The iPhone SE promises an A9 processor with faster LTE and Wi-Fi speeds, better battery life, 4k and 240 fps slow-mo video recording, live photo support, and Apple Pay. The starting price for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport is now $299, down $50 from the introductory price. Apple announced the launch of Carekit, a companion to ResearchKit that allows six partner medical organizations, including John Hopkins University and Stanford Medicine, to create apps to help patients monitor their symptoms and care with their doctor.
Apple also gave an update on its goal to run all facilities on 100 percent renewable energy. Many firms create a 10-20-page written information security plan that formalizes the definitions and policies that govern the creation, access, and deletion of confidential information and computing services. Regulatory Risks – Following the right security practices will enable you to achieve clean audits from industry and government regulators. Personal Email – Even if your employee is following all of your processes and practices with work-related email, you could still be vulnerable if her private, personal email is breached or corrupted. By developing an internal culture of security, the organization does far more than deploy and configure bits and bytes.
Show investors that you have a 3+ year budget for working capital without any performance fees.
Make sure to properly allocate expense and investment opportunities if you decide to launch a single investor fund or separately managed accounts. When it comes to seed arrangements, pick the right partner and put parameters around potential issues that could arise. Become familiar with the changing expectations on the cybersecurity front, from both investors and regulators.
Investment firms often place too much emphasis on managing portfolios and not enough on managing the business as a whole. The decisions you make from the outset will define how your firm is regarded within the industry, by both investors and competitors. Since the 2008 economic collapse and scandals caused by the likes of Madoff, transparency has become a key requirement for investors. By investing upfront in operational and technology systems that can support your business and propel operations, you provide your firm with marketing tools that will far surpass the capabilities of a presentation or pitch book. These critical considerations are ideal for new managers to address as they enter the startup phase. Operating capital may be limited in the first few years after your launch, so careful budgeting and long range planning will serve your firm well. Governmental oversight of the financial industry has evolved dramatically in the last decade. Apart from registration, you should also determine if there are any legislative implications for your new firm. Since 2014, cybersecurity preparedness is also a critical area of focus for regulatory bodies.
Cloud services offer more flexibility than traditional infrastructure models and, beyond cost-savings, can reap rewards for new launches. Of course, one of the greatest benefits to using an outsourced cloud service is professional management and monitoring. Beyond infrastructure safeguards, it is critical that firms implement policies and procedures to protect firm and client assets. While the list of considerations is surely long for new hedge fund managers, we've whittled it down to 10 Keys to Launching a Hedge Fund Successfully - a guide for new startups to use when setting off on their new journey. We at Eze Castle Integration have identified the top four reasons why backups are critical to not only a firm’s growth, but also their survival. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has instituted regulations on the storage of financial records and electronic communication, and financial industry regulatory agencies such as FINRA now provide standards and guidance information on potential threats. The reasoning behind these recommendations is the volume of things that can go wrong with your data storage solution. Regulatory and compliance organizations recognize the necessity of data security and advocate for firms to have a comprehensive backup solution in place. As reported by Gartner in the 2015 Gartner MQ Report for Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances, by 2017, the number of enterprises using the cloud as a backup destination will double, growing from twelve percent (12%) today. Consider the impact to your business if you lost the data held in your CRM, financial, or reporting systems. Backups should be an integrated part of not only the IT department, but of the overall business strategy. Businesses invest large amounts of time, money and resources into their operations; however, most are lacking a plan to protect this hard work.
Because the security of data is imperative, it’s critical that firms choose the right provider to maintain tight control and visibility over business critical information. Marc Berger’s opening statements emphasized the extent of the cybersecurity threat currently facing firms across a wide swath of industries. Where there is reliance on third-party service providers, the AAM is NOT relieved of its cybersecurity risks but rather, has the obligation to assess and monitor the provider’s security policies and procedures and conduct adequate due diligence. While the SEC has issued various Risk Alerts providing guidance on areas of focus, the guidance and rules are not prescriptive.
Only 39% agree that their organization has ample resources to ensure all cybersecurity requirements are met.
We spend a lot of time educating our clients about security best practices and encouraging them to implement comprehensive security policies and procedures to mitigate risk and protect both the firm and its employees. While companywide policies should reflect long-range expectations and corporate best practices, they should also include tactical recommendations that employees can follow to ensure they are complying with the company’s overall risk strategy. Provide information such as login IDs, passwords, social security numbers, account numbers, etc. But what effect do these changes have for the person responsible for technology at a hedge fund or investment firm?
Regulatory Requirements: With the Dodd-Frank Act and other new regulations in effect, investment management firms have a whole new host of requirements to meet. Compliance: In addition to complying with the regulatory requirements above, there are also new internal compliance procedures hedge fund CTOs have to grapple with.
Communication Skills: Despite the fact that they are forced to work with inanimate objects all day, technologists must also maintain good communication skills to support their technical operations. While dealing with increased focus and responsibilities relative to regulations, compliance, and due diligence have added to the plates of hedge fund CTOs, another phenomenon has also contributed to this change in role.
While some firms have opted to reduce or eliminate their IT staffs and outsource all technology, others have opted to maintain internal technology resources while also utilizing the cloud. Regardless of the approach, the prevalence of cloud computing in the hedge fund industry is driving technologists to evolve their technical and non-technical skills. Voice over IP has come a long way especially in the business world, but many financial services firms still have hesitations about making the switch. Call quality is a key concern and can be impacted by a number of items including the network, available bandwidth and even the type of phones being used. When evaluating VoIP for financial firms, it is important to inquire about the underlying network and how voice traffic is prioritized and routed.
According to the FCC, if you are moving from one geographic area to another, however, you may not be able to take your number with you. The report found that in 55 percent of all cyber attacks in 2014 were carried out by either malicious insiders or inadvertent actors and that unauthorized access triggered nearly twice as many incidents in 2014 compared with 2013. Another example cited was that malicious code and sustained probes together accounted for 40 percent of all the incidents observed. These examples demonstrate that the risks facing large organizations and smaller firms (read: hedge funds) are just as real.
Feedback on eSentire’s offering and approach is always received positively and the spark for this tech spotlight article.
Eze Castle Integration and eSentire are working together to give hedge funds using the Eze Private Cloud or on-premise IT complete protection from security risks that could jeopardize operations and threaten proprietary information. In a SaaS model, firms are offered a complete range of applications via the Internet, all of which are managed by the hedge fund cloud provider. Infrastructure as a Service provides data centre, infrastructure hardware and software resources over the Internet. The Internet, of course, is an essential vehicle for collecting and distributing market data, as well as communicating with your clients, investors and partners via email.
Whichever Internet access method you select, seek out a plan that bundles proactive monitoring and security features to ensure the highest possible availability. The subject of hedge fund operational due diligence is one that has risen to the forefront for both hedge fund managers and investors in recent years. Historically, there has been a general lack of transparency within the hedge fund industry; larger funds, in particular, often balked at investor inquiries. Due diligence, as a process, did not gain significant importance until just a few short years ago.
Hedge funds managers and investors are now taking due diligence seriously and making conscious steps to maintain open communication and increase information-sharing.
Operational excellence has become one of the most important factors to hedge fund investors today as they determine where to allocate their money.
What service providers are you engaged with and how do you determine their quality of service? Investors need to understand why hedge funds have made each of their operational choices, including when it comes to technology.
Investors have become much more aware of technology and how important a role it plays in the day-to-day operations of a hedge fund. Hedge funds should be prepared to recover from both short- and long-term disasters and be prepared to outline their processes and procedures (in writing!) to investors. Hedge fund operational due diligence is an opportunity and a marketing exercise – one that funds should undertake with educated personnel and a willingness to be open and transparent. The Cybersecurity Interpretive Notice applies to all membership categories--futures commission merchants, swap dealers, major swap participants, introducing brokers, forex dealer members, commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors. But whatever approach is taken, the Cybersecurity Interpretive Notice requires Members to adopt and enforce an information systems security program (ISSP) appropriate to its circumstances.
Description of ongoing education and training related to information systems security for employees.
NFA recognizes that some Members may face a significant challenge implementing ISSPs by the March 1, 2016 effective date, and any programs that are adopted will be refined over time.
Eze Castle Integration’s Cybersecurity Practice Team is available to create Written Information System Security Programs for firms.
With offices, colleagues and clients spread across the world, firms need to consolidate data in an organized fashion.
As the regulatory environment continues to intensify, RMS has evolved into a vital component in establishing a complete compliance strategy at investment firms. Industry-specific RMS dives deep into the complex layers of investor relations, enabling professionals to monitor interactions, track communications and identify accounts that deserve further attention.
Unlike generic solutions, RMS tailor-made for alternative investment firms presents data in an instinctive manner apropos to the industry. RMS empowers companies to evaluate operations and establish best practices, foster relations, attract investors and fuel returns. Last year, cybersecurity took center stage across the investment community, and there is little doubt that it will continue to dominate in 2016.
Previously a non-factor for hedge funds, marketing is now a critical element to any firm’s success. One trend that we noticed in 2015 that we may see extend into the New Year is the transition some hedge funds are making into the family office spectrum. The Securities and Exchange Commission took major strides to regulate investment firm cybersecurity practices in 2015, with the release of multiple guidance updates (Click for the September 2015 update). In December 2015, we participated in a Wells Fargo Prime Services cybersecurity event and the panelists outlined everything your hedge fund needs to know about the SEC’s security expectations. As referenced above, training is critical to showcasing cyber preparedness in today’s world.
One final article related to security hones in on the fifth bullet above – vendor management.
New fund launches and emerging managers are always looking for tips to assist them in successfully creating their firms – and Hedge IT delivered in 2015. We love delivering new educational content to our loyal Hedge IT readers, but we also like to share new voices and invite our partners and colleagues across the investment industry to share their expertise. We live in a world dominated by social media outlets, yet LinkedIn has emerged as the de facto professional site for industry networking and information sharing. The April 2015 SEC Cybersecurity Guidance Update goes deeper into risk assessments expectations. You must also understand where your data is located, how it is collected and who and what technology systems have access to it. Registered investment advisers should have a clear understanding of the threat landscape, including potential internal and external risks as well as unique vulnerabilities specific to the firm. Once firms understand the risks facing their organization, they must conduct assessments of the existing controls and processes to ensure they account for the risk landscape and put the appropriate safeguards in place. Be sure to understand the potential impacts of various cyber risk scenarios and outline specific protocols for incident response and quick resolution. Finally, testing and assessing the governance structure, including administrative and technical safeguards, is key to ensuring effectiveness. Gone are the days of management simply outsourcing responsibility to third-party experts and trusting them blindly.
Additionally, management must instill the importance of security preparedness in all employees by making it a top-down priority. A firm must train employees on handling confidential data and define their responsibilities around cybersecurity. Importance of Security Policies: Outline employee responsibilities concerning information security, the incident escalation process and how to protect data from malicious intrusion. Practicing Internet Safety: Help employees recognize the signs of malicious activity, how it can spread and prevention strategies.
Email Safety: Identify what makes an email message suspicious, such as a strange subject line or unexpected sender, and how employees should handle it. Access Control Responsibilities: Train employees on how access controls and passwords are maintained and expectations for employee behavior in both areas.
When it comes to cyber threats firms can no longer act in silos, rather they must share information with industry peers (including competitors) to protect the entire sector. Access Rights and Controls: OCIE warns that the lack of basic access controls and user management policies can result in unauthorized access to systems and information. A few internal security best practices we advise clients to keep in mind are: 1) maintain a strong password policy, 2) evaluate multi-factor authentication, and 3) implement a mobile device management policy. Data Loss Prevention: For this control area OCIE covers two potential data breach weaknesses.
Vendor Management: OCIE highlights the significant risk exposure third-party vendors and platforms can introduce to a firm and reinforces the importance of conducting adequate and regular due diligence. The goal of an information security awareness program is not merely to educate employees on potential security threats and what they can do to prevent them.
Incident Response: OCIE examiners expect firms to have detailed written information security plans as well as incident response policies. Taking immediate measures to prevent compromises and unauthorized access (including requiring periodic password changes and restricting use of the system by non-essential vendors and contractors).


Companies that have 51-100 employees and a relatively young demographic composition will likely be hit with significant healthcare premium increases, as the small group community rates will be much higher than what they currently pay. A New York City business of 79 full-time employees recently came to TriNet concerned about how upcoming ACA changes would impact their mid-size business. TriNet conducted an analysis of what they could expect, using the New York small group rates that are available today. Because TriNet provides small and mid-sized businesses with access to rich Fortune 500-level benefits at prices they can afford, we were able to not only help this NYC business avoid a premium increase in 2016 – but we were actually able to provide them with a 10 percent savings on their current rates. Come back Thursday for our next article or subscribe to Hedge IT and have it delivered to your inbox.
While it is critical to implement appropriate cybersecurity protocols in order to comply with applicable federal and state law, it is equally important from a franchise risk perspective as the costs associated with potential losses and responses to a breach can be devastating and significant.
Shelley Rosensweig is a partner in the Investment Funds and Private Equity Practice Group in the New York office of Haynes and Boone, LLP.
Fittingly, CEO Tim Cook also discussed security at length – not shying away from concerns resulting from the current fight with the FBI. The 16GB model, as well as a 64 GB model for $499 go up for pre-order on March 24, 2016, with the first units shipping March 31, 2016.
In addition, the screen of the new iPad pro will be 40% less reflective than that of the iPad Air 2, but will be 25% brighter. The most important development is the introduction of voice dictation support – meaning you can ask Siri to search for a specific movie as well as enter your username and password. Users can record, track, and compare their symptoms with their doctors, and in turn the physicians can create a list of care instructions that are adjusted based on the CareKit information.
Currently, 93 percent of its facilities run on renewable power, and 100 percent of US facilities are environmentally friendly.
That can be everything from a definition of personally identifiable information (PII), a description of user access privileges and roles, or policies regarding USB thumb-drives. It commits to defining and following thoughtful, far-ranging policies to eliminate the needless internal vulnerabilities that often go unrecognized. Not only must emerging managers evaluate traditional deployment strategies, but consider current factors influencing the financial landscape.
There was quite a bit of content discussed during the 1-hour event, so we’ve pulled out some key takeaways.
Target those who have a history of being receptive to founder share class and who may offer lower management and performance fees. Recognize where the private cloud has an edge: high-touch, industry-specific service and support, scalability and application integration, and security and compliance.
Value is derived from knowledge of the application, knowledge of business, and having a dedicated support team. By taking into account all aspects of your firm and relying on trusted service providers to support operations, you prove to the greater investment industry that you should be taken seriously and can operate successfully in a challenging environment. Nothing less than full disclosure is expected of firms from the newest launches to the most established investment firms. And while that goal is certainly reachable, the process does not stop on your go-live date. These decisions can put your new firm on equal footing with established firms and demonstrate to investors that you are built to succeed. Our advice centers on everything from marketing and operations to IT budgeting and service provider selection. Don't forget to visit Hedge IT on Thursday as we reveal the last of our key considerations for starting a hedge fund. Hedge funds, private equity firms and registered investment advisers now operate in a world where they are beholden to regulatory bodies with growing expectations and requirements.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which redefined the registration requirements for hedge funds, also set forth new reporting requirements and standards for safeguards. With the prevalence of cyber threats and attacks, the SEC’s Office of Compliance and Examinations (OCIE) has incorporated cybersecurity into its examination targets. Firms can add users nearly instantly – a welcome benefit for startups looking to ramp up quickly. You can do this by conducting employee awareness training to keep all users informed and educated about the cyber environment and the threats that may arise. And be sure to come back to Hedge IT later this week when we'll be sharing an excerpt from our brand new whitepaper on the same topic! Regulatory agencies and investors now expect businesses to have backup solutions and comprehensive record-keeping practices. In addition, international regulators such as the FCA, a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, are also demanding firms to have a data backup solution. From hardware failure, software corruption, virus or network security breaches, to natural disasters and human error, the threat to your data is endless. Businesses that demonstrate that their data is secure and backed up have a competitive edge when security questions inevitably come their way. And by 2017, seventy-five percent (75%) of organizations will have replaced their remote-office tape backup with a disk-based backup solution that incorporates replication, up from forty-five percent (45%) today. A SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey by Symantec found that downtime costs small businesses an average of approximately $12,500 per day and medium businesses $23,000 per day. Eze Castle partners with KeepItSafe, a leading provider for managed online backup and recovery, to deliver our Eze Vault services. As a result, firms are challenged to understand what level of cybersecurity readiness will be deemed sufficient to meet regulatory obligations given their AUM.
According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2015 Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity, sponsored by Raytheon, 25% of respondents in a study say C-level executives currently view cybersecurity as a competitive advantage, versus 59% who say it will be a competitive advantage three years from now.
In an industry historically known for protecting its information, recent regulatory developments may foster a change in how firms think about sharing information. In addition to providing employees with security best practices they should follow, don’t forget to also include a list of actions they should not.
There is little doubt that the hedge fund industry has evolved in recent years with the rise of new regulations, the wide spread adoption of cloud services and deep focus on cybersecurity risks. In addition to needing knowledge on a variety of technical skills such as networking, storage, virtualization, telecommunications and resource management, a CTO must also possess a variety of business and non-technical skills to support the organization. CTOs have to run daily or intraday reports to satisfy new legal requirements, store and archive emails and other messages, and work with regulators on a regular basis to ensure their firms are complying with all necessary directives.
Particularly in the post-Madoff era, firms are implementing policies to combat insider trading and other securities risks. The increased focus on transparency and due diligence has led to many CTOs interacting directly with investors on a daily basis, educating them on how technology is supporting and protecting their assets. The popularity of cloud computing (and outsourcing in general) has prompted many hedge funds and investment firms to reevaluate their technical strategies and reallocate their technical resources. It can be done effectively and efficiently, and many larger firms, in particular, find it beneficial to use the cloud and also have internal staff dedicated to other technical projects. While many of the traditional roles of the hedge fund CTO are changing, others remain the same.
But when things turn bad, it could be downright scary," so here is our latest video that covers four signs you may be outgrowing your IT service provider. In honor of this global availability, we want to debunk some common myths associated with VoIP for financial services forms. However, a well-designed business-caliber VoIP system can deliver quality of service comparable to an in-house phone system.
You want a provider that has full control over network traffic and can ensure high quality of service. While consumer-grade VoIP services work over the Internet to deliver low cost services, Business-grade VoIP services often use the Internet as a backup and have private IP point-to-point lines for primary connections. It is important to ask providers about the availability of financial industry specific features such as bridged appearances and IP ringdowns. Therefore, be sure to ask your VoIP provider about how they handle number portability when moving outside a geographic region. Contact Eze Castle Integration to learn more about our Eze Voice Service that was built specifically for hedge funds, financial services firms and alternative investment firms. A 2015 Cyber Security Intelligence Index study by IBM found that over 62 percent of cyber incidents targeted three industries -- Finance, Insurance, and Information and Communications -- highlighting the serious risk cyber intrusions present to financial firms. To that end, we regularly team with eSentire to speak with hedge fund CTOs about the security landscape and their managed security technology. We've talked through Why Cloud Computing is Right for your Hedge Fund and Understanding Public, Private, and Hybrid Clouds.
This means firms can forego upfront investments in servers and software licenses and pay a predictable per-user, per-month fee. The PaaS model enables hedge funds to create Web applications quickly without incurring the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying software and hardware. Through IaaS, applications are delivered as a virtualisation platform by the cloud provider and can be accessed across the Internet.
They are all delivered over the Web, and services can be accessed in the cloud on demand, usually via subscription payment. High-speed Internet and voice connectivity are necessary to access market data feeds, communicate with investors and facilitate trade orders and other investment decisions. You’ll likely find four Internet access choices, depending on availability in your area. You could also consider using multiple providers and a router in order to establish a safety net in the event one of your sources fails.
Your PBX will be installed in your data center and provides several options for routing calls and storing voicemails, as well as services such as caller ID, auto-attendant and integration with ring-down lines to various brokers. Prior to the economic downfall in 2008 and high-profile investment scandals made infamous by Bernard Madoff and others, hedge fund due diligence was viewed as an unnecessary assignment. They figured there would never be a shortage of investors, so there wasn’t a need to spend extra time satisfying their needs. In the past, the responsibilities associated with hedge fund due diligence would often fall under the role of a CFO, CCO or other executive – someone who had very little time to devote specifically to due diligence.
There has, undoubtedly, been a significant increase in the number of due diligence inquiries by hedge fund investors, and the questions they are asking are much more relevant and involved - that rings true across business and operations functions, technology departments and the investment side of the business.
They want more information, more transparency and more assurances that fund managers have done their own due diligence in assembling and managing their infrastructure and overall businesses. Small-scale disasters, such as winter weather scenarios, and larger incidents like the Madoff scandal have initiated a real shift in the hedge fund industry and highlighted the need for hedge funds to have robust technology solutions in place and systems and procedures to keep them operational at all times. During the due diligence process, they often ask to see systems at work, the processes through which data is transmitted and stored, and how testing procedures work. Explain the designs and processes of your operations, particularly when it comes to your technology. If you do not have an in-house IT staff, you can ask your technology service provider to do this for you.
You will score points with investors if you are up front about everything and don’t attempt to hide anything. Hire a consultant to help you with this – it is the single easiest way to prepare for a real investor review. Test your disaster recovery system frequently (at least twice annually), and show the results to investors.
Investors want to see that funds are serious and that they value operations and technology as vital aspects to their businesses. It does not begin when an investor comes in for a meeting and end when they walk out the door. The NFA's Interpretive Notice to NFA Compliance Rules 2-9, 2-36 and 2-49 entitled Information Systems Security Programs requires Member firms to adopt and enforce written policies and procedures to secure customer data and access to their electronic systems. Executive-level participation and annual review of the information security program is expected. NFA expects to devote appropriate resources, such as providing additional guidance, to assist Members as they develop and implement their ISSPs. Significant benefits offered via RMS have caused a ripple effect of soaring adoption rates across the global investment industry. From meeting and call notes, to audits and analyst reports, the demand for readily accessible information is ever burgeoning.
Additionally, RMS helps managers stay on top of priorities and ensure deliverables are met through task management tools. Customized reports offer real-time insights into a firm’s operations, improving analysis of interactions, portfolios, relationships and pipeline activities. The multitude of built-in features within a tailored RMS ensure consistency across an organization and provide a leg-up against competing standard solutions. With over 20 years of sales and sales management experience, Jaime is responsible for leading the company’s business development and marketing initiatives.
Across the hedge fund and alternative investment industry, firms are devising new strategies and implementing plans to drive growth and increase returns.
If we can assume that firms used 2015 to shore up security practices and have, at minimum, established a baseline for protecting firm assets with firewalls, password protections and penetration testing, we can expect 2016 to take cyber preparedness to the next level in the form of advanced features and analytics including phishing and social engineering tests, designed to increase the level of preparedness held by firm employees.
In 2016, hedge funds and investment firms will need to develop comprehensive marketing strategies in order to elevate their brands, attract new investors and retain capital. Several prominent former hedge fund managers returned outside money in recent years and began operating as family office firms, most notably Steve Cohen and George Soros. Instances of social engineering are often what trip up employees – think phishing and spear-phishing schemes. Anytime an investment firm works with a third-party provider, it’s important to understand what risks become present and how firms can manage said risks. Our two-part Checklist for Launching a Hedge Fund in 2015 shared insights from both Eze Castle Integration and our partners at Marcum LLP on the legal, technology and cybersecurity priorities for new hedge fund startups. Our August 2015 Hedge Fund Insiders Series featured fresh articles from contributors including Haynes and Boone LLP, Wells Fargo Prime Services, and Willis Group Holdings Ltd.
Even hedge fund managers, traditionally very secretive, are joining LinkedIn, so we outlined a few tips to ensure LinkedIn activity is top notch. During the discussion, Stuart Levi of Skadden reminded attendees that the SEC has clearly defined (and communicated) its cybersecurity expectations. The impact of cybersecurity incidents can range from financial to technological to reputational. Once access levels are defined and implemented, they must be reviewed at least annually (biannually or quarterly is better!) to ensure adherence firm wide. But the risk a hedge fund undertakes when outsourcing a function of its business to a third party is enormous.
The Financial Services: Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) is one such group enabling information sharing. Examiners also expect to see that assessments and associated policies are specific to a firm’s business.
Examiners may request details on how a firm manages user rights and what supporting technologies are in place. The Alert states that examiners may ask firms to outline how they evaluate, audit and assess vendors and how that diligence links with the firm’s ongoing risk assessment process. The reality is that a firm’s security strategy will only work if employees are properly trained on it. A larger goal should be to change the culture of your organization to focus on the importance of security and get buy-in from end users to serve as an added layer of defense against security threats.


They knew they would be subject to the community rated small group plans and that their new rates would become effective with their first renewal on or after January 1, 2016.
Maya joined Ambrose in 2005 as an HR Associate and has leveraged her growing expertise in client service, benefits, and strategic HR to improve the service offering to the Alternative Asset space. Advisers should implement a cybersecurity strategy through written policies and procedures and training that provides guidance to the adviser’s officers and employees concerning applicable threats and measures to prevent, detect and respond to such threats and to monitor compliance with cybersecurity policies and procedures. Advisers should consider performing due diligence on their third-party vendors to confirm whether they have sufficient cybersecurity protective measures in place.
Other new features include Folders, allowing users to organize apps in the home screen, access to the iCloud Photo Library, and Live Photos. The bank believes hackers executed a hack that allowed $81 million to be taken from the bank’s foreign exchange account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And the way that starts to happen is through systemic and comprehensive training practices.
Prepare an institutional set of documents up front if you are looking to attract institutional money versus high net money. They include risk assessment, governance, training, access control, vendor management, and information sharing.
That means you have to demonstrate to investors that you take your business seriously and that you’ve made investments in your operations, technology, etc. As such, fund managers should take this to heart and make strong efforts to comply with increasing investor expectations. From your legal paperwork to security practices and technology safeguards, the importance of documentation cannot be understated in today’s environment.
For example, system safeguards such as data protection, disaster recovery measures and email archiving are requirements under Dodd-Frank. Having released two extensive questionnaires and several risk alerts focused on security, the SEC has made it clear to investment firms that they will be investigating the practices employed at firms and increasing expectations for the future.
Startups have a variety of options when it comes to settling on their technology infrastructure. Users can gain access to email, file services and applications from virtually anywhere, and built-in disaster recovery provides confidence that everything is protected from the inside out. Users should understand how security threats may present themselves (phishing schemes, social engineering, etc.) as well as how they can become cybersecurity assets to your firm.
Successfully operating a new startup beyond the first year is a feat many managers struggle to accomplish, therefore it's critical for emerging managers to gain a full understanding of the industry that awaits them and the hurdles they should expect to face. Understanding the need and importance of implementing a backup solution can add instrumental value to your business.
With today’s financial services companies managing exponentially growing volumes of sensitive data, the risk of loss grows as well.
If something were to happen to the data center where your production system lives, you can resume operations in DR.
Having a third-party backup solution provides geographic diversity of data assets, which is key for a complete business strategy. Recently, KeepItSafe highlighted the success of a backup and recovery case when a company’s servers crashed, and with it, so too did their records of billing history, accounts receivable and accounts payable. Highlighting the importance of information sharing, on December 19, 2015, after years of failing to enact cyber threat information-sharing legislation, Congress passed the controversial Cybersecurity Information-Sharing Act of 2015.
Take a look below and discover a vast range of security tips and tricks from email encryption to proper security measures for protecting computers and mobile devices. But as the industry has experienced rapid change over the last several years, so too have the CTOs and their responsibilities.
Mobile security and BYOD issues are another area for technology directors to focus their attention.
Working more frequently with investors and regulators means CTOs need to work on their interpersonal communication and ensure they are properly representing their organizations.
Many firms still maintain that they need an internal resource for troubleshooting and other projects. In business settings, where calls are made over private IP connections, Quality of Service (QoS) can be monitored and guaranteed because the entire IP connection is controlled by the party making the call. For added confidence, ask to speak with existing VoIP customers (over the phone!) to hear about their experiences first-hand. If Internet is the primary transit, be sure you are working with a VoIP provider who manages the entire network and has control over traffic prioritization. Additionally, Eze Castle Integration utilizes eSentire intrusion detection technology within our Eze Private Cloud and to power our Eze Active Threat Protection services. The firm has full control of the virtualised platform and is not responsible for managing the underlying infrastructure. Hedge funds can easily upgrade or downgrade plans in real time to accommodate business needs for cloud business solutions. To help you make an informed decision about your voice and Internet needs, we’ve provided a few suggestions below. As you consider your options, it will be useful to know the approximate number of users and required functionality of the system.
But as the hedge fund industry has evolved over the last several years, so has the need and desire for operational excellence. You can also compile a comprehensive presentation or simply have an open question and answer session with your potential investors. Due diligence is an ongoing process that can continue to improve and evolve as investors and fund managers open the lines of communication and maintain an open dialogue.
Additionally, firms must provide employees training during the onboarding processes as well as periodically during employment. In this article we’ll examine how adopting a research management solution could benefit your firm. Storing information within multiple programs and folders not only welcomes disorder and the opportunity for digression in the workplace, but also increases costs and wastes valuable time. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted rules that require firms to document company finances, policies, procedures, etc.
These features work in harmony to streamline investor relationship management and accelerate workflows, allowing managers to allocate more time towards nurturing relationships and growing business. Through powerful reporting capabilities, mangers are able to evaluate data at a granular level, make more informed investment decisions and pave the pathway for success. Companies that lack a RMS may be left in the dark of inefficiencies and missed deliverables, which could lead to bigger issues down the road.
Prior to joining Ledgex, Jaime was head of global sales for research management software company Code:Red (acquired by FactSet), where he successfully helped grow the business to a global client base and expanded its footprint from Boston to offices in New York, London, Europe and Asia. In 2016, we expect the following industry trends will play a role in shaping many of the decisions hedge funds and other investment management firms make.
With cyber-attacks increasing in sophistication, firms will need to spend time in 2016 working with managed providers and internal IT teams to continue the education process and identify strategies to outsmart hackers. Whether via traditional marketing campaign tactics such as pitch presentations, websites and CRM systems or more modern avenues such as social media, firms would be wise to think through their objectives, plans, and communication methods before outreaching to potential investors. And while there are less regulatory pressures and expectations to meet as a family office entity, security measures should remain enterprise-level, and we expect to see family offices investing heavily in cyber preparedness policies and systems. He recapped the following six areas advisers must have covered to demonstrate preparedness to regulators.
Today management must understand their firm’s security posture and be able to outline the safeguards that are in place to minimize risk.
It’s not about not trusting your employees, but more so about not trusting the technology behind those employees. Successfully managing risk associated with third-party service provider relationships is a full-time job, especially for financial services firms working with dozens of various parties. In this area, examiners may question how security patches are prioritized and handled based on prioritization. Currently, in many states the small group market encompasses firms with 50 or fewer employees. New York State currently prohibits insurance rate variations based on the demographic characteristics of the firm. The compliance program of an adviser could address cybersecurity risk as it relates to identity theft, data protection, fraud, business continuity, as well as other disruptions in service. Advisers may also consider outsourcing certain cybersecurity risk and protection functions to third-party providers. She advises clients regarding matters which include design, structure and operation of investment portfolios, distribution and marketing issues and commodities and futures issues. It appears that the initial point of entry for the hackers was a spear-phishing email, potentially sent weeks before the fraud took place, which allowed the criminals time to remotely monitor and probe the bank’s networks without detection.
Tools such as risk management or document management systems can give extra peace of mind to demanding investors with high expectations. Regardless of the assets your firm is launching with, you will be expected to have sophisticated and comprehensive policies and procedures in place from day one to combat cyber threats. With the birth of cloud technology, firms can save on upfront capital expenditures and host their infrastructure in the cloud – providing flexibility within those startup budgets.
A reputable cloud services provider not only provides world-class infrastructure and resiliency; it also assumes responsibility for the management and daily maintenance of your cloud environment. Investors also have high expectations, and before they will even consider allocating money to your firm, they want to understand what protections you’ve put in place to protect their assets. However, if something is deleted in the production environment, that action is typically mirrored, thus deleted in DR as well. DR allows the rapid recovery of IT operations while cloud backups provide another layer of protection by leveraging a third-party vendor to secure your data in an alternative location. As of June 30, 2015, per ITRC data, in 2015 the banking industry experienced an increase of 85% versus 2014 data for the same period. However, regulators may also be looking at whether enforcement action is warranted if the AAM failed to implement appropriate security measures that would have prevented the attack from occurring. In most cases you want to ensure voice traffic takes precedent over data or travels on a different network.
PaaS is great for firms creating or managing their own applications or looking for testing and development environments. Hedge funds should continue to take the time to understand where the real risks are within their businesses and work to instill confidence with their investors. This prehistoric method of aggregating data has been replaced with advanced RMS, a much more viable, flexible and comprehensive solution.
RMS enables managers to easily search the repository and export queried data with just a few clicks of a mouse. Additionally, firms may be overlooked by potential investors due to a deficiency of RMS adoption when compared to software equipped third-party providers. Jaime attended Syracuse University where he earned a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Economics. The less data employees can get to, the less damage can be done via an internal breach or external hack. The second area dives deeper into data loss prevention (DLP), asking firms how they monitor the flow of files and data, particularly large attachments or uploads. But for policies that renew in 2016, this market will be expanded to include companies with up to 100 full-time employees. Maya holds a BA from Brandeis University, where she majored in International Business and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. It is important not only to have policies and procedures in place, but to periodically confirm that these policies and procedures are being implemented. Shelley also assists clients with seed investments, the formation of managed account platforms and the organization of joint ventures. With competition for investor allocations at an all-time high, you’ll have to work to determine what sets your firm apart from the others. Be sure to enable your firm’s processes to comply with SEC recommendations including risk assessments, infrastructure practices, policy documentation, etc. With hackers savvier than ever and financial firms as known targets, it’s critical that firms establish a comprehensive approach to security to not only meet investor and regulatory demands but also to protect firm assets and mitigate business risk.
Backups, on the other hand, create an offline copy of your data which is not accessible except to restore, sometimes utilizing a third-party vendor to store that data in an alternate location. The importance of protecting this data is interconnected to the importance of the overall operations of the business. Firms can no longer act in silos, but must share information with industry peers (including competitors) to protect the entire sector. Disaster recovery, business continuity planning and cybersecurity preparedness should all be viewed as full business exercises, not solely technology ones. Hosting a firm’s data within a user-friendly, central repository simplifies processes, optimizes productivity and uncovers new business opportunities. Enhancing the efficacy of the due diligence process, a robust RMS will manage, amass and report on both quantitative and qualitative due diligence data.
When it comes to the future of your firm, driving growth and expansion through the measureable benefits of a research management platform drastically outweigh the costs of missed opportunities. We believe this will result, on average, in significantly higher healthcare premiums – especially if the firm has a relatively young average age composition, as so many New York financial firms do.
Advisers should consider educating clients about how to reduce exposure to cybersecurity threats to their accounts.
She advises investment advisory clients regarding investment products and services, SEC, FINRA and CFTC regulatory and compliance matters, as well as trading issues and employment matters.
If you don’t learn how to differentiate yourself, your chances of getting lost in the crowd are much higher. If not forthcoming, you may open up your firm to serious regulatory and criminal prosecution. Your cloud services provider should act as your trusted technology adviser and, as such, give you the flexibility and time you need to focus on your investment priorities without worrying about security updates and patch controls. If access to a file was lost in both production and DR, backups grant the ability to recover the data and continue business as usual. This is an example of a successful case; however, many businesses lacking a backup solution are not so lucky. Cyber-attacks carried out on the financial community have almost doubled in 2015, and industry experts believe these numbers will continue to increase unless adequate precautions and prevention measures are taken. AAMs can expect to see investors placing greater emphasis on cybersecurity as a part of its due diligence and regulators focusing on cybersecurity in their routine regulatory exams.
The role of the hedge fund CTO has certainly changed in recent years, and like the technology these professionals support, it’s safe to say their job functions may be markedly different in the years to come. While both options present benefits, the latter assimilates seamlessly with an investment firm’s daily workflows, terminology and diverse range of data. An ideal RMS will also offer customization, accessibility and integrate with other applications, such as Outlook.



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