Some people think the world has changed as a result of the Coronavirus. In many senses it has, but in others I think there are simply a lot of companies being exposed as the world flies right by them. Right now, you have an opportunity to re-evaluate your financial plans, and your financial partners, for life after the Great Shutdown of 2020.
Over the past several months, we've all seen large financial firms scrambling to provide employees with access to basic operational technology as personnel are forced to work from home. This truly is the very picture of antiquated big business, they’re behind the ball in a rapidly moving world and many of them don’t even realize it.
You see, at Spurstone we haven’t been forced into adapting a contingency plan during this crisis because our advice and client experience is not constrained by the walls of our office or physical proximity. By always focusing on our clients, and their needs, we’ve built a business that has been ready for social distancing before it even became a “thing”.
Our team has always had a relentless drive to provide our clients with an amazing experience without limits or boundaries. Our clients live and travel globally, and the reality of the pre AND post Coronavirus world is that successful businesspeople often struggle to allocate the time to burn traveling between meetings. Knowing this, we’ve always invested a great deal of time and effort into delivering our advice where our clients are. This has meant creating a digital experience that allows all the benefits of meeting in-person with the convenience of meeting no matter the location of a client and their spouse.
So here we are, in an environment where people can’t leave their homes, can’t meet in person and need highly specialized financial guidance. The benefits of our firm’s virtual client experience in this environment was especially clear recently with a new client.
This client was referred to our team and experienced our 10Ex Executive Wealth Audit. As we evaluated his financial strategies and goals, one of his main concerns was his substantial exposure to his employer stock and his difficulty managing that as an insider at his employer, being restricted to trading employer stock only on specific trading days and with prior legal approval.
Through the 10Ex Executive Wealth Audit, we developed a stock sale strategy aimed at reducing employer stock risk and mitigating tax exposure over time. One of our first goals was to use his upcoming trading window to sell very specific employer stock holdings. These stock positions are held at the plan administrator and to ensure proper execution, we needed to be with the executive when the sale orders were entered.
The problem was that during his open window, he had an incredibly packed schedule of domestic and international travel, leaving no physical ability to meet in person. We were able to quickly overcome this hurdle by meeting virtually. Through our innovative technology, we were able to pull in legal counsel for sale approval and immediately execute trading orders while I visually verified all trading activity on his computer screen. We tracked the orders, confirmed the trades to legal and determined his next steps. This was all accomplished as he enjoyed his lunch without ever having to leave the comfort and privacy of his office. Once done, he simply opened his office door and was right back to work. Mission accomplished.
They say luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. That sure proved to be the case here. By following our process, we lucked into some real opportunity. Shortly after this meeting, the Coronavirus swept the world, cratering global markets and this executive’s employer stock as well. The truth is, our preparedness started before we even met. Our team has been preparing and delivering like this for years, sometimes the opportunity shows itself in ways we never expect.
If you or someone you know could benefit from an independent evaluation of their wealth by a team of fiduciary executive wealth specialists, please don’t let social distancing or your proximity to our office location stop you. Right now, is the time to plan for what’s to come.
Please reach out to our team to schedule an introductory virtual meeting from the comfort of your home or office. We are here to support you through these uncertain times.
Partner, Spurstone – Architects of Executive Wealth