Lincoln Financial Quarantines Advisors/Employees Who Attended Conference
The long tentacles of the coronavirus have reached advisors and employees of Lincoln Financial Network (LFN) who met at a resort that housed another event attended by someone who contracted the virus.
The event, and a preliminary meeting for about 25 LFN officials, overlapped with the Conservative Political Action Conference, whose sponsor disclosed on Saturday that an attendee at the February 26-29 event had been hospitalized.
“[O]ut of an abundance of caution, we are requiring that all Lincoln employees, or any advisors who work out of a Lincoln office who attended the meeting, must work from home for the next 14 days,” Lincoln told employees in a memo reviewed by AdvisorHub. “We strongly recommend that you consider limiting your physical interaction with others for the next 14 days.”
The work-at-home order, which sources said affected many of the Radnor, Pa.-based company’s top managers and executives, went into effect on Monday. A Lincoln Financial spokesman declined to disclose how many managers, executives and independent advisors attended the meetings.
Lincoln has about 8,900 affiliated brokers, insurance agents and financial planners throughout the U.S. The company is not aware that any attendee or family member has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, said Scott Sloat, the spokesman.
The pandemic has affected businesses nationwide, including other wealth management firms.
Morgan Stanley confirmed this week that an employee at the headquarters of its wealth management division in suburban New York City tested positive for COVID-19. The firm deep-cleaned its offices last weekend, and advised employees and clients who had contact with the individual to self-quarantine. (Morgan Stanley had earlier instructed some Manhattan-based traders to work from its Purchase, NY, campus.)
Wells Fargo & Co. scoured a downtown San Francisco location of Wells Fargo Advisors last weekend after an employee at its 555 California Street branch was diagnosed with the virus. It also instructed colleagues who had been in close contact with the employee to work from home for 14 days.
J.P. Morgan Chase has been testing various methodologies and communications systems to facilitate alternative work schedules. A broker at J.P. Morgan Securities in the southern U.S. said the firm has split advisors and staff in his office into A and B teams that will begin two-week alternating shifts of working from home as of Monday.
A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan Securities declined to verify that such schedules are being implemented in part or in whole across the bank.
Lincoln Financial, like businesses nationwide, has told employees and affiliated brokers to limit their non-business travel and use video and teleconferencing. It also is evaluating whether to cancel upcoming meetings.
The annual meeting of The Resource Group club for Lincoln Financial Network’s top 200 financial planners is scheduled for Las Vegas at the end of April, according to a firm website, and its Chairman’s Council honors trip to Barcelona has been planned for the end of May.
At least five Republican lawmakers who attended the CPAC conference have quarantined themselves. One, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, has been designated as President Trump’s next acting chief of staff.