With storm preparations in full swing across DTCC, teams from all the company’s locations moved into action to ensure readiness to maintain continuous communications with clients.
Before, during and after the storm, DTCC used multiple communication channels to interact with clients and keep them informed of the latest developments. The outreach included phones, emails and a steady stream of Important Notices, press releases and other information posted on the company’s website, much of which is also disseminated through RSS feeds.
Initially, DTCC gave clients intra-day business updates. After week one, the company provided status reports once a day or on an as-needed basis. The daily messages consolidated information from all the businesses to the extent possible, to keep communications manageable for clients, many of which were facing their own storm-related issues.
Getting into gear
“Before the storm, all our customer-facing staff gathered up customer contact information to be sure we could reach out to people from day one,” said Mark Vercruysse, DTCC Managing Director, Relationship Management.
“We were also in close communication with clients in the hurricane’s path to make sure they had business continuity plans and the ability to complete settlement on Monday,” said Donna Pryce, DTCC Director, Customer Service Group.
Ensuring telephone access into and out of DTCC was a priority. “We rerouted customer service lines from New York to Tampa so that incoming calls would reach the right staff immediately,” said Pryce. “We also coordinated staffing so that people in Tampa were ready to provide full coverage for our New York-based team members, who would be working remotely to the extent possible.”
On Monday, Tampa began fielding calls at 7 a.m. ET, rather than the usual 8.30 a.m., and extended evening hours, a schedule DTCC maintained during the week. Throughout the storm and its aftermath, Relationship Management and the Client Account Representative Team worked the phones, providing regular real-time updates, fielding calls from clients and offering guidance.
“Connectivity was a priority for all the firms that had to relocate,” said Vercruysse. “We acted as an interface between DTCC and various parts of client organizations to ensure alternate connections were up and running. It was a constant dialogue with clients that were operating from alternative sites. We also reached out to everyone in impacted zones to get a sense of their operating capacity, where they were operating from, whether they faced people and management issues.”
For the handful of clients that were without both primary and secondary sites, DTCC worked to give them connectivity so they could access their accounts and complete settlement.