As in the rest of the world, the situation in the Nordic region is unprecedented and the effects of the coronavirus will be felt for a long time to come. While the impact has not been as heavy here as it has been in southern Europe, there is still uncertainty and debate about the right strategy to fight the virus and how to safely reopen the economies.
At Evli Bank, this has meant, among other things, the introduction of a continuity plan, employees working remotely and new ways to stay in touch with clients. From the very beginning, however, what has been most important is that the day-to-day operations of the bank have continued to function.
“Despite the market turmoil, we have been able to keep all of Evli's funds open and our operations running. The staff has performed admirably in a difficult situation, focusing on market operations, active communications with clients and handling administrative tasks”, Maunu Lehtimäki, Evli Bank’s CEO, comments.
All measures are based on a carefully thought-out plan, and the aim has always been to ensure the bank's profitability in a challenging environment. “Evli's activities are based on trust, and the key signal for that is the company's results. While we can tolerate loss-making quarters, they are not desirable in terms of maintaining trust. As early as March, we took a number of adjustment measures to lighten our cost structure. As part of the measures, the Board of Directors and the Executive Group, as well as some of the personnel, voluntarily reduced salaries and fees on a temporary basis”, says Lehtimäki.
The future operating model will be a hybrid
Evli's new operating models arising out of the crisis clearly differ from the bank's traditional working methods. Despite this, Evli has been able to well adapt its business operations to the changed situation, employees have adapted to the new ways of working and the feedback received from clients has been positive. This shows that there is no reason for Evli to fully return to its previous operating model.
“Over this past month, we have been planning how we can apply some aspects of the current approach into the future. Still, we won’t abandon the office either, as it is a key place to meet clients and exchange ideas with colleagues. I foresee Evli's future operating model as being a hybrid which combines remote working and office work”, Lehtimäki comments.
Looking to the future with confidence
Although there is no return to the global situation at the start of the year, and Evli's employees cannot meet their clients in person as often as before, the bank's strategic priorities have not changed. They still consist of increasing international fund sales in the Nordic countries and other European countries, increasing sales of alternative investment products and developing new products, and creating a simply unique customer experience.
Evli estimates that the bank's operating profit for this year will be clearly positive, provided that the market remains at the same level as after the first quarter at the end of March. If, on the other hand, the market conditions would deteriorate further, Evli estimates that the operating profit will be positive.
Lehtimäki has a confident outlook on Evli's future: “Evli's position in the market is strong and I believe that after the crisis, we will be in an excellent position to grow our business with new clients and by building on existing client relationships.”
Despite these extraordinary actions Evli follows the market movements all the time and manages client assets normally. Evli’s contact persons and the Investor Service, tel. +358 9 4766 9701 (9.30 am. - 4.30 pm. weekdays) or firstname.lastname@example.org, will be happy to assist with any questions.