06th April 2020
Rarely in our history have we – as individuals, as companies, as countries and as a global society – faced such uncertainty. Over the last few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rapidly changing circumstances and accelerated decision making, leaving many fearful of what’s to come.
While we are inarguably witnesses to a major trial for our increasingly connected world, we are also participants. Participants who must actively consider how our actions affect one another, and our collective future. By being informed, remaining calm and making measured decisions, each of us can have an impact on the outcome of this situation.
With that in mind, I wanted to share our thinking here at Raymond James, and our approach to being a thoughtful, responsible participant in managing through this crisis.
Our focus is on people
As the spread of the coronavirus continues, Raymond James is closely watching new information from health and government officials as it is shared, while prudently planning for the future. Our focus remains first and foremost on the health and safety of clients, wealth management teams and head office associates. At the same time, we endeavour to continue to maintain service standards to you and your wealth managers.
In order to help keep associates safe, we have the vast majority of our head office team working from home, with technology and collaboration tools in place to ensure we can all accomplish our jobs. The remaining staff members are performing vital tasks at head office that currently require onsite execution. For these latter Key Workers, they are attending the office either by driving, taking a taxi, cycling or adjusting hours to ensure they stay off the tube as requested by Transport for London, while also practising social distancing.
Post is our challenge, given the majority of staff are working from home. Inevitably any post may also be delayed. Your wealth managers are already taking steps to ensure account opening and other documents are delivered to us electronically. We ask that you make all payments to us electronically rather than by cheque.
Importantly, we are empowering our managers and asking them to be flexible, especially for associates at higher risk for significant complications from the virus, for those who have family members at higher risk, or who face challenges related to childcare.
Our associates are our most valuable resource – and we will continue to make decisions with their health and well-being at the forefront.
We are ready to support you
Each of our head office associates is solidly focused on living our commitment to put clients first –and that includes you as well as our wealth management teams located throughout the UK. That commitment begins long before there’s a crisis, by maintaining a conservative balance sheet that allows us to react appropriately. Because of that discipline, I can confidently say: Our financial position is strong.
We are fortunate in that Raymond James Financial as well as Raymond James Investment Services are well capitalised and are better placed than many to absorb these shocks.
In spite of analysts’ criticisms that Raymond James Financial – our parent company – is over-capitalised, we entered this quarter with more than $1 billion in cash, with a total capital ratio roughly two-and-a-half times the US regulatory requirement. Our S&P rating is BBB+ with a stable outlook, the same as many of the largest firms in our industry.
From a UK perspective, Raymond James Investment Services is also extremely conservatively capitalised – at over five times UK regulatory requirements.
Because of our historically conservative management approach, including a recent emphasis on cost management to offset an anticipated slowdown, we are well-positioned to not only make it through these troubling times but emerge stronger, just as we have through prior market disruptions.
At Raymond James, we often talk about our values-based culture
About how that culture is what sets us apart from other companies, how it’s what makes us – as our vision statement articulates – a firm as unique as the people we serve. I am confident we will weather this situation, just as we have persisted through past turmoil, by keeping our focus on the long-term, maintaining the best possible service levels for the clients and wealth management teams we serve, and most importantly, showing – as individuals and as a firm – that caring for each other is our most important calling.
Thank you to every one of our associates and wealth managers who are seeing us through this trying time, and to each of our clients for entrusting us with such an important part of your life.
We will all get through this together.
Chief Executive Officer, Raymond James UK
Disclaimer: Past performance is not an indication of future results. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell Raymond James Financial stock. A credit rating of a security is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities and may be subject to review, revisions, suspension, reduction or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency