2020 A Year Unlike Any Other
2020 has certainly been a year unlike any other. Disruption and uncertainty impacted many facets of our lives, but we were also presented the opportunity to reset, refocus and reframe our priorities. At MassMutual Greater Philadelphia, we chose to embrace all that this unprecedented year had to offer and I'm excited to share with you some of the highlights from 2020.
Pivoting to an all virtual world certainly took some getting used to but we quickly found power in the ability to connect from our living rooms and kitchen counters. From training classes to client appointments, Zoom became our primary source of connection. Over the course of the year, our associates participated in over 14,600 Zoom meetings for a combined 2,820,000 minutes. Never could we have imagined spending an equivalent of over 117,000 days screen to screen!
Fostering an environment of collaboration and teamwork has been an essential principle for supporting our associates this year. To help them stay engaged and armed with the information they needed, we produced a monthly Creating Extraordinary Opportunities Podcast series to share best practices and ideas across the firm. While these podcasts certainly didn’t replace the face to face mentorship, we so deeply value, they did create a unique platform to stay connected and give back to one another.
According to a new survey released today by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), over four in five (84 percent) Americans say the COVID-19 outbreak is causing stress on their personal finances right now. To help our neighbors access the information needed to help quell their financial fears, MMGP hosted over 200 webinars with topics ranging from Estate Planning in a Complex World, to Financial Wellness in Uncertain Times, to Investment Strategies through Market Volatility.
As the needs of our clients evolve, so does the financial services industry. Education debt, the Great Wealth Transfer and technological advancements have created a greater need for consumers to work with a financial professional. As of December 1st, MMGP serviced over 7,300 customers, welcoming over 4,200 of those customers as new to the firm. To keep up with the demand, we welcomed 55 new financial professionals and 3 new Vice Presidents to the firm this year. Paul Felix, Senior Vice President in Bala Cynwyd, Tim Lavelle, Senior Vice President in Moosic, and Eric Rosenthal, Vice President in Princeton, are charged with building relationships within their respective communities and the development of the financial professionals on their teams.
While Glassdoor estimated that half of the internships in the U.S. were canceled in the spring, we went full steam ahead and hosted our seventh annual summer internship program. Fifteen college students from twelve area colleges and universities participated in our virtual experience. Over the course of our 8-week rotational program, students spent two days in the classroom and the remaining three days of the week working directly with senior financial professionals.
Feeding America reports that more than 50 million people may face hunger because of coronavirus. As financial professionals, we focus on helping create financial security. As leaders in the community, it is our responsibility to help end food insecurity. In response, we hosted our first annual Food Drive where we supported local food banks throughout Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Through the generosity of our associates, we raised over $6,000 and collected car loads of donations to help our neighbors in need.
We were honored to once again support the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Philadelphia Region. The RMHC Philadelphia Region supports families of seriously ill children by creating a community of comfort and hope. We Showed our Stripes, celebrated those who selflessly give at the Champions of Hope Gala, helped raise awareness through the Change the Luck of a Child Telethon, and challenged ourselves in the Philalympics.
There are many things to be grateful for this year: loved ones, first responders, medical professionals, essential workers to name a few. You have changed the world by risking so much to serve others. On behalf of all of us at MassMutual Greater Philadelphia, thank you for your courage and bravery. Stay strong and never give up.
One of the tenets of our creed is to create an environment that feels like home, by ensuring our team members’ families are an extension of our own MMGP family. While we hosted endless Zoom meetings, navigated new ways of doing business and adapted to the ever-changing news, our families stood by our sides and held our hands through it all. Thank you to the families of our associates for your unwavering support and understanding this year. We couldn’t have come this far without you!
When we finally emerge from this pandemic, we are determined to look back and say that we kept our commitments to our associates, our clients and the community. We look forward to the day when we can once again shake your hands, sit shoulder to shoulder and even share a hug of celebration or condolence.
The support and guidance that we provide our clients are invaluable and even in times of uncertainty, we can create extraordinary opportunities so that dreams become reality.
We look forward to a brighter 2021! Best wishes to you and your family throughout the holiday season and every day.
Local firms are sales offices of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), and are not subsidiaries of MassMutual or its affiliated companies. Securities and investment advisory services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. 2 Bala Plaza, Ste 901, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Tel: 610-766-3000