First Metro goes digital to boost employees financial and physiological wellness

May 27, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of people all over the world and has forced organizations to rethink and change the ways in which they operate and do business. Much of this change involves the shift to digital channels as people are forced to work from home.

First Metro Investment Corporation, the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, recognizes this ‘new normal’, with majority of its employees fulfilling office duties in their respective residences.

Together with subsidiaries First Metro Securities & Brokerage Corporation (FirstMetroSec) and First Metro Asset Management, Inc. (FAMI), First Metro has gone digital to bridge the physical distancing that is required by quarantine or lockdown regulations, to keep in-touch with their personnel.

The Group packaged financial literacy modules – which they regularly conduct for their clients – into online webinars that would allow for continued implementation of mentoring and guidance programs that are much needed, especially under the present economic conditions.

“Many of our employees have understandably been anxious since the pandemic started. Now more than ever, they need to know that their company is behind them,” said First Metro president Rabboni Francis Arjonillo. “As a financial services company, we feel that these webinars will allow them, as well as members of their families, to boost their financial literacy while they are away from the office.”

FirstMetroSec, for instance, has contributed helpful web sessions on Leading by Example: How to teach kids good money habits, Not All Utangs are Created Equal, and Why You Should Consider Long-term Investing in Equities.

FAMI meanwhile conducts webinars on Retirement Planning: How to plan for your own retirement and meet your retirement goals and Budgeting for Your Future.

“These topics resonate louder amid the current backdrop,” said Mr. Arjonillo. “They provide practical pointers to prepare for their futures and to be able to financially manage situations like what we are experiencing today.”

Recognizing the stress that comes with being quarantined at home, and with the inability to do the things one is used to doing, First Metro has also partnered with healthcare experts to assist staff with their physical and mental health.

Wellness speaker and primary care psychiatrist Dr. Anna Margarita Cruz talked about the science of stress and emotions and provided coping strategies and self-care tips through the webinar Managing Stress and Anxiety during Times of Crisis.

Dr. Jan Dipasupil, a lifestyle medicine physician and researcher, furthermore offered practical strategies towards healthier lives and boost the body’s immune system. His web session included a COVID-19 overview, its high risk factors for severe illness, and lifestyle plan such as nutrition, hydration, physical activity, and healthy habits to effect healthier changes.

“The coronavirus pandemic does not only affect a person economically, but also impacts the physical and mental well-being of a person. Just recently, the United Nations warned that coronavirus pandemic could cause a global mental health crisis. This is why we designed the series of web seminars to be holistic,” said Mr. Arjonillo.

Even during a time that feels like a downward spiral, First Metro Group will always ensure the well-being of its employees. “They are our most valued assets, our version of frontliners, and we will continue to develop programs, online or otherwise, with their overall welfare in mind,” Mr. Arjonillo added.