Mailing puzzles to clients, launching an adviser TV channel and producing a hub for clients to facilitate remote advice – these are just some of the ways major advice firms are tackling the coronavirus crisis.
As the Government instructed people who could to work from home last week to do so, advice firms have quickly adapted to changed circumstances at a time when many clients are relying on them more than ever.
Here is what some of the giants of the sector are doing during the Covid-19 crisis:
St James's Place (SJP)
SJP senior partner Adam Johnson said the firm was as busy as ever with client enquiries and was able to keep up with demand by moving to online correspondence.
"There's a line that goes around at SJP that financial advice is a contact sport and we're having to come to terms with it not being a contact sport anymore," he explained.
"While we lose some of the look and the smell and the feel test of being in someone's home with them, because of the nature of a video conference… they tend to be shorter conversations because they're much more directly focused on… the key issues at hand and it's been really productive.
"This is always the time of the year when we're at our most frantic and we are a bit busier as a consequence of clients worrying."
Johnson, who works from SJP's New Forest office where staff are currently splitting their time between home and office-based work, deals with a lot of vulnerable clients.
"We are reaching out to those clients who are on their own, they're bored, they're stuck, we've got clients who haven't got family around them so they haven't got a support network to engage with.
"For some of those guys, it's just simple stuff, like sending out some puzzles and just saying, ‘look you may not touch this... but there's something for you to do, we're thinking of you and we're there for you'."
SJP has sent puzzle sets to a handful of its vulnerable clients and is advising some of them to rely on their emergency funds, while others are riding the economic storm brought about by coronavirus.
Quilter Financial Planning
Major advice network Quilter Financial Planning has produced a Coronavirus Hub, which houses materials to support its advisers and their clients.
"This includes guidance on how they can deliver advice remotely, both by certain approved video functionality or by telephone, and client facing materials," a Quilter spokesperson explained.
The firm has also generated a guide for investing through volatile times for its advisers and portfolio managers, which aims to help clients invest through the long-term.
Additionally, the firm is looking to set up a podcast with its investment experts to share with advisers.
Schroders has launched a weekly live broadcast, dubbed SchrodersTV, featuring fund managers, economists and senior executives that clients can hear from and speak to.
Schroders intermediary solutions director Gillian Hepburn said: "In times of high economic volatility and with a limited ability to see all our clients, including financial advisers face-to-face, our focus remains on providing timely and comprehensive insights from our teams to help advisers and their clients make more informed decisions.
"We host two live broadcasts on each transmission date to reach our international audience. Our daily investment news pieces from across our asset classes, economies and geographies are distributed to our investors and posted online for them to refer back to."
Hepburn added the firm was mindful of the challenges faced by its advisers due to the added workload and logistical demands placed on them.
She said the company had invested in technology to support agile working and Schroders' advisers remained "in dialogue with their investors to respond to their requests during this challenging period".
This article first appeared on our sister title Professional Adviser