IQ-EQ is a business focused on providing high-quality, personalised investor services and a high level of expertise for our clients. As our name indicates, our aim is to combine global technical expertise with an ability to engage with our clients on a personal level, to really understand what they need and want from our business.

My department provides fund administration services to a vast array of fund managers across multiple jurisdictions. We have many qualified and part-qualified accountants who perform a large range of tasks for our clients, including year-end and interim financial statements as well as investor reporting and communications. We are the first point of contact for our clients on a day-to-day basis.

Our clients appreciate that these are unusual times and that having our entire workforce suddenly working from home presents certain challenges. However, we still need to meet our clients’ regulatory requirements. March to June can be our busiest period of the year, completing audits and filing year-end financial statements. Our clients have really worked with us during this period and we achieved everything we needed to do.

As a business, we reacted very quickly to the Covid-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown globally. We had to ensure that 100% of our workforce could work from home as quickly and efficiently as possible to help prevent any adverse effects on our clients, which was achieved due to our technology infrastructure.

We also introduced new interactive communication tools, both for internal use and for client interaction, to ensure our ability to maintain close communication was not affected.

Looking to the rest of the year, our business goal would be to continue to meet the needs and expectations of our clients, as well as ensuring the wellbeing of our workforce within IQ-EQ. We need to continue to support our people in this extremely difficult period to ensure that we all remain as physically and mentally healthy as possible.

In terms of how we work, the biggest learning I have taken from Covid-19 has been that even in the most trying of circumstances, a strong team can still achieve great things. It has certainly been difficult at times not being within our office environment and initially there was an adaptation period where tasks may have taken longer than they did previously.

However, we have still maintained a high level of professionalism and work ethic throughout, ensuring our clients were as minimally impacted as possible.

One of the ways I believe the economic recovery could be supported is by the government doing its utmost to reverse the major high-street decline of recent times. Covid-19 has only increased the existing pressure on individual shop owners and high-street chains, and this will continue to increase unemployment rates nationally. Business rate reform needs to be analysed and addressed.

The most important business lesson I have learned in my career is to not make knee-jerk decisions when certain events occur and to try to see the bigger picture. Analyse your choices carefully and don’t allow setbacks to get you down; they will make you stronger!