Dear Clients and Friends,
It’s no secret that we are living in truly unprecedented times. What's happening around us is heart-breaking, and there's no playbook for how to manage through the chaos. Navigating through an economic crisis presents an enormous challenge in its own right. However, when coupled with a global pandemic, ensuring the safety of employees and the continued growth of a firm requires focus, tenacity and an unwavering commitment to communication.
It’s important for leadership to listen to and empower the voices of their employees and colleagues. In early March, Corbin moved quickly to evaluate and analyze what was and still is a rapidly evolving situation, taking steps early on to mitigate the spread of the virus by closing our office. Therefore, a new approach was needed to ensure we were supporting our employees however possible and maintaining the resources and the wherewithal to do so remotely.
At Corbin, this meant we needed to be closer in communication than ever before. In response, we are knee-deep in implementing a multi-year enhancement project that has so far provided us with a robust remote working platform and streamlined analytical and communication tools. Additionally, as we realized the pandemic wouldn’t be short-lived, we solicited our employees’ candid feedback on returning to work via a survey. Our people are overwhelmingly in favor of continuing to work remotely until the situation improves and the material threat of contagion subsides. I try to be very transparent and honest on what we can manage to do and what’s out of our control, and I think the team appreciates the candor.
It’s incredibly important to support employee mental health. Like everyone, Corbin’s employees are juggling family and personal life with work. We're acutely aware of the difficulty of self-isolating, particularly for those who are alone in small New York City apartments. With this in mind, we’ve taken distinct steps to help assuage anxieties, with programs like a medical concierge service and wellness webinars, to informal social events like virtual happy hours.
We’re exceedingly aware of those who are risking their lives on the front lines of the pandemic. Being located in NYC, initially the epicenter of the crisis in the US, we felt compelled to take action. We have made medical supply donations to NYU Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital and have provided meals to emergency staff. We continue to look for opportunities where we can provide additional support, as appropriate.
Beyond the pandemic, we’re facing a cultural crisis. While strengthening diversity and inclusion at our firm has been a strong focus of ours in recent years, the racial justice protests and narratives have served as a profound wake up call. I’ve always considered myself a strong supporter of social justice initiatives, yet I’ve realized my ignorance surrounding the depth of this country’s structural racial impediments targeted at Black Americans. Many colleagues of mine share this view, so we are committing ourselves to getting smarter on the issues and taking action to make a difference. To date, we’ve created a Racial Justice Task Force to address internal D&I programs and to determine actionable steps to support a number of different community initiatives. Strengthening diversity and inclusion isn’t something that can be solved without continued commitment and proactivity.
When we emerge from this crisis, it’s likely the world we come back to will have changed. The way in which people manage their personal lives, interact with their workplace, and respond to social justice movements have all undergone immense change over the last six- months. It’s our responsibility to lead in a manner that ensures these adjustments will be for the better and will be here to stay for the long run.