The impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 has changed normal business practice for us and our member firms around the world. We have all had to adapt very quickly to ensure we can ensure key priorities are met, specifically the well-being of our staff and minimisation of disruption to the delivery of our services.

I am pleased to report that we are succeeding on both fronts. Lines of communication are very much open for members, clients, prospective business partners and other stakeholders. To ensure we are able to deliver our services to you, we have improved existing processes and introduced new measures as part of our ‘Business Continuity Plan’.

Remote working

We are closely following UK Government guidelines on running our business while avoiding unnecessary risk to public health. Working remotely and from home is second nature to our staff. And with working hours being far from regular even under ‘normal circumstances’, staff are able to flex their working hours to accommodate the demands that social distancing and self isolation places upon their family lives. Our staff will not be travelling overseas until we receive official assurance that it is safe for them to do so.

As we use hosted cloud solutions such as Office 365, Zoom, Salesforce and WhatsApp, we can continue to communicate as before and provide our membership services remotely. So while we cannot meet in person right now, we are able to meet with you and have a “virtual handshake” over Zoom video conferencing or over the phone, WhatsApp or Skype as needed. Our phone lines are also redirected to our mobile phones- see our Contact Us page for the details of our UK and US based staff members. 

While we are staying away from our offices at the current time, the staff at the Executive Office remain accessible to you from their home offices. With approximately 60 years’ combined experience of working for international alliances, we are probably unique in having a very committed team with this level of expertise- I am sure this will prove to be a huge asset during these difficult times. Therefore, if a member of the team is unavailable for any reason, rest assured that another member of our team will be able to step up to look after you.

Maintaining focus and growth

2020 has been a good year so far with nine new firms joining our alliance. With interest in membership remaining high, we anticipate that we will still be able to grow at a steady rate in 2020 and are determined to keep business moving while being empathetic to the demands placed on our staff and members at this time. While growth in some geographic areas and aspects of the business will be more challenging, we will use the next few months to fine tune other areas of our business to ensure we emerge stronger from this crisis. As mentioned above, we are everyday users of video conferencing and are busy arranging virtual meetings with prospective members who are invited to contact Damien McMenamin or Sophia Rook-Blackstone in the first instance. 

Our events programme

We have now postponed several conferences across the world to later in the year or to 2021 as we have a duty of care to our members to ensure they are safe and comfortable while attending our events. The status of each of our meetings can be checked on our events pages or on our Coronavirus updates page. For now, we will be replacing some of our events in the short term with online meetings to maintain contact between our members within regions and across the world and to ensure helpful insights can still be acquired and shared. As one of our members commented recently, “While we must keep a distance right now, we must not cut relationships.” More information on our events programme will be available soon.

In times of uncertainty, communication is vital and we will keep you updated in the coming weeks on not only how we are managing and adapting, but also on how members around the world are managing.

We celebrated 40 years in business last year and have survived several disruptive events in our history. We are determined to continue to serve you and to do everything within our control to reduce the risk to our staff and members and to come out the other side of this crisis in a stronger position than ever.

We are here when you need us

Alliott Group provides a huge support network for all of its members – we are a close-knit community and relationships go far beyond business. Feel free to reach out to me, the Executive Team, Board and members of your Regional Advisory Committee at any time.

We wish you, your staff and your families well and encourage you to share positive news whenever you can- the world needs this right now.

Giles Brake
COO, Alliott Group

Giles Brake, COO, Alliott Group