Matthews Asia Perspectives


Matthews Asia COVID-19 Response

16 March 2020

Matthews Asia is keenly aware that infectious diseases such as COVID-19 have the potential to cause disruption to our business operations and pose health risks to our clients, employees and their families. 

Firstly, our thoughts are with all those that have been impacted by the virus, either directly or indirectly, and we extend our gratitude to all health care professionals, scientists and service providers who are diligently working to help and provide care to those in need around the world. 

At Matthews Asia, we remain focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees and their families. We are taking a number of steps to manage and minimize the adverse impact of the virus but more importantly, we want to reassure all of our clients that we continue to be open for business and are fully able to service you and your clients from a remote working environment. We are also aligning our work practices as mandated by the city of San Francisco and other governments and agencies worldwide. 

At the highest level, the firm proactively maintains a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that is reviewed and amended as needed by our Incident Management Team (IMT). The IMT is comprised of members of the firm's senior management team across the organization, including the Investment team, IT, Operations, Distribution, Finance, Legal and Risk & Compliance. Matthews Asia's BCP ensures the firm has a framework in place for addressing, among other critical components: supporting or restoring business functions; identifying key personnel and their roles; ensuring the adequacy of resources and employing emergency notification system to quickly dispatch communications and alerts to all employees.

More specifically with regards to COVID-19, we have been proactively communicating to our employees since early January, initially to our offices in Asia and as the disease spread, to our offices in Europe and the U.S.  These communications have focused on providing advice to employees on BCP readiness (to ensure we can continue serving our clients without disruption), professional and personal travel, in-person client meetings, how to respond to illness, personal hygiene and where to find the latest government advice. 

With regards to the firm's working arrangements, as part of our BCP implementation, all employees in San Francisco and London are required to work from home until further notice. Offices in Asia continue to operate in accordance with their existing business continuity practices which have been in place in recent weeks.

In terms of our current business travel policies, all international and domestic business travel has been suspended for all offices. This covers all modes of transportation and, therefore, is not limited to airplane travel. With regards to personal travel, we have requested employees to notify department managers of any personal travel.  

We continue to be in frequent communications with our clients, providing regular updates on the status of COVID-19 and its implications on global markets and our portfolios. We have also taken steps to ensure the health and welfare of our existing and prospective clients and other interested parties by offering  alternatives to in-person meetings including use of video calls, WebEx and telephone meetings. We greatly value our relationship with our clients, and we are committed to providing continued service. 

During outbreaks such as COVID-19, our primary objective is the health and well-being of our employees and their families, consideration for our clients and our service providers and the continuity of business operations to ensure our portfolios can be managed without interruption. We will continue to monitor the status and progress of this outbreak, and provide updates to our employees, clients and service providers as appropriate.



Matthews Asia is the brand for Matthews International Capital Management, LLC and its direct and indirect subsidiaries. This material is provided for informational purposes only, is not an offer of any services or products and is subject to change without further notice given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation.

The views and information discussed in this report are as of the date of publication, are subject to change and may not reflect current views. The views expressed represent an assessment of market conditions at a specific point in time, are opinions only and should not be relied upon as investment advice regarding a particular investment or markets in general. Such information does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell specific securities or investment vehicles. Investment involves risk. Investing in international and emerging markets may involve additional risks, such as social and political instability, market illiquidity, exchange-rate fluctuations, a high level of volatility and limited regulation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The information contained herein has been derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of compilation, but no representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of any of this information. Matthews Asia and its affiliates do not accept any liability for losses either direct or consequential caused by the use of this information.