(Letter to Clients 3/23/20)
We are writing to update you on how the U.S. operations of Mizuho are responding to the growing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Mizuho Americas is committed, first and foremost, to the safety and health of our staff and clients. The following is an overview of the steps we are taking to respond specifically to Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments. Our plan is designed to quickly incorporate new directives from government and health officials, as necessary.
Pandemic/Infectious Disease Plan
We continue to implement preventative measures under our Pandemic/Infectious Disease Plan, including:
Remote Working: Mizuho has activated a remote working protocol whereby 91% of our staff are currently working from home. We have deployed and will continue to deploy technology equipment to individuals working at home where we believe is necessary to Mizuho’s successful business operations. We are pleased to report that at this time our remote working protocol has been performing exceptionally and we believe Mizuho is positioned for an extended use of this protocol should it be necessary. Additionally, we have undertaken a series of other preemptive measures over the course of the last few weeks which has allowed us to get to this point. This included reviewing existing business continuity plans, surveying all staff to confirm remote access capabilities, asking staff to test at business continuity sites, and setting up a toll-free message line to communicate important updates to all staff.
Mizuho Offices: At this time, the individuals continuing to work in our office locations are generally only essential staff and critical third-party service providers. For most of these essential staff members, we have implemented a “split staff” protocol and have dispersed such staff across our various office locations to ensure proper social distancing.
Restricted Travel: We have restricted all international and domestic business travel. Exceptions for domestic travel require executive approval. We will continue to revisit this as circumstances develop.
Events: We have changed the format of a few of our events to hold them as virtual summits. This will allow our clients to continue some investor engagement and corporate access activities. As expected, other internal and external Mizuho-hosted events have been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date, to the extent possible.
Technology Readiness: We already have in place systems for remote meetings and are generally requiring their use for ongoing interactions between our offices and staff and for client and business partner meetings.
Social Distancing: We have required all non-essential employees to work from home and have implemented “split staff” protocols, location plans, and related measures to help prevent widespread contamination among staff and allow for continued business operations.
Additional Cleaning of Facilities: We are performing additional daily cleaning of common areas with disinfectant protocols and increased sanitizing stations in common areas. We maintain regular communications with property managers at our facilities to monitor preventive measures they are taking.
Infectious Disease Specialist: We supplement government and heath official directives with ongoing counsel from retained experts in the field of infectious disease.
Emergency Management Team: We host frequent management meetings to discuss preemptive actions and precautionary measures and drive initiatives through the organization with consistent, clear messaging.
Communications: Our Corporate Communications department leverages several internal communication channels to broadcast messages and updates to all staff regarding restrictions, health advisories, and other matters related to COVID-19. We have also posted that information on a dedicated “COVID-19 section” on our internal intranet. We have communicated best practices for protecting staff health and staff who are ill have been asked to stay home.
Regulators: We are monitoring regulatory guidance as the situation evolves and are regularly communicating with our regulators.
Vendors: We have contacted our critical vendors to understand how they are preparing to continue to support services and products provided to Mizuho Americas in the event of an impact to their firm.
Mizuho Americas is implementing all reasonable measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to our staff, our clients, and our business. Thank you for your continued support of Mizuho Americas. We wish good health and safety to all our business partners and their families.