Guardian Group CEO Diego Fränkel.
PHILIPSBURG–Guardian Group said over the weekend that it has shifted gears in light of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and is offering its clients “a few months” of relief in the form of a grace period for due payments.
The exact duration of the grace period was not mentioned in a press release issued by Guardian Group Fatum Dutch Caribbean Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Diego Fränkel on Sunday.
He said the company’s relief efforts during the crisis focus on surviving and helping others to survive the crisis, “because we care. And caring not only means going the extra mile, but going any extra mile as long as it brings relief to those heavily affected – we listen to their emotions and we must help them to get back up. We can and we will put this derailed train back on the rails,” Fränkel said.
He said a financial relief plan had been put in place for clients because they count and depend on the company. “Hence, we are their preferred insurance provider. The time to give them that experience of ‘Guardian Group was there when I needed them most’ is now. So, with no hesitation we added a few months of relief through a grace period for due payments. We care and gave them more time to meet their obligations,” he said.
As it relates to staffers, he said all of Guardian’s teams locally and regionally are “working hard” showing comradery and commitment.
“Everyone [is – Ed.] delivering to the best of their abilities. They are currently the examples of working beyond the call of duty. We are sending out bulletins to keep our staff informed on what is to be expected and what can be done to support outbreak control. We took care of them as if they were our own.
“Not only working from home is important to Guardian Group, but as human beings they are important and the combination of working from home and being able to support them in their efforts to support their families, that cuts it.”
The company is also shifting to go “digital-to-the-max”. He said, “With no hesitation whatsoever we accelerated the execution of plans we had and we rapidly came up with plans we didn’t even have. It is a pressure cooker and it’s working. Going digital is the way forward. Be it cable or cloud, bits and bytes are being transported to and from everywhere. Our parking lots never looked so empty and digital bandwidth has never been so important, as many of our staff now work remotely.”
He said also that cooperation between Human Resources, Operations, Finance, Facilities, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Legal are key to Guardian Group’s present and future success in operations.
“From our central marketing cuisine, we put together and serve communication efforts appealing to emotional responses of those we target in the outside world. Our customers are being informed through the traditional media and the new media. But we’re after the intangible emotions. They must know we’re here for them. Same goes for how to reach us and how to stay in touch with us. Then comes coverage as well as payments. Those can and are being handled online,” he said.
“With regard to our broker channels, direct agents, business units and outlets [and] end-customers in our different geographical locations in the Dutch Caribbean, we’re readily available for them. Systems and procedures to work online are in place. Meet us on the digital highway, ask your questions; talk to us and we’ll deliver.”
He said outbreak control and fighting back have become part of what Guardian Group does on a daily basis. “That’s why as Guardian Group Fatum, we promote to follow trusted sources in news and information so people read and hear the facts as shared by the experts.
“We are the experts in our lines of business and for this we listen to the experts in health and crisis management. Following local orders on physical distancing and flattening the curve means being actively involved and engaged to fight back. Guardian Group Fatum organised the business on the inside and on the outside, we follow health professionals and scientists worldwide, and we join in the efforts to fight back,” Fränkel said.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had brought the world to a standstill. “Reports as provided by WHO [World Health Organisation] are shocking. Impacts on public health, economies, employment and law and order are huge. Nobody was prepared for this. It made us all realise that this had to be countered immediately and effectively. But how? And there is where a new, deeply-caring human being within us emerged, which conduced to solidarity,” he said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/guardian-group-giving-clients-grace-period-for-due-payments