of our business response.

We are actively deploying a number of proactive business continuity protocols and practices across our global locations. These activities, which vary by location and function, are being monitored and coordinated daily by our senior leadership. These include:

  • Deploying social distancing practices, including telecommuting and splitting teams across different offices and/or business resiliency centers.
  • Implementing additional social distancing and redundancy protocols for team members responsible for critical investment management functions within our trading and portfolio management staff.
  • Adapting and refining our established and tested work transfer protocols.
  • Stress testing current Business Continuity Plans for extended periods and/or with a significantly reduced workforce.
  • Canceling, postponing or changing to a virtual format for a number of planned client meetings and industry events. We continue to monitor current developments, and are encouraging our employees to work with clients to schedule virtual meetings whenever possible.
  • Invoking a detailed travel advisory protocol. Currently, employees and contractors are banned from travelling to or from the current CDC Designated High-Impact Areas: mainland China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. All non-essential international business travel is prohibited. We also have encouraged the minimization of all non-essential domestic travel.
  • Monitoring potential vendor risks, including those from software or data vendors. We remain in contact with our key vendors to understand their plans and responses with regard to the pandemic.

GLOBAL BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND RECOVERY

  • We adhere to a business continuity philosophy of “plan globally and act locally,” which enables greater agility and ability to respond with urgency, taking into account specific national and regional expectations, along with the functional requirements of operating a global business.
  • In addition to working with relevant health officials, we are canvassing industry best practices around issues such as travel restrictions, work adjustments, or special work-related accommodations to incorporate key, real-time knowledge-sharing opportunities into our global business continuity review, planning, and action steps.
  • Northern Trust will continue to reinforce its best practices to help ensure all stakeholders’ health and well-being, as well as share important directives on related issues.

While the duration of the current COVID-19 situation remains unclear, we are continually monitoring the situation, and will adapt our protocols as necessary to ensure the safety of our clients, employees, and guests. During this time, our focus will not only extend to events, but also to office visits with Northern Trust partners, who are encouraged to leverage various technology and communications tools (conference calls, video conferencing, WebEx, Skype, etc.) to facilitate conversations and help keep you updated.

We appreciate your partnership during this unprecedented time. If you have additional questions, our Consultants can be reached at 1-855-FlexETF (1-855-353-9383), Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM ET.