Clients’ well-being is usually top priority for financial advisers, but financial advisers’ well-being is also important. In order to support this, Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG) and Care First has launched a Covid-19 adviser hub.
The hub provides advisers with a range of practical information and tools, which is based on the latest expert knowledge and guidance from across the financial services industry and beyond.
John Cowan, executive chairman (SBG) said: “The coronavirus pandemic is an economic and social crisis beyond the scale any of us has witnessed in our lifetime. As a profession we need to work together in these unprecedented times and rise to the challenge in front of us.
“Drawing on our in-house expertise, along with input from across the financial services industry and beyond, we will help advisory firms to protect the wellbeing of themselves, their staff and their customers. Nobody can predict how this pandemic will play out or indeed how long it will last.
“However, with events unfolding daily it’s important for us to provide clarity on the issues that matter. Our new hub is part of our group’s commitment to support financial advisers and help them to get through this crisis.”
Split into four key sections, the hub covers:
Personal well-being: Hints and tips to help advisers and their customers to stay healthy – both physically and mentally. This includes support articles, guides and resources to help advisers and their customers to feel more at ease about the current uncertainty.
Business & Financial well-being: Information and guidance for both business owners and advisers on how they can navigate through this challenging period and emerge as a better business. This includes advice on, for example, government support plans and business continuity planning, right through to advice on remote working. There will also be hints and tips on customer engagement strategies to help advisers to maintain their quality of service to customers.
Market news: The latest information on what is happening across our market, with regular updates from mortgage lenders, product providers and investment houses. This insight will help advisory firms to stay up to date on market developments as they plan and implement their customer contact programmes.
Questions & Answers: A rolling Q&A will ensure that advisers can get answers to the issues that are most relevant to them. It will give firms a single source of information to visit and return to on a regular basis.
In addition to this the hub also provides links to other organisations offering useful information and resources that advisers can access to help them through this challenging period.
What do advisers think?
Martin Bamford, managing director of Informed Choice and chartered financial planner (CFP) says: “If anything, the coronavirus crisis has resulted in much-improved health. My diet is a whole lot better, taking time to prepare meals and buy quality food from local independent shops.
“I’m getting more sleep, no longer forcing myself out of bed early each morning to get to the office at a respectable time. I’m more intentional with my daily exercise, enjoying a long walk of five to eight miles a day while listening to audiobooks and enjoying the local countryside, including spectacular bluebell woods. The hardest thing will be keeping up these improved habits, if, and when things return to normal.”
Lee Chambers, a former financial adviser and now an environmental psychologist and well-being consultant says it is important for advisers to invest in some self-care: “It’s really important to look after both your body and mind in these challenging times. Even if your isolated to a single room, you can still meditate, do bodyweight exercise, or some yoga. Use this time to boost your well-being with an activity you love but don’t often have time to do.”
Chambers says it is also important for advisers to maintain social connection in other ways like video calling your friends and family; setting up a WhatsApp group to simulate office chat: “It’s especially important to call to others who are isolating so you can support each other, and to speak to other advisers who understand your challenges. Finally, get some fresh air, greenery and sunlight where possible: If you are able, go on a walk at a quiet time, this can really boost your well-being. If you can’t leave, utilise your garden, get the windows open, enjoy your house plants.