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Five Steps of Business Continuity Planning for Investment Firms

By Eze Castle Integration | Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

When confronted with unexpected business disruptions, investment firms must react swiftly, methodically and successfully or else risk significant financial loss. This level of response requires extensive business continuity planning to ensure all aspects of a firm’s business are evaluated and protected.

The key to a successful business continuity plan lies in understanding the impact a disaster situation could have on a business and creating policies to respond to any such impact. Here are the five key steps to this plan:

Five Steps to Business Continuity PlanningCOVID-19 Resource center

To create an effective business continuity plan, a firm should take these five steps:

Step 1: Risk Assessment

This phase includes:

  • Evaluation of the company’s risks and exposures

  • Assessment of the potential impact of various business disruption scenarios

  • Determination of the most likely threat scenarios

  • Assessment of telecommunication recovery options and communication plans

  • Prioritization of findings and development of a roadmap

Step 2: Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

During this phase we collect information on:

  • Recovery assumptions, including Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)

  • Critical business processes and workflows as well as the supporting production applications

  • Interdependencies, both internal and external

  • Critical staff including backups, skill sets, primary and secondary contacts

  • Future endeavors that may impact recovery

  • Special circumstances

Pro tip: Compiling your BIA into a master list can be helpful from a wholistic standpoint, as well as helpful in identifying pain points throughout the organization. 

Step 3: Business Continuity Plan Development

This phase includes:

  • Obtaining executive sign-off of Business Impact Analysis

  • Synthesizing the Risk Assessment and BIA findings to create an actionable and thorough plan

  • Developing department, division and site level plans

  • Reviewing plan with key stakeholders to finalize and distribute

Step 4: Strategy and Plan Development

Validate that the recovery times that you have stated in your plan are obtainable and meet the objectives that are stated in the BIA. They should easily be available and readily accessible to staff, especially if and when a disaster were to happen. In the development phase, it’s important to incorporate many perspectives from various staff and all departments to help map the overall company feel and organizational focus. Once the plan is developed, we recommend that you have an executive or management team review and sign off on the overall plan.

Step 5: Plan Testing & Maintenance

The final critical element of a business continuity plan is to ensure that it is tested and maintained on a regular basis. This includes:

  • Conducting periodic table top and simulation exercises to ensure key stakeholders are comfortable with the plan steps

  • Executing bi-annual plan reviews

  • Performing annual Business Impact Assessments

7 Steps to Create a Business Continuity Plan

For more on investment firm business continuity planning, check out our “7 Steps to Create a Business Continuity Plan eBook.”


This blog was originally written in 2016 by Mary Beth Hamilton and has since been updated. 
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