COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response

October 26, 2020

 

The safety of our employees, clients, vendors and other stakeholders is of paramount importance to Aristotle.  As such, we formed a COVID-19 Response Team which has been meeting regularly to evaluate and monitor this situation following the CDC’s recommendations.  The COVID-19 Response Team’s goal is to protect our employees and ensure we provide uninterrupted portfolio management and servicing of our clients.

In addition to our long-established, comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP), we have created a preparedness plan specific to the COVID-19 situation.

The most recent update to our plans is as follows:

• The Phase 2 office reopening has taken place for our Massachusetts office and the Phase 1 office reopening has taken place for our California offices, while the New York office remains closed at this time. Employee re-entry into the office is on a voluntary basis and we maintain limited occupancy capacity.

The following plans remain in place:

•  Augmented business travel policy.
•  Employee cross-training, backup coverage reviews and expanded remote access. 
•  Expanded employee health protection education and active management communication.
•  Employee paid leave accommodations.
•  Enhanced office cleaning and sanitation.

We are confident in our ability to continue fulfilling our obligations to our clients. Aristotle will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation as well as our preparedness plan and make adjustments, as needed.

 

COVID-19 FAQ

 

Frequently asked questions - Here is some information you may find helpful. 

Are you fully operating? 
Aristotle is fully operating.  Employees have successfully adapted to these challenging times and continue to run our business efficiently and effectively.  We are pleased to report that our firm and employees are delivering uninterrupted service to our clients. 

What measures are being taken from a business continuity and trading perspective? 
In addition to our long-standing comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP), we have created a preparedness plan specific to the COVID-19 situation.  We formed a COVID-19 Response Team which has been meeting regularly to evaluate and monitor this situation following the CDC and other government agencies’ recommendations.  The COVID-19 Response Team’s goal is to protect our employees and ensure we provide uninterrupted portfolio management and servicing to our clients.  Additionally, Aristotle adds to staff as needed to maintain adequate staffing levels and uninterrupted client service.  Employees are cross trained, so appropriate backups are in place in the case of absenteeism.  Employees have access to systems from home, or any other location with internet access.

Have you activated your Business Continuity Plan as a result of COVID-19?
Yes.

When was the plan invoked?
The BCP was invoked when the Aristotle Los Angeles and Newport Beach offices were forced closed by both the Los Angeles County Health Order and Order of the State Public Health Officer to “Stay at Home” the evening of March 19, 2020.  Additionally, New York issued the PAUSE policy (Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone), effectively closing the Aristotle New York office starting March 22, 2020.  Finally, Massachusetts issued an Essential Services and Revised Gatherings Order, effectively closing the Aristotle Boston office starting March 24, 2020. We continue to monitor evolving federal, state and local guidance to guide our plans for any office re-entry or other operational plans (e.g., travel policy).

Is the policy fully or partially enacted?
The policy was fully enacted in California, Massachusetts and New York. We have initiated a staged process of reopening offices in California and Massachusetts. The re-entry plans are being implemented in phases with office health and sanitation protocols and limited occupancy numbers.  The planning continues to be designed for the continuous and uninterrupted servicing of our clients and portfolio management.  All employees remain operational and IT systems are functioning properly. 

Has your firm restricted employee travel?
Aristotle has an enhanced Travel and Visitor Policy.  Business travel restrictions are in place, and visitors are prohibited at this time.  Personal travel is being monitored in the event there is a need to self-quarantine.

Do you anticipate any areas of challenge if this issue were to persist?
Our plan is designed for the continuous and uninterrupted servicing of our clients and portfolio management.  Although we do not currently see any factors that would prevent us from fulfilling our obligations to our clients, Aristotle will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make adjustments to our plan, as needed.

How are you handling cybersecurity during this time?
We have a robust cybersecurity program.  We recognize the need to increase our vigilance and are doing so proactively.  We have been increasing cybersecurity training for new and existing employees, as well.

Are you planning to reopen Aristotle offices?
Yes.  Office reopenings are guided by local and state guidelines for reopening, adhering to health agencies’ recommendations for enhanced health sanitation protocols and employee re-entry is voluntary.  The California offices are currently in Phase 1 reopening – Newport Beach began on June 15 and Los Angeles began on July 20.  The Boston office is in Phase 2 reopening.  Boston’s Phase 1 began on June 9 and Phase 2 on October 26.  The difference between a Phase 1 and Phase 2 reopening is increased capacity limits, as guided by the office’s local ordinances.  The New York office has not entered Phase 1 reopening.  All Aristotle affiliates continue to be fully operational at this time.

How can I stay updated of any changes? 
Our website will be maintained with the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.  If you have additional questions, please contact your Aristotle representative.