Mellon’s Commitment to Community
The Mellon community has displayed a tremendous amount of resiliency, compassion and professionalism as we navigate this new landscape. We are committed to serving our clients, safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our employees and supporting our communities, and we have taken a number of measures to ensure that our obligations to all of our stakeholders are fulfilled.
How we deal with people during a crisis says a lot about who we are as a firm. During periods of crisis, you can see people step up, break the bounds of hierarchy and find a voice. This openness and connectedness is something we need to sustain beyond the pandemic to stay in the problem-solving zone. We need to celebrate ideas and celebrate people who raise concerns or escalate challenges. We are all in this together, and we can only get through this together. That means everyone’s voice needs to be heard.
In our view, the need for sound corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices is more crucial than ever. In our previous Commitment to Community article we detailed our evaluation of these factors as a component of our fundamentally driven investment processes.1 While it is important that the companies in which we invest follow these standards, we must also hold ourselves accountable. We believe that we have a responsibility to adhere to them.
Employee advocacy, customer protection and community support
- Ensure Health and Safety. Throughout this crisis, the safety of our employees and our clients has remained our top priority. We recognize that we cannot deliver on our commitment to serving our clients without our most important asset: our people. In early March, we began proactively limiting corporate travel to business critical, restricting external visitors to our facilities and implementing self-reporting and a self-quarantine. Additionally, we began conducting employee wellness surveys and will continue to do so over the next several months. We further expanded our safety measures to begin remote work rotations and deployed 99% of Mellon’s workforce to remote work by March 16 as part of a BNY Mellon–wide resiliency program. To ease the transition and ensure our staff’s ability to work remotely, we provided the appropriate technology including laptops, docking stations, additional monitors, headsets and more. We continue to offer emotional support services for those in need.
- Support Staff Security. As professional and personal lines blur, our employees are balancing family and business needs while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Our community is facing new and increased pressures, but we believe that financial stability should not be one of them. With this in mind, BNY Mellon and Mellon have committed to not conduct layoffs in 2020. We will continue to manage our business, and in doing so, we will be sensitive to the situation at hand, our staff and our communities.
- Support the Community. Using critical and creative thinking, colleagues across Mellon have proposed and implemented a number of ways to virtually support their local and global communities. We have engaged in a number of philanthropic initiatives and provided significant contributions to help positively impact our communities and aid in the relief effort. Included in these efforts was support for food banks, health care organizations and a number of non-profits seeking to provide meals and relief to essential workers while supporting local restaurants and businesses. Several of our employees have also enacted matching programs, offering to match their colleagues’ donations to specific charities. BNY Mellon has augmented these efforts by doubling the funds raised. Not only have these efforts supported the community around us but they have also strengthened and united the Mellon culture.
- Communicate Freely. From the onset of the pandemic, we have maintained open lines of communication with both our employees and clients. We continue to proactively update our employees as the situation evolves, providing them with prompt information and access to a number of resources. Leaders across the firm have increased touch points with their teams to maintain momentum and promote efficiency and flexibility as we adapt to remote work. All Mellon employees have access to a range of free services and programs to help them manage the stresses of this environment. As routines change and challenges arise, these resources will help employees discover efficiencies and improvements and guide them as they aim to balance personal and professional demands. These include a 24/7 COVID-19 support line and independent, confidential counseling or advice made available to them and their families through BNY Mellon. Learning resources to assist employees in finding new opportunities for growth both professionally and personally are also readily available. Finally, we have established a forum where employees can submit questions and ideas directly to management to help move Mellon forward. The forum allows all Mellon staff to directly participate in problem solving and guide the future direction of the firm.
- Promote Diversity and Inclusion. We are committed to driving greater diversity and inclusion in our firm and in the investment industry. While we are proud of the measures we have taken to date, we recognize that we can and must do better. To that end, Mellon has implemented a number of initiatives to promote a more diverse and representative workforce. Our co-op and intern programs are in full force, and we are dedicated to ensuring the continuation of these programs. We have partnered with Girls Who Invest to support this important initiative and are currently hosting our third intern. Within the firm, we continue to proactively engage with our junior employees under our Emerging Leaders program to promote leadership and development opportunities for the next generation. We are equally as committed to supporting social justice and equality for all and are taking active steps to eliminate unconscious bias and discrimination in society.
Operational stabilization, capital resiliency and supply/demand balance
- Improve Operational Resiliency. The flow of information is paramount to an investment manager’s operations. As such, we established robust systems to ensure technology was in place and redundancies regularly tested to maintain operational resiliency in the event of a disaster. This enabled the seamless transition to a remote work environment and the uninterrupted flow of information from investment markets to trading desks to client communications. We further enhanced operations by quickly introducing and distributing new services and devices that could upgrade trading operations and data platforms.
- Build Capital Resiliency and Financial Prudence. Our focus on long-term value creation offers investment continuity that supports financial market stability during periods of economic stress. Our ability to withstand short-term volatility and stay the course helps to protect against risk and promotes greater system resiliency. We are further aiding in the economic recovery by helping to restore stability in the financial markets.
- Respond to Supply/Demand Patterns. Our business model allows us to rapidly adapt how we receive and disseminate information, as well as reallocate capital to emerging themes. As the crisis unfolded, Mellon seamlessly shifted to online communications, maintaining collaboration between external and internal resources. This ensured our ability to continue providing our clients with timely insights and updates. Our analysts’ pursuit of real-time information never faltered, allowing us to identify supply/demand imbalances and deploy capital to developing opportunity sets. Fallen angels are one such example. We immediately identified the supply/demand imbalance in the market as an opportunity to earn structural alpha and have employed our market expertise in an effort to capitalize on this investment opportunity before the trend accelerates.
- Contingency Plan. BNY Mellon has a robust business continuity and disaster recovery plan that includes thorough continuity planning and preparations and extensive testing of systems and procedures. Over the course of the last two months, we have worked with our IT partners to enhance our technological capabilities, identifying multiple remote solutions for our staff.
1Fundamentally driven strategies include our fundamentally driven equity and fixed income strategies, with the exception of our stable value and cash strategies.
PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. Mellon Investments Corporation (“Mellon”) is a registered investment advisor and subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (“BNY Mellon”). Any statements of opinion constitute only current opinions of Mellon, which are subject to change and which Mellon does not undertake to update. This publication or any portion thereof may not be copied or distributed without prior written approval from the firm. Statements are correct as of the date of the material only. This document may not be used for the purpose of an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction or in any circumstances in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful or not authorized. The information in this publication is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any purchase or sale of any specific security. Some information contained herein has been obtained from third party sources that are believed to be reliable, but the information has not been independently verified by Mellon. Mellon makes no representations as to the accuracy or the completeness of such information. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee returns or eliminate risk in any market environment and past performance is no indication of future performance. The indices referred to herein are used for comparative and informational purposes only and have been selected because they are generally considered to be representative of certain markets. Comparisons to indices as benchmarks have limitations because indices have volatility and other material characteristics that may differ from the portfolio, investment or hedge to which they are compared. The providers of the indices referred to herein are not affiliated with Mellon, do not endorse, sponsor, sell or promote the investment strategies or products mentioned herein and they make no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the products and strategies described herein. Please see mellon.com for important index licensing information.