Peter Dine, during Covid-19 lockdown

Peter Dine
General Manager, Saturn Advice

Peter is an Associate Member of CFA Society New Zealand, and a member of our Event Development Group

Some insights, priorities and experiences from the last few weeks

Well, like many we’ve been watching the markets closely given the very quick drop from record highs in February. We’d put out a general communication to clients early in March about Covid-19 and what it meant for their investment portfolios with us. Our financial advisers also got in touch with clients to reassure them. This is when financial advice can add an enormous amount of value to clients; a steady hand in uncertain times. This is ongoing! For our discretionary clients in DIMS we took the opportunity to re-balance portfolios around the 20th March to (hopefully) “buy the dip”. And then we turned our attention to our Business Continuity Plan recognising there was a chance we’d need to work remotely. As it happens the Saturn team has been working remotely since Monday 23rd March.

What’s your current work set up?

I’m working from home now for as long as it takes. The good news is I don’t have to commute the best part of a hour each way on the bus to work. The bad news is I don’t have far to “walk to work”. Lets hope my body doesn’t pay for that over the next month!  As a business we are very lucky our core operating platforms are web based – thanks to the internet of things – and we all work off laptops. Like with most technologies, we had only been scratching the surface and now we are looking much harder at getting the best out of technology while in lockdown and beyond. Examples include meeting apps where we can stream in the entire team, share our screens and even record sessions if we wish. Another example is an app for getting documents signed electronically. Its so easy to use as well. I think our business will come out of lockdown with many more permanent ideas around working remotely and reducing the friction of doing business.

How are you coping with any stress and uncertainly?

These are certainly interesting times but I don’t feel stressed, apart from not being able to play my Saturday morning round of golf with my golfing buddies. And my wife and I are practicing good social distancing even within our own bubble. This comes from having two people in a three-level house!  I work with a great bunch of people and we have a daily video meeting as a team and lots of one-on-one video meetings as well. Keeping everyone on the same page at times like this is really important. Overall, I’m pretty optimistic about where we are at. If everyone does the right thing by staying in their bubble, we’ll get out of this sooner rather than later.

What have you been doing to make sure others are doing OK?

It’s a bit difficult to help others when you’re locked down other than stay in touch. I think its important to stay connected to family and friends and to look out for your work buddies – we had virtual drinks this afternoon in place of the real thing. The best thing we all can do is follow the rules to keep everyone safe.

This time next year I’d like to be….

travelling somewhere nice without the fear of contracting Covid-19!

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