Steward Partners’ Jim Gold – Coronacrash Update with Tony Sirianni
AdvisorHub’s Publisher & CEO — Tony Sirianni — asked executives from top firms their opinions on the dual management of the Coronavirus and market meltdown crises. Read how leadership is managing one of the most unique challenges we have faced as a financial community.
Here is how Jim Gold, CEO of Steward Partners Global Advisory responded.
What is Steward Partners communicating to clients in response to current market conditions and COVID-19?
Our firm is focused on continuing to do what we’ve always done, which is serve our clients to the best of our ability. We understand the current situation is continually evolving, and that investors have concerns about what this could mean for themselves, their families, and their portfolios. To address those concerns, our advisors have been proactive in staying in front of clients and communicating that now is the time to remain calm and that our team and resources continue to be available to them 24/7. We’ve had advisors producing podcasts to address common client questions, appearing on local news networks to calm investor uncertainty, and sharing thoughts directly with clients via email and social media. Amidst all the current uncertainty and volatility, it’s been incredible to watch our team tirelessly working to help their clients.
Internally, we’ve been holding recurring conference calls for the last two weeks – both with leadership and for all 223 of our employees – and have been sending regular email updates to the team as the situation develops. As a company built around partnership, we’re strong believers in the value of consistent, clear communication with our team, especially in times like this.
Has Steward had to close any offices or change operations?
Our team and clients’ safety are our biggest priority. One of the great things about our platform is that it grants our advisors the flexibility to access everything they need to serve their clients remotely. We haven’t closed any offices yet – but we may do so at any point we feel it’s necessary – and we have not dictated whether advisors must come into the office or not. Instead, our advisors can decide for themselves if they’d like to work remotely depending on their own individual situation and local guidelines. This flexibility is also extended to all of Steward Partners’ administrative and support staff so that everyone at the firm can work from home if they would like to do so. Things are moving extremely quickly and it’s important that our staff have the flexibility to react as needed. Ultimately, with the support of Raymond James’ technology, our teams can conduct business and operations as usual even when they are not physically in the office.
What sort of resources are you making available to advisors?
We have been holding regular calls for advisors with various asset managers and market strategists to make sure any questions they may have are addressed. We also have been circulating market insights pieces from our partners which explore various reactions to and impact from this situation across all asset classes. This includes webinars, videos, and live market updates that every advisor can leverage in their practice and relay to clients as they see fit. On top of this, our relationship with Raymond James provides advisors with access to their robust network of tools, programs, and educational resources to help them best guide their clients through this period.
While some speculate the market volatility could resolve itself quickly, others worry we could be entering into a long-term bear market and/or recession. Is the firm preparing for this in any way and how are you thinking about this from a strategic leadership perspective?
We certainly understand that concern and we feel extremely confident and well-prepared for continued uncertainty in the markets. From a strategic standpoint, Steward Partners is well-capitalized. Last year we received a sizeable investment from the Cynosure Group, who have been an amazing partner for us and have helped position us for growth even in periods of uncertainty like the one we are currently experiencing. This in turn allows us to remain laser focused on maintaining our fast-paced growth trajectory. We continue to assess additional M&A opportunities and our recruiting pipeline is as strong and promising as it’s ever been.
Ultimately, we have no way to tell what the future holds with the market downturn or COVID-19, but we built this firm knowing that periods of uncertainty like this would arise and we feel well-prepared to support our advisors and clients through this and over the long-term. Watching the novel coronavirus spread has been difficult, and the economic fallout is naturally making clients feel nervous and anxious. But financial advisors’ value to clients truly comes out in times such as this, and we’ll continue to invest in our business and give our teams all the support they need to be the best partners to their clients right now.
Steward Partners Global Advisory, LLC maintains a separate professional business relationship with, and our registered professionals offer securities through, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Steward Partners Investment Advisory, LLC.
Any opinions are those of Jim Gold, and not necessarily those of Raymond James.
Jim Gold, CEO
Steward Partners Global Advisory LLC
1776 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006