Whether it is wildfires on the West Coast, ice and snow in the Middle West, or tropical storms in the Southeast, one common thread is the questionable nature of business continuity in the face of nature’s force. Regulators, seeing the potential disruption of the financial industry and harm to its clients in such cases, have made it a priority to require advisory firms to put in place comprehensive plans for disaster recovery and business continuity.
Leaving aside for the moment the question of how many clients, caught in the throes of a natural disaster, would be focused on the details of an aspect of their financial plans or desirous of making a specific trade, the pertinent question may be how would one ensure that any such client requests could be handled promptly and effectively whatever the weather.
The good news is that advances in technology and particularly the availability of data, applications and access through the cloud have made it far easier and more effective for advisers to provide service in the face of natural and other disasters. The need for access to a physical office or a particular computer is no longer essential as simply having access to the internet may allow the adviser to place trades, modify plans, send reports and otherwise communicate with and for the clients.
Now when a storm threatens, an adviser can notify clients of the best way to communicate as well as to shift location to ensure that business will continue despite the reach and effects of the disruption. With their finances in good hands, clients will have at least one burden lifted from them as they, in turn, prepare for the storm and handle their own issues and preparations. What better way for an adviser to reassure clients and reinforce the adviser’s value to them.