At this time of great uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the subsequent impact on global markets, we want to share with you the thoughtful and precautionary steps that PIMCO has taken to ensure business continuity and support our clients.
PIMCO’s business continuity team is leading our response to COVID-19 globally and coordinating with members of the firm’s Executive Committee, office heads and regional leadership around the world. Most importantly, all decisions that PIMCO has taken are to ensure the safety and well-being of our clients and our more than 2,800 employees globally, while fulfilling our commitment to investors and fiduciary responsibility of managing client portfolios to the highest standard.
PIMCO has considerable business continuity resources and contingency plans to manage this event. We have activated some of these in recent weeks, and have additional options at our disposal to manage a broad range of potential outcomes. We have invested significantly in technology and related security to ensure we are prepared for a range of external crisis events to ensure the management of your assets.
PIMCO has implemented the following measures, among others:
- Offsite portfolio management: We have taken the precautionary step of splitting our largest trading function in Newport Beach across different locations, and leveraged our many trading offices globally to minimize the chance of disruption to our portfolio management team.
- Social distancing: We have ensured that employees in many of our global offices have the systems, processes and technology necessary to continue to conduct business remotely, if necessary.
- Travel restrictions and visitor access: We have limited all travel and implemented processes by which we can continue to service clients remotely through video conferencing. All visitors to our buildings are being asked about their recent travel history and alternative arrangements are being made if they have visited the areas we outline in our policies.
- Government guidelines: We have aligned our response with the guidelines and recommendations of national and regional governments, global and local health authorities and medical and policy experts – whether these guidelines are recommended or mandated.
- Protocols for illness and high risk individuals: We have strict and clear protocols for employees and business heads to follow in the event an employee or a close family member/roommate tests positive for coronavirus. We are encouraging those at high risk to work remotely.
- Thought leadership: We are providing clients with clear and thoughtful commentaries and real-time analysis on these complex markets through published content and frequent media appearances.
- Communications: We are providing frequent and clear guidance to employees about latest events, policies and procedures and to managers about their role in managing their teams in this fluid situation. We have armed employees with relevant information from multiple channels in real time, such as WHO and the U.S. CDC, to keep them fully informed.
- Medical and policy expertise: We are in regular consultation with medical and policy professionals with considerable expertise in government response to epidemic and pandemic events.
All of these measures are to protect our clients and employees, provide them comfort and ensure the seamless continuity of business.
We realize this is a period of great uncertainty for you, both professionally and personally, but we want you to know that the investments we have made in business continuity and crisis management over many years are designed for events like this. All of us have seen many periods of turbulence over many decades – be they geopolitical, financial or social. We have spent many years preparing for challenges like these to ensure that we manage through them in a calm, thoughtful manner.
As always, we are happy to address any questions or concerns you have on this or any other issue and we thank you for your continued business and valued partnership.
Manny Roman and Dan Ivascyn