Despite the challenges of 2020, Russell Bedford looked back on what was a highly successful year for the network. With some 350 offices relying on consistent, reliable and valuable support, it was never an option to stop focusing on the network’s key objectives.
As part of a commitment to continuous development, while preserving quality and culture, and by placing emphasis on aligning the network’s targets and objectives with its core values, Russell Bedford performed a review of the year; producing a GLOBAL PERFORMANCE REPORT.
Speaking about the review, Chair of Russell Bedford, Bruce Saward, commented: "Although it is important to look forward and plan for what the future holds, it is great to look back and see what has been achieved. This year, it is especially satisfying to be able to look back on 2020 and see the great achievements within Russell Bedford during this most challenging year. The way in which Central Office and our members have responded to the challenges of the year is well worth recognizing and celebrating.”
The review also allowed thought to be given to the highs and lows of 2020; what was learned from being pushed out of one’s comfort zone and being forced into coming up with new ways of adding value to the network’s service offering, while supporting members through a crisis.
If you were to ask for the 2020’s word of the year, it does indeed start with ‘P’; but Russell Bedford would argue it’s not ‘Pandemic’. It’s ‘Pivot’. Several felt a little nauseous from the constant dizziness of pivoting throughout the crazy year that was 2020; but here’s what Russell Bedford learned from a year in constant turmoil:
When in doubt, add more value
In a year where the only constant was uncertainty, providing clients with a sense of stability and assurance became highly valuable qualities amidst the chaos. Being reliable, leading with confidence and maintaining a sense of ‘we’ve got this’, helped the network’s member firms feel supported while establishing a new sense of normality.
For Russell Bedford, this meant looking at what was already being offering to members and assessing how the effects of the pandemic may have altered their needs. This led to the launch of Russell Bedford Professional Development in June of 2020; a platform that enables members to prioritise their professional development and schedule training opportunities around their own roles.
Clients really value authenticity
Newsflash! Underneath the tough professional exterior, we’re all human. So; it came as no surprise that the personal touch, displaying vulnerability and empathy, enables the adviser to get closer to their clients, as it does the leader to become closer to their teams. 2020 certainly demonstrated this.
When someone asked the world’s most over-asked question - ‘How are you?’- they actually meant it; and they cared enough to listen for an answer. Last year was a reminder to slow down and consider how colleagues and clients were feeling. This provided firms with a much better understanding of not only their needs but also their hopes, dreams and aspirations; and thereby a much more all-inclusive understanding of people.
Prioritising health and well-being pays untold dividends
One could say that it took a global pandemic to get us all thinking about our own health and longevity. 2020 pushed people into taking their health seriously; both physical and mental. Nature became the solace for most, as the notion of exotic holidays faded into the background. Talking openly about the effects of the pandemic on mental health became the norm as teams were reminded to look out for one another. At Russell Bedford, active care for health and well-being was encouraged through the network’s very own online course, developed uniquely for supporting their members.
A year of pivoting is rather pointless if it doesn’t bring about the desired results. Russell Bedford was hence proud to reveal several significant achievements, which included:
- Network growth in every region of the world
- 13% increase in total global revenues
- 10% increase in the value of referrals between member firms
- Launch of Russell Bedford Professional Development for personal and professional learning
- Record-breaking virtual meetings and conferences, including special online events for business development, leadership, health & well-being and more
- Specific content on Covid-19: Updates and Measures from around the globe, as well as a daily press briefing keeping members informed on developments
- A new platform for sharing knowledge and insights
- Upgraded Centres of Excellence for areas of special interest and expertise
- An engagement on the network’s YouTube channel of more than double that of the previous year; plus a 77% increase in social media activity on Russell Bedford’s taking you further day
- The launch of #RBcares; assisting the people of Beirut, Lebanon, following the devastating explosion.
Speaking of the future for Russell Bedford, Bruce Saward said: "We look forward with great expectation to what the future holds, as we plan for 2021. Our strategic review continues as the Board meets via video conference each month. We know how important it is to create a strategic plan that will see Russell Bedford continue to grow and develop. Russell Bedford has established a substantial profile as a network that is progressing and growing. We want to maintain the forward momentum and embrace the opportunities that the changing profession presents.”
He concluded: "There is so much change occurring in business, professional services and the accounting profession. This is an exciting time, but it can also be daunting. We want to assure our members that the Board is always looking out for what is best for them as we consider the challenges, the threats and the opportunities before us. We are convinced that an exciting future lies ahead for Russell Bedford. We are stronger together.”
Russell Bedford CEO, Stephen Hamlet, added: "It has been another year of success for our network; adding to recent years of significant growth and development. Last year was a difficult year for everyone; and yet the dedication, resilience and togetherness of our people shined through. Looking back, we achieved so much against unprecedented adversity. I am extremely proud that we have surpassed our expectations and taken so many leaps forward. Whilst we anticipate the challenges of 2021, I am confident of the continued opportunities it will bring. I thank our members for their valuable contribution to our group; the support they give to their people, to each other throughout the network, and to their clients.”
For a full overview of Russell Bedford’s performance in 2020, take a look at the GLOBAL PERFORMANCE REPORT.