EDELMAN: We are adding clients at a fast pace. We saw the same thing happen in 2008. When there is a shock, many people who had been complacent about their finances suddenly realize they either do need help or are not being well served by their current advisor. We are honored to heed that call.

FA: When do you think the coronavirus crisis will blow over and we’ll actually see the gears of the economy re-engage?

EDELMAN: The medical community is telling us when 50% of the population is immune. So for that reason it may be a year or more. But we might be further along on the infection curve than expected and we may have testing in everyone’s hands faster than it is anticipated. They could also develop treatments faster so if people do get infected, they don’t suffer significant health distress. Or it could peter out like SARS and MERS did.

FA: Will the world be better prepared for the next pandemic?

EDELMAN: COVID-19 is the fourth mutation of this virus. We can defeat coronavirus through vaccination and elimination the way we did polio. I believe this crisis will provide the political and social permission governments need to spend the necessary money to make this happen.

Editor’s Note: Edelman maintained its stable rating from Moody’s on March 25, but was downgraded because of the significant debt the firm carries as a result of its private equity partner. The downgrade reflects Moody’s “expectation that the extreme market declines and increasing economic uncertainty unleashed by the coronavirus outbreak will have a significant impact on Edelman's revenues and earnings in 2020,” the rating company said.

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