The GMS Group, L.L.C. has developed a Business Continuity Plan on how we will respond to events that significantly disrupt our business. Since the timing of disasters and disruptions is unpredictable, we will have to be flexible in responding to actual events as they occur. With that in mind, we are providing you with this information on our business continuity plan.
Contacting Us - If after a significant business disruption you cannot contact us as you usually do at the GMS office that services your account you should call the GMS main office at 800-453-6230 or go to our website at www.gmsgroup.com. If you cannot access us through either of those means, you should contact our clearing firm, Pershing, LLC ("Pershing") at 201-413-3635 for instructions on how it may provide you with prompt access to funds and securities, enter orders and process other trade-related, cash, and security transfer transactions for your account.
Our Business Continuity Plan - We plan to quickly recover and resume business operations after a significant business disruption and respond by safeguarding our employees and property, making a financial and operational assessment, protecting the firm's books and records, and allowing our customers to transact business. In short, our business continuity plan is designed to permit our firm to resume operations as quickly as possible, given the scope and severity of the significant business disruption.
Our business continuity plan addresses: data backup and recovery; all mission critical systems; financial and operational assessments; alternative communications with customers, employees, and regulators; alternate physical location of employees; critical supplier, contractor, bank and counter-party impact; regulatory reporting; and assuring our customers prompt access to their funds and securities if we are unable to continue our business.
Our clearing firm, Pershing, backs up our important records in a geographically separate area. While every emergency situation poses unique problems based on external factors, such as time of day and the severity of the disruption, Pershing has advised us that its objective is to restore its own operations and be able to complete existing transactions and accept new transactions and payments within four (4) hours. Your orders and requests for funds and securities could be delayed during this period.
Varying Disruptions - Significant business disruptions can vary in their scope, such as only our firm, a single building housing our firm, the business district where our firm is located, the city where we are located, or the whole region. Within each of these areas, the severity of the disruption can also vary from minimal to severe. Our response to internal business disruptions such as a fire or power outage in one of our buildings includes the forwarding of incoming telephone calls to another GMS location and/or the relocation of essential staff to another location. Our response time to this type of limited disruption, or even a wider spread disruption affecting more than one GMS office in the same region, is estimated to be less than one (1) hour. All GMS office locations are able to respond to client inquiries, execute and process securities transactions and initiate the delivery of funds and securities to our clients. The GMS office locations and telephone numbers are listed on the GMS website. Our response to an external business disruption such as a terrorist attack or citywide flood relies on other organizations and systems, especially those of our clearing agent, Pershing. Our business continuity plan is reviewed at least annually and modified as needed.
In the event it becomes necessary for GMS to execute its business continuity plan, we will post a message on the GMS website, www.gmsgroup.com. Again, if you are unable to contact all the GMS offices by telephone, you may access your account and transact essential business by contacting Pershing at 201-413-3635.