Isaac just another day at the office for Gulf Coast advisers

Toughened locals keep on working through Category 1 hurricane; 'business as usual'

Aug 29, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

By Darla Mercado

Hurricane Isaac
+ Zoom
Plenty of damage ((Photo: Bloomberg News))

Power outages and torrential rains forced some Gulf Coast advisers to shut down their offices, but a number of them have decided to keep working in spite of Hurricane Isaac.

Roland T. Doubleday, an adviser at an eponymous firm in Metairie, La., was unable to get into the building where his office is located. Instead, he decided to work remotely, about a mile away, running his laptop on a generator, due to a power outage. The phone at Mr. Doubleday's office routes calls to his cell phone, so he's been able to respond to clients.

“I'm just waiting it out,” he said. “We've been through this before. The clients in the area are used to it and will call or text if they need something. For the interim, it's business as usual.”

Adviser H. Jude Boudreaux of Upperline Financial Planning LLC is also still open for business, albeit six hours away from his New Orleans office. He evacuated his family to a hotel room in Houston, notifying clients of his availability on his mobile phone and via e-mail.

Though Hurricane Isaac isn't bringing the same kind of devastation that hit the area seven years ago when Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast, local advisers say they learned from their 2005 brush with the ferocious Category 3 storm.

Mr. Boudreaux recalled having to physically collect his computers and servers from his office after Katrina. “I learned many lessons from that,” he said. “The technology has come a long way in seven years.” These days, his office is “nearly paperless,” and data are stored on servers that aren't near New Orleans. Anything that's on paper is locked and secured in water-resistant filing cabinets.

Christine Brown, chapter executive of the Financial Planning Association of Greater New Orleans, noted that nearly all of the members closed their offices for the day and were prepared to weather the storm. “Our members had gone through Katrina and came through beautifully as far as their offices,” she said. “I didn't have the same apprehension with this storm.”

Mr. Boudreaux, who grew up in Lockport, La., remembers riding out hurricanes while growing up. These days, packing up to work remotely isn't so much about avoiding an inconvenience to himself, but rather being totally available to clients should an emergency arise. “If there's a power outage, I can suffer without air conditioning, but I'll be useless to my clients if I can't communicate with them and serve them,” he said.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


What to do when your partnership ends

Breaking up is hard to do: and that is certainly true when it comes to advisory firms. Financial Adviser Rob Holdford tells his story and explains how you can survive and thrive when a partnership dissolves.

Video Spotlight

The Search for Income

Sponsored by PGIM Investments

Recommended Video

Path to growth

Latest news & opinion

How does your advisory firm stack up?

Comparing a firm's pay to the competition can point out vast flaws.

10 signs your client is cheating on you

Sure signs that clients may be on the way out the door.

Morgan Stanley sees slower fee-based asset flows on fiduciary rule delay

Flows to advisory accounts, while still higher than the start of 2016, dropped off more than 20% from Q2 and were the lowest in a year.

How adviser salaries stack up to other jobs

Median compensation hovers just under $100,000 on the low end and reaches nearly $300,000 for bosses.

Finra ranking brokers in effort to crack down on industry's bad apples

All 634.403 reps have been ranked based on factors such as prior regulatory disclosures, disciplinary actions and employment history.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print