Mark Phelps, Group CEO, G.H. Financials
What’s one significant way coronavirus has affected your work?
I like to spend some of my working life meeting up with clients, meeting friends in the industry or simply networking. I find it invaluable as it gives me a great deal of insight into what is happening in the market. It means I can often be found in the coffee shops, bars or restaurants of the City, and obviously that is no longer an option. I’ve been on a few virtual drinks meetings using Zoom, but you can’t beat a good chinwag over a pint in a city pub.
What’s a typical day like for you right now as we “shelter in place”?
My daily routine changed shortly after lockdown. Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn and getting dressed, I get up later than I used to, and now I stay in my pyjamas, grab some tea and go straight into my office where I host a daily senior management team meeting with colleagues from our London and Hong Kong offices. That call NEVER involves video, it is voice only as I don’t want to scare anyone!
I share my office with Bruno the cat and my youngest son Rory (12), who has online classes from 10 a.m. I usually take that time to get breakfast and to shower before I take part in video calls. I work from another area of the house, wherever is quietest, until the office is spare again. I’m keeping relatively fit during lockdown as I am training for a marathon, so every other day I go for a long run at around 6 p.m. One reason I’m looking forward to going back to the office is that I can stop doing this!
What’s something that has given you hope for the future after this pandemic?
I am so proud of our company and the industry as a whole in how we have pulled together during the pandemic. People have been calling each other and genuinely asking how they are feeling. I’ve even received messages from the CEOs of some of our competitors to check how I’m doing. This gives me hope for the future when you see people in the industry and the wider community come together and support one another during this extremely difficult time.