PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 31

themselves with the process before formally attempting it
with a client, Lee says.
Video conferences are generally the most effective tool,
short of meeting in person, agrees Scott Weighart, director
of learning and development at Bates Communications in
Boston. Among the clients of this leadership coaching and
consulting firm are several major recordkeepers. " If you have
a recurring biweekly staff meeting, try meeting via video
conference every other session, " Weighart says. " Or use video
chat for your recurring one-on-one meetings. You'll find
there's a different level of engagement and participation. "
Because connecting to a video conference can be cumbersome,
make sure everyone logs on at least 10 minutes before
the start time, he suggests. If the meeting has 10 or more
participants, one way to ensure they remain engaged is to
use polls or chat boxes that let them weigh in with their
thoughts, he says. " Give the group reasons to be actively
engaged. Don't speak for more than five minutes without
opening it up for discussion to get others speaking. "
Microsoft Teams is another great resource, Lee says.
This cloud-based virtual communication program is part
of Office 365, connecting to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.,
and providing a video conferencing and messaging platform.
Like Zoom, it features screen sharing-helpful when
advisers cannot meet their clients in person, Lee says.
Loom and BombBomb allow you to make short videos of
yourself-from 30 seconds to one minute-over your iPhone,
he adds. These can be superimposed onto the corner of a
PowerPoint presentation, so the speaker is seen explaining
the information on the screen. " Advisers can use this technique
to keep their face in front of their clients without a lot
of effort, " Lee says.
Regardless of what method is used, encouraging participants
to stay invested is key, says Larry Divers, executive
vice president at Cannon Financial Institute in Boston. Many
are " scared of the volatility in the markets and the uncertainty
for the economy, " he notes. " Their overriding question
is: 'What should I be doing right now?' "
Jean Duffy, senior vice president and financial adviser
at CAPTRUST in Des Moines, Iowa, says retirement plan
advisers should be ready to respond quickly to both plan
sponsor and participant questions. They should also be
empathetic, as many participants are struggling financially.
In fact, one CAPTRUST plan sponsor client told her it had
just laid off 80% of its employees.
Think Creatively
Creativity can go a long way to compensate for needing to
advise remotely. One firm, Two West Advisors, in Overland,
Kansas, has launched a virtual, private consultation service
to help any of the 30,000 retirement plan participants it serves
who are financially affected by the coronavirus. CEO Marko
Ungashick says this additional service is free of charge to
clients. " We simply reconfigured our staff's time and trained
them to handle virtual participant calls. Luckily, we had just
installed Zoom about a year ago, so we were well on our way
to providing virtual meetings with ease, " he says.
" The [one-on-one] meetings consist of scheduled appointments,
in order for our financial experts to review each
individual participant's information in advance and be
prepared to have an informed conversation, " says Two
West President Ryan Rink.
The service has been well-received. " In the height of the
market volatility, we saw a significant spike in the request
for virtual meetings from the participants we serve, "
Ungashick says.
The service also will remain available for the foreseeable
future. " It's a volatile time, " Rink says. " As long as there's a
demand for it from our customers, we'll make it work. "
Cybersecurity Is Critical
As the adviser community has transitioned to remote-based
work, cybersecurity and protecting sensitive information
should be top of mind, says attorney Cassandra Labbees, a
member of the employee benefits and executive compensation
practice at law firm Epstein Becker Green in New York
City. " Employees' Wi-Fi systems should be private and password
protected, " she says. " Should their system go down, they
should not access public Wi-Fi. Instead, they should contact
their IT [information technology] department for help. "
Reiko Feaver, a partner in the Atlanta office of Culhane
Meadows, one of the largest cloud-based law firms in the
country, says advisory practices should regularly remind
their employees not to open suspicious email, which could
contain malware.
" There are a lot of phishing emails being sent right now
with the subject line 'Coronavirus' and posing as coming
from legitimate sources, " Feaver points out. The laptops that
employees use should be password protected and lock after a
period of time, be it one to five minutes, she says. If they are
on the phone discussing confidential information, employees
should even consider turning off smart assistant speakers or
other cloud-based voice activation systems, she says.
Clear Guidelines
It is important for advisory practices to set clear guidelines
for those working remotely, says Tara Wolckenhauer, division
vice president of human resources (HR) at ADP in Roseland,
New Jersey. " The key to working from home is creating
a framework for your day, just as you would if you were in
the office, " she says. " Set clear guidelines on when to start,
when to take a break and when to end the day, to help avoid
burnout and the pressure to be 'always on.' "
When interacting with plan sponsors remotely, Wolckenhauer
says, " The best way to deliver customer service is to
be present, be polite, listen and seek to understand. Agree on
actions, and confirm next steps. Even though meetings are
no longer in person, overcommunicating deliverables and
next steps reinforce an adviser's commitment to service. A
client should still feel it is the No. 1 priority regardless of
where the work is taking place.
" Regular one-on-one check-ins are a good practice to keep
an open dialogue, " she continues. " While working remotely, a
simple 'Hi' can go a long way with clients. " -Lee Barney May-June 2020 | 31

PLANADVISER - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - May/June 2020

All That Goes Into a Practice
Compliance When It's Tough
A Case For Both
The Alternative Workplace
Damage Control in a Downturn
An Uptick in Customer Arbitration?
Client Relationship Summary
Evaluating Reg BI Compliance
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover1
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover2
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 1
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 2
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 3
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 4
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 5
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PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 9
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 10
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 11
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 2020 PLANADVISER DCIO Survey
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 13
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 14
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 15
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PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 17
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 18
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 19
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - All That Goes Into a Practice
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 21
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 22
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 23
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Compliance When It's Tough
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 25
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 26
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 27
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - A Case For Both
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 29
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - The Alternative Workplace
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 31
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 32
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 33
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Damage Control in a Downturn
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 35
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 36
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - An Uptick in Customer Arbitration?
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Client Relationship Summary
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Evaluating Reg BI Compliance
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 40
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover3
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover4