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Business Observer Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2020 2 weeks ago

Investment research managing director says prudent, short-term planning is best course of action

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Brian Frohn is the managing director of Venice-based Ned Davis Research.
by: Grier Ferguson Sarasota-Manatee Editor

Executive: Brian Frohn, managing director

Company: Ned Davis Research, a provider of independent investment research insights, tools and solutions headquartered in Venice

Working situation: I’m currently working from home, but luckily for me, it’s something I’m more used to. I typically worked at home two to three days per week prior to COVID-19. 

Biggest working situation challenge: So many meetings! My calendar seems to keep filling up with meetings: calls all day long, back to back, on top of each other. My kids are also at home bored, which is an additional challenge. 

Most important business lesson you've learned in the shutdown: Most importantly, I’ve learned that as a company (Ned Davis Research), we can fully adapt to do business virtually and have shown the ability to operate well in a crisis.

How far out into the future are you looking? I don’t think anyone can really know what to expect long-term, so I’m mostly focused on shorter-term planning right now. I feel like I can safely plan around a four- to six-month timeline.

With so much uncertainty about the months ahead, what can those involved in financial services and others do to plan for the future? Unfortunately, no one can predict the lasting impacts of the crisis we’re facing. The landscape is changing rapidly and unexpectedly, so prudent, short-term planning is the best course of action. I would recommend staying optimistic for the future, but to not make plans based on hope for change.

How do you maintain your spirit/morale during these tumultuous times? I’m fortunate to have remained healthy and safe throughout this tumultuous time. I try to remind myself of all of the positives that have come about from being entirely remote. With no travel and no commuting, I have more time to spend with my family. The small comforts of working from home keep me upbeat, and I try to exercise, meditate and spend some time outside to keep up my morale.  

Media outlets, books, articles, TV shows, podcasts and/or audiobooks you’ve focused on: I’m trying to limit the amount of news coverage I watch, as it can be exhausting. To stay informed about what’s going on, I like to read the Wall Street Journal, the media coverage of our strategists and of course the NDR research we produce. When I need a change of pace, I enjoy taking some time to learn more about my hobbies like photography, videography and sailing.  

Exercise or stress relief you’ve turned to during the crisis: I try to keep up with exercising as best I can. I go for runs outside when the weather is nice or do short app-based workouts. I’ve been especially trying to meditate and read about mindfulness to help stay grounded. My family and I enjoy sailing as well, which is a great way to get outside and keep a safe distance from others. We just kicked off the season last week!  

Last trip out of the house: My last trip was to the supermarket across the street and to a local restaurant for takeout lunch. It’s been inspiring to see the community rally around small business owners and support industries that are struggling through this crisis.

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