The COVID Diaries: DCM originator 4
The following interview is with an Australia-based debt capital markets originator. It was conducted on 30 March 2020.
Presumably you are now working from home. How challenging has the change been and how is your team dealing with it?
From a practical perspective, the first challenge was getting a desk. They seem to be about as rare as toilet paper right now. The technology has worked incredibly well, I’d say, though I haven’t enjoyed going from a plethora of screens to one small one.
I’m certainly very conscious of trying to keep up contact with the team. We are having a daily VC [videoconference] whenever possible, just to make sure everyone is as connected as they can be.
It’s been positive to see how accepting everyone seems to be of the new working circumstances. I haven’t had the classic experience of a child walking in on a VC, but I have had a 5-year-old shouting in the background as I am trying to talk to a client. Everyone seems to be taking it in good spirit and appreciating the moments of levity.
How close do you think the market will get to business as usual if we are in a period of social distancing for multiple months, including working from home and little or no face-to-face interaction?
“We’re making a conscious effort to maintain contact and [there is a] different tone to our external communication. Obviously the catalyst for that has been terrible but it would be nice to think we might retain some of it on the other side – that it could be a positive outcome from a tragedy.”
What other changes are you making in your personal and professional life?
If anything, it’s more about what I’m trying to keep consistent despite the changes. I’m trying to retain structure around getting out and exercising, as well as with the working day – even though I’m in my study rather than at the office.
I’ve mentioned the way we’re making a conscious effort to maintain contact and the different tone to our external communication. Obviously the catalyst for that has been terrible but it would be nice to think we might retain some of it on the other side – that it could be a positive outcome from a tragedy.
What are you most worried about in this period, personally or professionally – and how worried are you in general?
What is the latest article you have read in relation to COVID-19 and what did you like about it?