A message to Members from TT Club Chairman and CEO
In these extraordinary times, on behalf of the Chairman, the Board of Directors and the management team we wish all Members and their brokers, and their families and friends good health through this pandemic crisis. This is a very difficult time for all Club Members and the Club will do what it can to assist as you strive to manage your businesses. We are open for business and as you will see from the dedicated area on the website looking to share best practice in respect of the management of operations through the pandemic.
We are pleased and relieved to be able to tell you that the Club’s operations are performing quite normally in spite of all staff now working from home. We have all had to adapt to new ways of working, but as is so often the case in life when choices are limited, making the necessary changes has been relatively easy to do. We hope therefore that your experience of our service continues to be a positive one and we would ask you to let Charles know if this is not the case. We have one case of confirmed infection from Covid-19 amongst our staff, and other cases amongst friends and relatives. It is unfortunately the case that it is likely we will all be touched by this disease in some shape or form before it is under control.
"We are pleased and relieved to be able to tell you that the Club’s operations are performing quite normally in spite of all staff now working from home."
It is a little early to be confidently predicting the impact of the pandemic on the Club, but we can tell you that our assessment is that it will to a large extent be containable as a significant, but manageable event. The Board has been receiving regular reports, in part based on the output of financial models that have stood the test of time and experience. The Club entered 2020 in a healthy financial position, being very well capitalised and with a strong positive operating position. The underwriting book is well balanced across the three regions, Member sectors and by size of operator. Other similar crises, such as SARS in 2002/2003 and the financial crash of 2008/09 have been instructive in helping us refine the model and assess the range of likely outcomes. We are confident that the Club’s solid financial position will enable it to weather the storm.
The Club’s investment portfolio is constructed with great care to ensure that the risk/reward equation is properly understood and balanced. The percentage of equities in the portfolio is low, relative to cash and Government Bonds and the stress tests performed in designing the portfolio predict manageable losses even when equity markets fall as much as they have. This has been borne out in the volatility of the last month. At the time of writing this report (early April) the performance of the portfolio is just negative, and it has been as such for some time now.
"The Club’s investment portfolio is constructed with great care to ensure that the risk/reward equation is properly understood and balanced."
Current modelling, and this is heavily caveated with the comment that it is still early days in the crisis, suggests the Club’s overall result will be around breakeven for 2020 after strong financial performance in the last two years.
We wish all Members, brokers and their families and friends good health and success in navigating their business challenges.
Ulrich Kranich and Charles Fenton
(Chairman and CEO, TT Club)