COVID-19 Strategy: Update April 16th

COVID-19 Strategy: Update April 16th

COVID-19 Strategy: Update April 16th

16th April, 2020

First and foremost, we hope you and your families are keeping safe. For a quick update on our position given the evolving situation:

Looking at the data we believe that political messaging has gotten a little ahead of itself and significant lockdown restrictions will remain in place right through the summer and potentially beyond. We believe that these will be most severe in New York and London due to the more extreme outbreaks and underlying factors, for example the reliance on mass transit.

Key measures:

– The Options technology offices in London, New York, Belfast, Auckland, Hong Kong and Singapore will remain closed until at least June 30th;

– We will follow clients’ lead for onsite where possible, barring extreme situations where we believe our staff to be at risk;

– We have teams working from home within walking distance of the majority of client offices and continue to carry out onsite work when required;

– We will extend what has evolved into a hard air travel ban, with staff only flying in exceptional circumstances or to be more correct, we’re operating a hard “work in place” policy;

– We have extended our non-critical change freeze until Tuesday May 5th.

Regarding onsite, since the start of April we only have two client offices across the global client base operating as normal. None of these are in London or New York. Our clients have been leaders in the movement to large scale working from home. Most have taken a long-term view and are investing in preparation for the lock downs taking as long at they need, or even a fundamental shift in work practices.

The vast majority of our clients have been highly supportive of the non-critical change freeze. Still, it’s worth elaborating on what has been and remains our process for filtering this:

– First of all we have prioritised all BCP work, and view it as critical in the short term;

– BCP continues to evolve as firms assess the need for the majority of staff to WFH in the medium to long term;

– On top of that we already have an aggressive cybersecurity roadmap which if anything has accelerated as the criminals set out to exploit the COVID-19 opportunity;

– Also, given the nature of the business anything “front-office” or trading impacting is considered critical;

– We also appreciate that clients have had to dramatically step up “research” so we need to support them on that front.

Or to phrase it another way, we are very focussed on managing platform risk to allow maximum impact for our customers in the key areas of BCP-WFH, security, trading and research.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you’ve any questions.

Be safe.

– Danny Moore, President & CEO

Internal MEMO: Q1 Summary / Be Kind

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