Jerry Lees, Chairman of Linear Investments, on the professional financial services markets and his view of the year ahead
Having worked in the technology and financial services sector for a significant part of his career, Jerry Lees has seen many highs and lows, but it doesn’t matter what else you have seen in your career, no one has ever seen a year like the one we have just lived through. Experience does however bring foresight and Linear’s leaders have been there to steady the ship as the business has navigated the significant changes the COVID pandemic has bought to worldwide business.
Jerry points out that while there is no question business in 2020 was problematic, that doesn’t mean the outcome is all bad. In brokerage terms, disruption and volatility can be helpful and there is usually a financial bounce back after a phase of uncertainty. This will look different worldwide, as governments in different countries will approach the return to business as usual differently. Our expectation of normality should however be different because for more traditional businesses, in retail for example, will be different as we move back to a freer way of life.
In terms of Linear itself Jerry points out, people are still looking for a safe haven for their investments and pension funds and in some areas investments are thriving and will continue to do so. Business is being done differently, we are all getting more used to video calls and the functionality available on collaboration tools. Resistance to change is lesser and while as the economy recovers people will of course revert to face to face meetings, perhaps not on the same scale as we previously met with each other. For example, says Jerry, Linear has always been entrenched with super a London office space and has now has reverted to a completely different office set up. With satellite offices in Kent and the North of England and a smaller central London office, Linear is better able to accommodate its staff and provide spaces for them to meet and work in a more modern way. Linear’s technology set up is now fully cloud based and the use of collaboration tools has kept communication open both internally and externally, nationally and internationally.
Lastly, says Jerry, the past year has been a lesson to us all in wellbeing and how to look after ourselves. Personal awareness and development as well as spending more time around those we love has provided us all with plenty to think about. That and the added bonus of not having a daily commute can be taken as definite positives as we move in to 2021!