16 March 2020
Dear client investors, tenants, partners,
As the COVID-19 situation develops across the globe with every passing hour, and as France enters stage 3 of the epidemic, I felt it necessary to speak out directly to you all in the name of the Directorate and all of the Primonial REIM staff to explain the exceptional measures we have taken. These emergency measures have been deployed to protect the safety of our staff and ensure business continuity in the interests of our clients.
Activation of the business continuity plan
• A few years ago the Primonial Group established a solid business continuity plan, designed specifically to deal with exceptional situations such as this one, allowing it to adjust its financial, technical and human resources such that they can ensure operational continuity.
Working-from-home as a general rule
• To limit the spread of the virus, its impact and participate in the collective effort, we have generalised the application of working-from-home to include all Primonial REIM employees; our operating systems are flexible enough to cope with this.
• All of our staff have company computers and smartphones. They all have access to a network and a series of specialist platforms which allow them to work remotely, a practice which is already quite common within the company.
• Meetings, committees and trust AGMs will be held using modern and secure communication methods (telephone, video-conference, email, webcast, etc.)
. • We have suspended all business travel in France and overseas, even outside of the zones classed as a risk. Our property asset management teams will continue to use the local Primonial Group representatives in the various countries of business (Germany, Belgium, Italy, etc.) for the operational asset management (maintenance, upkeep, etc.) and day-to-day relations with the tenants.
• As regards our investment approach, we are watching the situation and property markets very closely as well as the risks and opportunities they present. Regular resistance tests applied to our trusts are an integral part of our day-to-day risk management and control operations.
Total commitment to our shareholder clients
• All of the Primonial REIM staff remain at the service of its client investors. Our asset managers have all of the necessary tools to ensure the performance of our trusts (SCPI, OPCI, SCI, etc.) can be managed remotely. We organise daily management reports and complete regular trust resistance tests, an approach which was already an integral part of our day-to-day risk management and control operations.
• We maintain our confidence in the real-estate sector’s capacity to absorb major economic shocks as well as in our trusts’ capacities to meet their target performances. We will be sending out a weekly report from our Research & Strategy Department concerning the impacts of Covid-19 on the property markets accompanied by trend observations.
Day-to-day situation monitoring
• A Primonial Group crisis cell is supervising all developments related to the current situation and closely monitoring all government recommendations. We will continue to adjust our organisation as the situation develops and will keep you updated as and when necessary.
We remain at your disposition for any further information and are fully committed to dealing with the current situation.
And finally, in these difficult times, I would like to share a thought for those most at risk and our older generations, who we must protect above all else. I would like to send my best wishes to all of you and your loved ones for the days and weeks to come.
Chairman of Primonial REIM