Edward Jones is suspending business travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, though it says its advisor offices remain open. Meanwhile, Raymond James is limiting client visits, letting some employees work from home and has canceled a major advisor event set for next month.
“We are encouraging clients and our financial advisors to consider communicating using virtual means, including WebEx, conference call, secure text and online access,” Edward Jones, which has some 18,000 advisors, said in a statement.
The firm has about 14,200 branch offices in the United States and close to 600 in Canada. Its advisors work with about 7 million clients in North America and over $1 trillion in assets.
Earlier this week, the broker-dealer said it was “employing social distancing,” moving training and large events to virtual platforms and ending all business travel through May 31.
“In addition, we’ve enhanced cleaning at branch locations and headquarters offices in St. Louis, Tempe, Arizona, and Mississauga, Canada,” it said.
“We will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and World Health Organization and reevaluate our protocols as necessary in the coming weeks,” the firm added.
The firm, which has more than 8,000 employee and independent advisors, announced Friday: “We further are limiting visits to the home office and branches by non-associates for the health and safety of associates, advisors and clients.”
As to its employees, the firm is combining “split operations and remote work arrangements in certain areas to reduce density of associates in their workspaces” and “is prepared for the vast majority of associates to work remotely if necessary,” according to a statement
It also has suspended “nonessential” travel until further notice and is cancelling or postponing events through at least April 30. It cancelled its yearly independent advisor conference, Elevate, set for April 20-23 in Orlando.