Communication shared with all UK contacts on 17 March 2020 but still remains relevant today.
Important update from Insight: COVID-19 contingency planning
We wanted to give you a brief update on Insight's plans to support you in delivering your objectives during this difficult period.
Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to say that we hope that you, your family and your colleagues remain safe through this period and our thoughts and best wishes are with you.
Our Executive Management Team and Crisis Management Team continue to closely monitor the situation as it evolves and are prepared to take the appropriate action as necessary. We have been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak carefully and regularly updating our approach in response to it. A summary of our readiness follows below.
Business continuity at Insight
Insight has well-established business continuity plans which allow for working from home using our remote access services. These services are capable of supporting situations where all colleagues are using remote access concurrently. Our systems, including our communications for all staff and trading capabilities for investment staff, are configured to allow our teams to use them remotely, should limitations be placed on access to our business premises. We operate a vendor management process and have contacted these partners, including confirming the readiness of our critical partners.
Information for Insight clients
Our client teams are available to discuss with you any issues affecting your investment strategy. Specific written updates may be provided by email where relevant.
Our Market Monitor provides a daily update of market movements. We are, wherever possible and where it is necessary to do so, continuing with meetings via video conferencing services and conference calls. We have postponed a number of planned events involving large gatherings of people and we will continue to keep contacts up to date regarding our events and conferences programme.
We are doing our utmost to make sure clients' mandates remain resilient to market volatility. We would note the following:
- For clients with liability-driven investment (LDI) mandates, this includes focusing on maintaining the accuracy of liability hedges and maintaining funding of exposures (e.g. repo).
- For mandates with leverage, we are monitoring collateral pools very closely, and aim to contact clients to discuss any collateral needs in a timely manner. In particular, clients with synthetic equity mandates or material inflation-only hedges may wish to prepare in case a top-up is required.
- Allocation decisions are being taken prudently in light of the fact that transaction costs, in many cases, are unusually high given variable market liquidity.
- For clients and advisers considering changes to mandates, we are providing relevant up-to-date information. Where we feel it is necessary to amend mandate terms to help navigate prevailing market conditions, we will contact clients and advisers.
- Where transitions are set to begin or are in progress, we are contacting clients and advisers to review plans where necessary.
- Active fixed income funds continue to be managed, but we are respectful of market volatility and increased trading costs at this time. It is likely that when liquidity returns, there will be a number of opportunities that we can take advantage of, however for now our turnover within portfolios is clearly lower.
Advice for Insight staff
Appropriate internal communications have been issued to ensure all colleagues are aware of their responsibilities and we have been updating our business travel and work at home guidance. We have upgraded hygiene measures in our offices; and our HR team is offering advice to employees potentially affected by COVID-19 and a reminder of WHO best practices to minimise the risk of contagion has been circulated to all employees.
A public notice covering our readiness can be viewed on our websites and is accessible here.
Should you have any other queries please contact your Insight team.