As I'm sure you are all aware San Francisco has been under a shelter in place directive since Tuesday which is due to expire on April 7. We began working from home on Monday and as I write this it is now Wednesday afternoon. I'm pleased to report that everyone at ATEL is doing well and efficiently working from home and using technology to allow us to remain operational.
Specifically, we are using Microsoft Teams to chat, share documents and video conference. Additionally, we have the Avaya Workplace App on our phones, laptops, iPads and personal computers. This app allows us to maintain our office phone number from anywhere in the world, in fact if you call our main number during normal business hours (415-989-8800) you will find that our switchboard operator is answering the line as if she was in the office. In addition, our Investor Services number (800-543-2835, Ext. 3) remains full operational as well.
It is fortunate that as a financial services company we are able to perform all of our functions efficiently on a remote basis. Although only a limited number of ATEL personnel have worked remotely in the past we're finding that if anything as a group we are more efficient as there is very little else to do when you're confined to your residence most of the day.
This week we have successfully had an investment committee meeting using Teams video. I have personally had meetings with our leasing group as well as our venture group using video conferencing and I am aware that accounting, HR, and legal have done the same. I am continually reviewing transactions from both our leasing group and our venture group and both teams continue to work on new deals and closing existing pipeline deals. While it is a little more difficult to prospect for new potential customers at this time we're finding that existing customers and pipeline customers we are currently engaged with are still available and ready to do business. In fact, it appears to us that much of the US economy including our lessees, venture capital firms, venture backed companies, vendors and service providers have quickly moved to online “virtual” offices allowing for a smooth transition to remote telecommuting.
Our syndications group is finding that there is an increased opportunity to purchase seasoned leases from bank portfolios. This is to be expected and consistent with what we have seen in the past in previous economic slowdowns as the banks want to sell parts of their portfolios to improve earnings during the next several quarters.
As all of our fundings are done electronically using wire transfers we continue to document and sign deals using “e-sign” operating normally in the current environment. Essentially all of our billing, collecting and payables have been done electronically using ACH (Automated Clearing House) and wire transfers for quite some time so there is no issue with collecting payments from lessees and borrowers or making payments as needed and most importantly making distributions to investors.
As with the rest of the company our accounting department has a desktop application which allows them to access their office computers remotely, which was recently implemented and after the first day has worked seamlessly. Rest assured that we will be up to date on all of our financial data reporting, SEC filings and audit compliance.
Everyone at ATEL is still receiving their snail mail and express mail. We have one of our mailroom personnel going to the office each day opening the mail, scanning it and delivering it electronically to the appropriate person. Although this is not a perfect arrangement we believe it will suffice so that anything arriving by US Postal service or FedEx/UPS will be handled in a timely manner.
ATEL has been fortunate as a financial services company to be in a position to continue relatively normal operations in the current environment. I am very sympathetic to what is going on around our city, country and world. We are not sure how long this is going to last but you can rest assured that we will be on the job regardless of the duration.
Please let me know if you have any questions about your investment, our current operations or anything else. The entire ATEL team is available for you 24/7, please do not hesitate to contact us as needed. Wishing the best of health to everyone.
Chief Executive Officer