A Message from Cambridge Regarding COVID-19


March 27, 2020

We are experiencing unusual times in terms of the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19). First and always, Cambridge will honor its core values of integrity, commitment, flexibility and kindness in full throughout this tumultuous environment. Like the banking industry, we are considered Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and have a special responsibility to maintain our normal work schedule by serving millions of others dependent on us every day for their financial well-being – this includes hundreds of coworkers, thousands of financial professionals, and hundreds of thousands of investing clients who need access to their financial accounts – especially now. The financial professionals who choose Cambridge work and live in the same communities and neighborhoods as their investing clients and their families.

We are closely monitoring COVID-19 and taking mitigating actions and precautions to help ensure the health and well-being of our associates and their family members, the community, financial professionals, clients, and business partners. We have senior leadership engaged as part of our Business Continuity Planning (BCP) task force and they are meeting daily, as the landscape changes, and the following are a few of the recent steps we’ve taken:

  • We implemented a policy weeks ago to protect the safety of our associates that included travel restrictions limiting visitors to our office locations, cancelling non-essential travel for our associates, having our associates work from home if they felt ill or were potentially exposed to someone who was ill, and allowing associates who were at high risk for contracting COVID-19 to work remotely,

  • A professional firm has been on site to do hospital grade electrostatic disinfectant cleaning in the three office buildings where we have associates in the Jefferson County area, and we are continuing this method of cleaning on a regular basis,

  • Our firm has associates in various locations across the U.S., and we previously implemented a path for social distancing in the Iowa offices based on a rotating schedule where associates are working in the office one week and then working on a remote basis the following week. Based on the rotating schedule we are at a minimum of 50 percent working remote now; and as planned, we are continuing to increase the percentage of associates working remote with the intent of ensuring associates who perform our essential functions that are required on site are working in the buildings, and we anticipate this means about 75 percent of our associates will be working remote on an interim basis,

  • We continue to employ best practices to protect against community spread, and  

  • We accelerated the payout of our annual bonus program for our associates – so that they had these funds in hand earlier.

Cambridge has been building our firm for exactly these kinds of situations – with the business and financial discipline needed for success – as well as the ability to see our way through tougher times. The strength of our leadership team has never been stronger, with the average industry experience measured in decades. Cambridge has a Business Continuity Plan in place, and we have already engaged parts of it for the benefit of our financial professionals, their clients, and our associates. We also have very limited debt and we are not dependent on borrowing for our day-to-day business operations.

For those that knew us during the financial downturn in 2008/2009, they will remember Cambridge was among the very few in our industry that did not have to resort to drastic measures, like layoffs or a sale of our firm to solve for cash shortfalls. We not only survived, we were positioned to prepare for opportunity when the markets improved. Cambridge was among the first to thrive when the marketplace turned around, and we are confident we will prevail in these times as well and Cambridge will be more than a survivor.

We have thoughtfully put in place the ability for Cambridge to be independent, and this means we are able to make the decisions we need to make to best manage our services and offerings. We’ve spent over 20 years establishing a flexible business model, a committed senior leadership team, a legal structure, and the formal succession plan now in place. This includes indirect ownership by our associates through the Cambridge Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), plus direct ownership by management – meaning we all have an important sense of ownership and interest in our combined success, and our firm does not have to answer to outsiders such as private equity firms.

 

While news headlines focus on the spread of the corona virus, we want to continue to focus on spreading our core values of integrity, commitment, flexibility, and kindness. Together with our associates and financial professionals, we stand strong – we are Cambridge.