Covid-19 has created a real test and challenge for any business leader, and it has certainly been no different for me.
On one hand, I have had to consider how we protect our people and our business during a period of great uncertainty and disruption while, on the other, making sure we continue to look after our clients and deliver for the advisers we partner with.
First and foremost, it has been important to me that we demonstrate compassion and empathy in everything that we do and say.
In the early days of the pandemic, the impact caused a great deal of worry and disruption not just to business but also to each of us personally.
I felt strongly that I had to step back and consider what our people and our clients needed most from us.
For our people, many struggled with the sudden loss of the office chatter that creates a strong sense of community.
So one of the first changes we made was a regular stand-up team meeting to check how everyone was feeling that day - also proving a great way to keep engagement and motivation.
These conversations have given us insight on challenges that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. For example, those working from home with children, or as carers, have been able to raise concerns about how they juggle their responsibilities.
We have worked closely with those impacted to understand what they need from us, with many now working flexibly.
We are running short pulse surveys to identify what is working well and what more we need to do. For instance, we had not anticipated how many were used to working with multiple screens.
So we made monitors available, along with other equipment such as lumbar supports, ensuring that everyone is comfortable and healthy while at home.
Our wellbeing activity has also increased, with lots on offer from virtual fitness classes, to yoga and mindfulness.
For our clients, the strength of our relationships and the value of our expertise have both been critical in helping give peace of mind. Communication remains key, and the pandemic has really underlined the value of professional advice.
From day one, our response has been to stay connected and, as markets plummeted, we were able to reassure our clients. It has been so encouraging to receive thank you messages from our clients for the support we have given through these turbulent times.
Another early focus for me was the recognition that we had to rapidly move to a new operating model, which pretty much changed overnight.
We have been investing in our technology and processes in recent years which gave a strong base, but it was still a big ask to move to a different way of home working.
We transitioned at pace, often under pressure, and it is testament to the hard work, commitment and innovation of so many across the business that we achieved this successfully in just a matter of days.