March 3, 2020
Given the potential for the coronavirus (COVID-19) to impact the standard operations of U.S. businesses, we are sharing the article below, which provides an overview of our approach to business continuity. In addition to our standard business continuity plan, we have been making additional preparations specific to the coronavirus and are confident we can continue to operate effectively in the event that the virus necessitates changes to our business-as-usual practices. We will provide updated material on the fiduciary-trust.com home page if there is important information to report.
At Fiduciary Trust, we have a long-standing business continuity program that helps ensure that we are well prepared for extraordinary situations that could impact our operations. In designing our program, we have considered a wide variety of scenarios and developed approaches to mitigate associated risks so we can continue to function effectively. We periodically review, test and update the program to confirm it is operational and effective.
Some examples of our business continuity capabilities and practices are:
- A back-up location outside of Boston to which we can move our key operational personnel in the event our buildings and systems are not available
- The ability for our employees to securely access our systems should they be required to work remotely
- The capability to transition our work processes to accommodate large-scale remote work
- Cross-training of employees so that we have back-up personnel available if a number of employees are unavailable to work
- Offsite, secure, real-time back-up of our client account information and trading systems
- Robust information security practices and systems, including automated filtering of communications, external penetration testing by third parties, and employee information security training
- Annual testing of our back-up site and systems
- Annual review of all business impact analyses of all critical processes
- Annual review of the business continuity practices of our key vendors
- Annual review of Fiduciary’s business continuity processes by independent auditors
- A process for timely communication to clients, vendors, and other parties
Some disruptions provide little advanced warning to implement our business continuity program. As a result, we have established and tested detailed plans for a variety of potential scenarios. In the event planning time is available, such as for a pandemic, we perform additional detailed design and testing to further prepare us for a smooth transition to alternative processes, should they be required.
There are steps that clients, vendors, and others can take that will further contribute to the efficiency of our business continuity program, as well as enhance their own resiliency if they experience a disruption in their own lives or organizations. Our primary recommendation is to use secure digital communications (such as electronic statements via our client portal) and electronic funds transfers, when possible. Not only are electronic channels generally more secure than postal mail, they are faster, easier to access from multiple locations, and typically result in an immediate backup of information. That being said, we do have procedures in place to continue receiving and processing postal mail in the unlikely event we could not access our building.
Given our focus on business continuity and the associated planning, we are confident that we can continue to serve clients effectively in the event of a disruption. If you have questions about our business continuity program, please contact your Fiduciary Trust Officer or Robert Jeffers, Chief Operating Officer, at 617-574-3431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.