January / February:
A seemingly normal year begins. The stock exchanges promise tailwind and asset managers and banks are spreading optimism. Our talks with customers at the beginning of the year are very positive. The mood in London is heavily influenced by Brexit and the resulting new structures. We get the first new mandates, the fund fairs are going well – an exciting start into the year.
The Lock Down: March until May:
What was ridiculed at the beginning and apparently far away is suddenly with us right on our doorstep. Northern Italy is very close, an unknown threat is palpable. From one day to the next, everything is new. Some buy toilet paper, others laptops. Companies have IT delivered to their employees’ homes by taxi – unbelievable. The questions about flexibility and homeoffice are becoming obsolete. The streets in the centers of the global financial hotspots are deserted. The economy stands still. What we now see is a completely different picture of work as we have known it up to now. The financial industry quickly becomes acquainted with the new situation – our search processes continue and yes – everything works digitally. Covid-19 is the digital accelerator. Much that was not possible before works now.
Summer: Infection rates decrease – New business is slowly growing
It remains calm and there is not really a lot of activity on the recruiting market. But it gets better every week and we have exciting discussions. The very positive stock markets are giving a tailwind, the first personal meetings are taking place again and the beautiful summer weather is noticeably brightening the general mood. After the summer vacation it looks almost the same as it used to be- but the worry of a second wave always resonates.
September / October:
Almost back to normality. Video interviews and phone calls alternate with face-to-face meetings. Due to the good half-year results of our clients, the demand for our services is increasing significantly. Various new mandates are discussed. Hires are made despite pure video processes. There is a lot of dynamism and activity and there are many changes, especially at senior level.
Suddenly it is back – the slow down, lock down or whatever it is called. Curfews, working from home, empty inner cities again, restaurants that are closed in various countries. But our mandates and projects continue to run “normally”. Almost even better, faster and more efficiently than before. It is a strange situation that we all find ourselves in.
The second wave is underway – maybe (or hopefully) politics and society have learned to adapt the behaviour to the situation even more and to deal with the virus in a better way. We do not yet know how the year around Covid-19 will end and how 2021 will start. But we are confident that life will move on and that many things will become more normal again. Change will remain and offer opportunities. We are convinced that, with our clear focus and our entrepreneurial approach, we are a good partner in the transformation for our clients.
Our Corona Bingo: Are you familiar with these expressions?
|Virtual after-work drinks||„Sorry, we cannot hear you. “||Spent the whole day wearing sweatpants||„I will dial in again.“|
|„Do you also hear that echo?“||Delivery guy became a close friend||Working out at home||Canceled holidays|
|Hoarded toilet paper||Children running through the video conference||„My wireless internet is on the blink.“||Baked some bread|
|„I turn off the video because the kids are home schooling“||„I bet you are just wearing the jacket…“||Finally watered the plants again||Brushed the teeth only after the daily morning call|
|„I will put myself on mute quickly“||Monologised more frequently||Working from home is great but the screen in my office is bigger||„Darn it, forgot my mask again.“|
Our lessons from this year
Covid-19 is the real accelerator for digital processes – many things seem already normal today that could not be foreseen at the beginning of the year. But the real digital transformation is far from over. We are certainly only at the beginning of a new era. The experience gained this year will help us to successfully continue on the path. As a society, we are now open and ready to embrace the transformation. Working from home will remain a part of our lives, not only in 2021. Working together and the personal exchange of ideas and opinions will remain essential – they are the basis of our culture. How else should a corporate philosophy be created or maintained in a sustainable manner? Accordingly, there will be a mix – flexibility is the key word. Everyone has to deliver and demand it – employers as well as employees.
We should also think about the young talents, graduates and interns in 2021. They certainly had the hardest time in 2020 and it is to be feared that, as in the financial crisis, a certain age group will be missing. So that this „gap“ does not get bigger and the fundament is created, investments must be made in 2021 not only in „seniors“, but also in young talents. They can make a major contribution to the omnipresent digital change and transformation.
The mergers that have already taken place within the financial industry are precursors of what is likely to lie ahead. Economies of scale are perhaps the decisive criterion. Size is important, on the other hand, of course, focus and the quality of advice and products. Niche providers will continue to have their legitimate and well-deserved opportunities in the future. The Swiss say: „Liefere statt lafere (actions speak louder than words)“. This is even more true for all of us after the experience from 2020.
With this in mind, we would like to thank you for the good cooperation and wish you a peaceful Pre-Christmas period and happy holidays, hopefully with your loved ones. Maybe think about what would have happened in 2020 without Covid-19. We look forward to many exciting conversations, projects and challenges in the new year and beyond.