How CIBC Private Wealth’s equity trading desk is navigating the COVID-19 crisis

Frances Boatwright
June 02, 2020

I’m Frances Boatwright, a senior equity trader at CIBC Private Wealth, and I’m sheltering at home in front of four computer screens. I am proud to say that I didn’t miss a beat when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the company’s Atlanta office.

Downtime resulting from any interruption in operations—whether it be from a power failure, IT systems crash, natural disaster or even a pandemic—can have a devastating impact on financial companies. But when faced with the recent COVID-19 shutdowns, CIBC Private Wealth was well-equipped to provide seamless and uninterrupted service to its clients.

Frances Boatwright at her deskHaving a comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity strategy in place meant that I could execute trades on behalf of the CIBC Private Wealth investment team with the same efficiency and speed that I would if I were situated on-site at the company’s office.  

This was because four years ago, I spearheaded CIBC Private Wealth’s “work-from-home” model for equity traders as part of the company’s efforts to put in place a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that would mitigate risks and allow the company to remain functional should a catastrophic event or shutdown occur. At the time I was, and still am, a strong advocate for robust operational resiliency. I argued that one laptop at home for equity traders would not be sufficient to provide seamless operations should the need arise. The company listened and as a result of my input, I now have a fully operational home setup that resembles my in-office trading desk. I have everything that I need at home for a seamless transition to remote operations—including multiple laptops, docking stations and monitors--and can securely access the company’s internal network to conduct business. Extensive testing of my “home trading desk” ensured that when the pandemic hit, I was ready and confident knowing that I could successfully run all of the critical software that I needed to perform my job and communicate smoothly—both of which are essential for equity traders.

When the pandemic closed offices around the country, it was business as usual for me and the other equity traders at CIBC Private Wealth. Even during this time of unprecedented difficulty and change, we didn’t have to worry about interruption to our workflow because we knew we could perform our jobs seamlessly, efficiently and safely from home.

 

Fellow traders Tommy Mantone (left) and Rebecca Babin (right) show off their home offices.

CIBC Private Wealth is committed to adhering to best practices and providing high-quality, resilient services to its clients. The company has dedicated significant resources and efforts to creating and implementing a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that safeguards its employees, enables a rapid response and facilitates business continuity in the event of disruption.

Read more about CIBC Private Wealth’s COVID-19 response.

 

Frances Boatwright is a senior equity trader for CIBC Private Wealth, with more than 20 years in the industry. As a trader, Frances works closely with the investment team and relationship managers to source and execute trades in a timely, proficient manner. In addition, Frances provides daily market updates along with changing landscapes for holdings within the firm’s portfolio strategies.