For many, working from home has been a strange, if not unpleasant change to the norm, but I know that many have found the prolonged isolation hard. Equally, it goes without saying that returning to the office will present its own challenges as we now readjust to new working conditions.
We are of course hoping the June 21st deadline for the easing of all restrictions remains in place, but we will continue to monitor the updates as they come in. Either way, your investment managers will continue to be able to provide their usual services as we start shifting the emphasis back to working in the office and more importantly, resuming client meetings, which I know many readers will appreciate.
On the markets front, the trend remains upwards at the time of writing and the economic picture remains relatively positive. It was certainly encouraging to see the FTSE 100 breaking through the 7,000 level in April and then again in May. Brian Tora presents an upbeat picture in his regular Economics Focus piece, suggesting the flexibility and innovation that has been displayed in fighting the pandemic stands us in good stead as we look ahead. Of course, pressures remain and inflation is one that we will be keeping a close eye on.
An area that I have written about before, and one that is progressively high on our agenda, is the increased alignment of shareholder value with sustainability and our impact on the society in which we live. As we continue to evolve this area of our business, both at the corporate and investment level, John Royden presents us with a brief history of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance investing) put in the context of how he has always assessed companies when considering an investment.
We also feature in this edition articles on SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies), about which much has been written in the press, the need to plan ahead when contributing to your ISAs and the usual investment outlooks, combining to create another interesting collection of insights from around the firm and externally.
We are also delighted to bring news of our latest sponsorship agreement. Many readers will know that we have been a corporate supporter of Surrey County Cricket Club for many years and, having been approached by the club, we have decided to take this support to a new level by taking the naming rights of the Vauxhall End stand at The Oval. This is an exciting opportunity for us to really stamp our mark on cricket and take our brand to cricketing audiences across the country.
As face-to-face contact resumes and we can begin holding events again, I do hope, as we start to fill our calendar for the second half of the year, that you get an opportunity to catch up with your JM Finn teams in due course. In the meantime, let us hope that the summer months do indeed bring more freedom for the country.
Hugo Bedford CEO