b'Strategic report Governance Financial statementsLiving our valuesGrowth focused:Being responsive:#wfhWe seek to optimiseMercias value of responsiveness is in noperformance at an individual,better way exemplified than in the contextteam, Group and investee level. of COVID-19 and the working from home initiative more fondly known within MerciaResponsive:as #wfh.We think deeply, always meetingThe smooth transition of over 90 colleagues commitments and aiming tofrom an office-based working environment to exceed expectations. dining room tables, bedrooms, sunrooms and home offices was not just testament to our contingency planning and long-term use of Knowledgeable:tools such as Slack and Zoom, but equally,the assuredness of every member that all the We are recognised as experts innecessary adjustments required to work our field, sharing knowledge fortirelessly to support our portfolio companies the benefit of others. and protect long-term value for our investors could be navigated with ease. All aspects of Trusted:the unfolding effects and impact of the pandemic were monitored and reported on by We are trusted partners, knownthe COVID-19 working group that met three for being honest, professional,times a week.reliable and fair.The Slack channel #wfh became the focal point for colleagues to offer each other moral support using humour, challenges and more informal communications to sustain the commitment and resilience of the team. This was underpinned by the various touchpoints both online and offline that sought to reassure and offer peace of mind to colleagues. Zoom has been pivotal as a platform for morning huddles, weekly company-wide meetings that saw nearly 80 colleagues in a mosaic of videos listening and sharing both professional and personal updates, weekly family and friends quizzes as well as a virtual pub on a Friday evening. A series of home-delivered gifts reminded everyone how important they are and how much Mercia appreciates both them and their families. Training hours Mercia Knowledge1,929 Driving continual improvement, cost savingsbeen undertaken including Mercias systems, and efficiencies are central to Mercias digitalmigration to the Cloud, customer relationship transformation that also translates acrossmanagement and asset management system enhanced data capture, curation anddevelopment that is bespoke to Mercia and analytics. This entire remit falls to Merciaswhich provides improved data management Knowledge team which, like O2, is a workingand reporting, the recruitment of a full-time group that has representatives from alldata scientist, adoption of digital marketing Mercias offices and functions across the UK toand sales software and, critically, the ensure that a whole Mercia approach isintegration of the VCT investment team,adopted. A range of successful initiatives haspost acquisition.Mercia Asset Management PLC43Annual Report and Accounts 2020'