branch exams during this time. We’re documenting what we’redoing and how we’re doing the examination and the interaction. The interaction with the offices has actually been quitecomforting and has gone from a standard branch exam toalmost business consulting, because they’re trying to find outthe right ways to operate in the new environment.
This is a relationship business, so how do you communicatein today’s environment? The use of Microsoft Teams has beenphenomenal for us internally. There’s a lot more FaceTimecommunication — you ping someone and do a visual call. Thechat feature has been working tremendously, too.
When I look at the statistics for the usage of these kinds ofsystems, it’s just gone through the roof. That’s how we’ve beenable to account for not having [real] face-to-face communications. It’s not just with our home office employees, but it’s alsowith our advisors.
We had to look at the security of Zoom meetings. That’s
where we focused our training. Initially, we created a business
resiliency center. We said, “Here’s how you conduct a meeting,
so it’s secure. Don’t forget about lighting, and don’t show your
It was a lot of back to the basics around how to continue
to meet with your clients, add value and operate in this
Around sales, we started posting ideas in this business resiliency center. We have an ownership-based model. We have theopportunity to [help] firms work with other firms.
If you’ve got somebody who has an opportunity in the
executive benefits market, they tap into one of our owner firms
that can help them subsidize a downturn that they had, say, in
their assets-under-management business with a potentially
new line of revenue based on the capabilities that we have
within our other firm.
Webber: There’s the saying, “Never let a good crisis go to
waste.” We really used this [situation] to leverage where the
gaps were, not from a processing or operational perspective,
but in other areas. Our advisors and our associates needed
us to step up and communicate more. That was the gap we
learned to address quickly. We started doing weekly webinars,
Wednesdays with associates and Thursdays with advisors.
We walked through every decision our [business community planning, or] BCP committee was making about differentinvestments. The biggest risk here was productivity — whichwent through the roof the first month, because no one stoppedworking or separating work from home.
We kept everybody employed, and lots of people had to figure these things out. It was just a constant Q&A with our 900employees and our 3,000-plus advisors about what was goingon, keeping our finger on the pulse, being positioned to pivotand making sure that we were [doing this] with the priority onhealth, safety and satisfaction — and bringing things togetherthe way we needed to for our growth.
We proceeded with our internship program and brought on
25 interns virtually, … and we had to hire. We probably hired 25or 30 people during the last four months or so.
This was because of the success in recruiting and thegrowth of many of our advisors, who’ve actually been makinglemons out of lemonade and learning how to prospect in thesemarkets. It created an environment in which we had to domore than figure out how to do the status quo.
We had to push hard and grow, and there’s nothing moreintimidating. I’m hiring an executive right now. And you can’thire them without meeting them, sitting across the table tosee them.
With the whole onboarding of people and training themin the Cambridge way and culture, [the pandemic] gave usthe greatest opportunities to figure out exactly how all thatwould work [remotely], if much of this [restricted situation]does remain.
Some of this [virtual arrangement] will stay. We’re probablynot going back to the old-fashioned way.
Now, we have 700 of our 900 employees back in the office,rotating on a two-week basis. We have temperature kiosks,used by employees for admittance, and contact tracing badges.Everybody wears a mask. We’ve got Xs all over the floor andanti-bacterial hand cleaners all over the building floors, andwe’re following the CDC guidelines.
Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.
President & CEO: Amy Webber
People: 3,586 active financial professionals; 614, or 17%, arewomen; 886 home office staff; 590, or 67%, are women.
Assets under administration: $114.1 billion
Fee-based business: $64.6 billion of assets; $283.9 millionof revenues
Non-fee-based business: $49.5 billion of commission assets;
$146.3 million of commission revenue; $431.2 million ofcommissionable revenue.
Total revenue: $505.1 million
Company data self-reported as of June 30, 2020