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Published: 11/03/2020

The Capital International Group has moved swiftly to put in place arrangements to mitigate the risks posed by the spread of COVID-19.

At the time of writing the Isle of Man has no confirmed cases of the virus and South Africa has seven. The immediate risk to the Group at the present time remains low. Nevertheless, we are taking our preparations for a more rapid spread of the virus very seriously and we have put in place a range of mitigation measures including:

1. Daily COVID-19 ‘COBRA’ Meetings

• A daily meeting of senior executive and key personnel to coordinate our response;
• Guided by UK/IOM government advice as well as healthcare professionals; and
• A full business continuity plan live test was affected in February.

2. Our First Defence Measures

• Strict hygiene measures have been implemented across all offices and staff, in accordance with official government guidance;
• We have placed a freeze on non-essential business travel;
• Persons at high risk of more severe effects of COVID-19 are to start working from home as a precautionary measure from next week;
• Home care packs will be provided to all self-isolated staff and an enhanced office cleaning regime has now been implemented;
• A schedule of all staff travel is being maintained, with immediate self-isolation for any individuals demonstrating symptoms (none as yet) or having visited affected areas.

3. A More Distributed Working Environment

• Our Mill Court business continuity centre is fully activated with 40 workstations. Our fully virtualised system architecture enables staff to work from any remote Wi-Fi location;
• To minimise potential spread of infection, from next week staff will be distributed between a range of locations including our main offices, the Mill Court BCP site and homeworking;
• In addition, we have a supply of laptops and mobile devices available to senior staff for remote working;
• Meetings are to be kept short and with a minimum of personnel, and we will continue to make extensive use of our videoconferencing facilities whenever possible.

4. Counterparties

• Financial risks to the Group from counterparties continue to be assessed as very low, with no principal market risks maintained within the Group; and
• Our Assets & Liability Committee (ALCO) meet regularly to review changing counterparty risks; and all major counterparties have been contacted to assess their preparedness.

5. Markets and Activity

• Resource priority has been given to critical departments including dealing, settlements, investment management and treasury;
• We will continue to provide regular financial market updates from our investment department; and
• Our system’s architecture has proven capable of managing high transactional volumes.

The Group is well prepared for the spread of COVID-19 and we are doing all that we can to ensure that there is no significant disruption to our client service. We will continue to review developments on a daily basis and take such measures as necessary to ensure that Capital International Group both in the Isle of Man and South Africa can continue to conduct business for clients throughout this volatile and difficult time.

Disclaimer: The views thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security.