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COVID-19 has all of us concerned – for our families and friends, our employees and the investment returns people depend on. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak. While State Street has helped clients navigate challenging market environments from recessions to global conflicts to trade wars for more than 225 years, COVID-19 represents a new challenge that investors have not faced before. Therefore, I want to give you an update on the steps we are taking at State Street Global Advisors to ensure our teams around the world can continue to serve your needs.
Maintaining Business Continuity First and foremost, I want to assure you that we have strong and tested business continuity plans, including a Pandemic Response Policy, to prepare for situations like this. With operations around the world in segmented locations, we started to activate our continuity plans when the virus was first detected in China to ensure the health and safety of our employees and to maintain our operations.
Like many of you, we have already restricted travel, imposed quarantine periods for locations impacted, canceled conferences, and utilized business recovery locations. The majority of our employees world-wide will be on a remote work rotation program either working from home or at an alternate site.
Effectively Managing Your Investments Our investment focus remains on effectively managing the assets you have entrusted to us. We continue to see heightened volatility and reduced liquidity across all major asset classes. With portfolio management and trading teams across the globe, we have worked diligently to manage cashflows and monitor market conditions.
As one of the largest index fund providers, we have teams with deep experience accurately tracking indexes during volatile times, including managing thinly traded, less liquid securities. Our more than 100 indexing professionals are meeting frequently throughout each day to discuss everything from the timing of trades to liquidating positions to minimizing trading and transaction costs. Meanwhile, our active portfolio managers, including our quantitative, fundamental and multi-asset class teams, are selectively making changes to balance risk and return appropriate to their mandates.
Our SPDR ETF business, which includes many of the most liquid ETFs in the world1, has already demonstrated its resiliency multiple times, including after 9/11 when markets were closed for six days, the August 24th “Flash Crash” and other significant market events. It has done so again these past two weeks, where in the US, our ETFs have represented 42% of total industry ETF trading volumes2, providing an essential source of liquidity and price discovery. This has occurred while also navigating three market-wide circuit breakers and several limit-up / limit-down trading halts.
Sharing Our Market Insights & Expertise We are also increasing the volume and frequency of our market commentary to keep investors informed about market impact, the implication of policy responses and our macroeconomic and markets perspective. Last week, our Chief Investment Officer Rick Lacaille and other key investment leaders held a live panel to discuss the market environment, likely geopolitical responses and what it means for investors. Our thought leaders continue to offer insights through blogs, webinars and client newsletters on topics ranging from market volatility to central bank policy changes to oil price fluctuations and the impact of COVID-19 on specific geographies and industries. We have also been in close touch with regulators globally, sharing our insights and perspectives.
Our relationship management and investment teams are here to support you and your investment needs through this challenging period. Even in this era of social distancing, we are committed to staying connected to you via phone, WebEx, and other digital communications.
We will continue to stay in touch as this crisis continues. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can be of assistance or if you have any concerns – and I hope that you, your family and your employees stay healthy and safe during this difficult time.
There are two things we know about all crises: each one is different and each one does end. This too shall pass.
1 Bloomberg Finance L.P., as of 1/10/2020. Based on 180 day dollar trading volume and geography focus of US Equities. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. 2 Bloomberg, as of 3/11/2020.
Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal. The views expressed in this material are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. All statements, other than historical facts, contained within this document that address activities, events or developments that SSGA expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by SSGA in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances, many of which are detailed herein. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks, uncertainties, many of which are beyond SSGA’s control. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
SPDR ETF is the exchange traded funds ("ETF") platform of State Street Global Advisors and is comprised of funds that have been authorised by European regulatory authorities as open-ended UCITS investment companies. SPDR ETFs may not be available or suitable for you.
ETFs trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, fluctuate in market value and may trade at prices above or below the ETFs net asset value. Brokerage commissions and ETF expenses will reduce returns.
Changes in exchange rates may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of an investment. Further, there is no guarantee an ETF will achieve its investment objective.
SHARES IN THE FUNDS OF THE SPDR® ETF SICAV, SSGA SPDR ETFS EUROPE I AND SSGA SPDR ETFS EUROPE II PLC MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OR SUITABLE FOR YOU. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS SITE DO NOT CONSTITUTE INVESTMENT ADVICE. INDEPENDENT ADVICE SHOULD BE SOUGHT IN CASES OF DOUBT. NEITHER THE INFORMATION NOR ANY OPINION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE CONSTITUTES A SOLICITATION OR OFFER TO BUY OR SELL SHARES OF THE FUNDS OR ANY OTHER FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT.
Standard & Poor's®, S&P® and SPDR® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P); Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (Dow Jones); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (SPDJI) and sublicensed for certain purposes by State Street Corporation. State Street Corporation's financial products are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, their respective affiliates and third party licensors and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s) nor do they have any liability in relation thereto, including for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index.
SPDR ETFs may be offered and sold only in those jurisdictions where authorised, in compliance with applicable regulations.
Information related to Mexico
This information does not constitute and is not intended to constitute marketing or an offer of securities and accordingly should not be construed as such. The Funds referenced herein have not been, and will not be, registered under the Mexican Securities Market Law (Ley del Mercado de Valores) and may not be publicly offered or sold in the United Mexican States. Disclosure documentation related to any of the aforementioned Funds may not be distributed publicly in Mexico and shares of the Funds may not be traded in Mexico.
You should obtain and read a prospectus and KIID relating to the SPDR ETFs prior to investing. Further information and the prospectus/KIID describing the characteristics, costs and risks of SPDR ETFs are available for residents of countries where SPDR ETFs are authorised for sale on the SPDRs website and from your local SSGA office.