Our Executive Team reflect on the year that has been, lessons learnt and what it meant for Executive Risk Solutions.
2020, the year nobody saw coming.
If we ever ran a crisis exercise based on a global pandemic that saw all international and interstate travel shut down, travel within the state restricted, then followed up with sending the entire workforce to work from home (with little to no notice), then I think we would have been laughed out of the room for providing an unrealistic crisis training scenario. Yet that is exactly where we found ourselves in 2020.
To say 2020 was unpredictable and challenging is an understatement. The unknown aspects of how the year was unfolding were at times demanding and stressful. For me, as the CEO, the most stressful time was right at the very start of the pandemic. It was stress created from all the unknowns. What issues would impact our clients and then trickle down to impact us? How would we best protect our staff from the impacts of COVID-19? How could we continue to deliver services while protecting the health and wellbeing of the ERS team and our valued clients? Would the company we have all worked so hard to build survive the pandemic or would we shut our doors like so many other companies? These were the unknowns that kept me awake at night.
To date, this has been the greatest challenge our company has had to face. Failure was not an option as there were too many people depending on us. Our staff, their families, our clients and our community needed us to stand up to the challenge. Today, I can proudly say that’s exactly what happened across every single ERS contract, at every level of the business. I have always confidently boasted that it’s our people that make us the successful company we are today and the challenges of COVID-19 proved time again just how fantastic our people are.
While 2021 holds various challenges ahead, as a team I am confident in knowing our Executive Risk Solutions team will excel and perform regardless of what’s thrown our way.
It certainly was a tough year. Unprecedented is a word that can be heard regularly with over 93 million COVID-19 cases worldwide and ~ 2 million deaths.
Our experience in Australia, whilst tragic with nearly 30,000 cases and over 900 deaths, is somewhat a situation where we can say we have gotten off lightly. However, with unemployment at record highs, businesses shutting down and families being isolated for months on end, there have been many people affected to the point of despair.
At Executive Risk Solutions, we have been fortunate to navigate this period with the commitment of team members throughout the business. This has included staff working longer shifts, different rosters and undertaking new and varied duties. With that commitment, we have been able to maintain job security for our existing employees and pursue opportunities for new team members to join us.
So, as we enter the new year, please make sure you reflect on what we have achieved together as a company and as a nation.
2020 was a significant year on a personal and professional level, as well as for the wider business. We have had to cope with significant challenges, not least of which included the company’s financial position amid COVID-19, and later in the year being able to adequately meet increasing client needs with decreasing resources. I am enormously proud of our entire team and for how they coped with these challenges. Even more so, I am proud of our resilience and our culture. Moving into 2021, we have a can-do attitude with team members looking out for each other every step of the way and dealing with issues head-on.
For me, this year’s lesson has been the importance of putting my family first, including my ERS family. The time we have is precious and we cannot take it for granted.
As a company that specialises in global crises, 2020 was always going to be the year that tested us. And test us it did. It tested our training, our specialised skillsets, our experience and our resilience.
In what has become one of the most challenging years of our lifetimes, it has been incredible to watch the extraordinary response from our entire team. The determination shown by our staff has helped ERS continue to deliver measurable value to our clients.
From a financial perspective, we are entering 2021 in an extremely strong position. YOY, revenue is up 14%, our global workforce has grown 16.6% and our client base is stronger than ever before. We have a lot to be proud of. We’ve provided job security in a time of great uncertainty and delivered invaluable crisis response to our clients throughout a global pandemic.
And that’s a wrap. A year of much change and many lessons learnt.
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