On March 19, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close physical operations to mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As a registered bank, per the guidelines of The Department of Banking and Securities, The Haverford Trust Company is allowed to remain open.
To support the statewide effort to curb the spread of the virus, and to protect our employees, Haverford Trust, this week, converted our staff to work remotely. This was a smooth transition for us as we had business continuity plans already in place. During this time, our staff has been working remotely with seamless and fluid operations. While outside Haverford things are anything but normal, as for our team, we are operating business as usual.
Health concerns aside, Joe McLaughlin CEO, and Binney Wietlisbach President, shared the following message regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the financial markets, and Haverford’s preparedness to address the ongoing situation.
You can be assured that we are available whenever, and wherever, to guide you on your financial journey. We continue to actively and closely monitor the situation and keep you informed about the markets. Know that our deep commitment and ability to provide high-quality client service is unwavering.
Our team remains prepared and ready for your outreach. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss your finances, or if there’s anything else our team can do for you.
A LETTER FROM OUR CEO AND OUR PRESIDENT
Haverford friends and family,
In the past few weeks we have felt the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in a meaningful way. The headlines, rapidly evolving circumstances, and the ripple effect on financial markets has brought feelings of uncertainty and concern.
Throughout our 40 years of investing, we have been though our share of bear markets and volatile times. Through those periods, we have never wavered from our commitment to Quality Investing. We have managed these challenging periods before, and we will again. Those challenging periods have made us stronger and each time we apply the lessons learned to the next one. We do that by staying true to our investment disciplines, and communicating, and working well together.
Haverford’s disciplined process draws on our deep experience and expertise. We look to invest in companies that are industry leaders, have strong balance sheets with low leverage, and have weathered previous downturns, coming out of them stronger than before.
The circumstances of each bear market are unique, and the situation always appears dire in the moment, with no end in sight.
We are a strong and dynamic country; we anticipate the Treasury and Federal Reserve will ensure the liquidity and continuity of our system. This will provide time for a solution to the health crisis.
Rest assured, this is not like the credit crisis-induced recession of 2008. Today, banks are extremely solvent, and we do not find ourselves in this position because of reckless spending or financial contagion.
The companies we own have strong balance sheets and cash positions. A corporation’s cash generation, credit position, and debt structure are all important considerations when investing in quality companies. This is an important truth to remember over the next several weeks.
We do not have a crystal ball. Remember we are not investing for the near-term; investing is by necessity a long-term endeavor. In the long-term, we remain confident that the companies we own will persist and even thrive. Their earnings power will remain intact and strengthen with time and they will continue to pay dividends, and potentially increase their payout in the year ahead. We say this because the quality companies we invest in have done so in the past.
Haverford’s business continuity plan enables us to support our clients’ needs with a minimal level of disruption in this current environment, and our online client account access is available 24/7, 365 days a year. If you do not currently have online access, please contact your portfolio management team.
We hope this information helps reduce some of the anxiety you’re feeling. You can be confident that we are here to help and guide you. We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed about any changes we see in the markets. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your portfolio manager for information regarding your investments, financial advisory, or other services, or if you have any other questions.
Stay healthy and safe,
Joe & Binney
Joe McLaughlin, CEO
Binney Wietlisbach, President