Where business training, management & leadership training, time & stress management, coaching and team building meet "alternative" content.
A lot of stress management techniques come from the USA, and while they have there uses many have an exuberantly optimistic flavour that like cheap instant coffee leaves a bad taste in stiff-lipped British mouths. Tea is the benchmark of civilisation and the dividing line between stressed-out barbarism and stress-free elegance.
While I’m a great believer in emotional intelligence and not a fan of the legendary stiff upper lip, there is a time and a place for stoicism. The British have traditionally been good losers…we have to as we have lots of practice.
US media brainwashing has started to encourage narcissistic tendencies in British youth which is a disaster. While I couldn’t possible condone emotional repression through alcohol intake the British pub is a venerable tradition of social support and group bonding after work – long may it continue. Change is stressful and British people are rightly cautious of it favouring tradition and the familiar. I have lived in many unpleasant foreign lands where people did not have the good grace to line-up! OK so this last one’s less positive but perhaps complaining incessantly and bitterly serves a purpose. Anne runs our popular Change Management courses in Brighton, helping businesses understand how to implement change with that has a lasting effect. When planning and managing change, people often focus on the project plan and benefits the change will bring, without really thinking through what really creates change.
Change comes about when people behave differently – and therein lays the difficulty in managing change. This loss may be about comfort zone, learning new skills, career or status issues, or just knowing how things are done now. Anticipate how people will react, and spend time both pre-empting and addressing these reactions. A change programme led by one department or project must interact with other parts of organisational operations; for example working practises, reward structures, work flows, financial practices or processes that exist around the change target will also need to change to support new ways of working. No matter how much you think you have told others, it’s not what you sent out that counts, but what people actually received. From our perspective, the cloud is now a tried and tested infrastructure environment that is acceptable to the institutional investor community.
Where managers need to spend their time is deciding on the best cloud provider to work with, as opposed to thinking about whether or not they should use a cloud provider in the first place.
There are clear indicators to look for and expect from a cloud services provider with whom you wish to entrust your firm's technology lifeblood. When entering into a new partnership, you want to feel confident that the other side understands you and appreciates your unique qualities. One of the great benefits to leveraging an outsourced cloud provider is that it checks off an important box on your task list. We're all concerned about the potential for a security breach to wreak havoc in a business setting, and preventing such an occurrence is not an easy feat. Paul defined cybersecurity and scalability as two primary technology considerations for new managers.
Paul continued to place emphasis on customized IT, stating that when it comes to outsourcing, it is imperative that a firm carries out proper due diligence in choosing a provider to meet the firm’s unique needs.
In addressing the SEC’s increasing cyber expectations, Paul noted the importance of having a Written Information Security Plan (WISP) in place. In addition to WISP development and implementing additional policies (Access Control, Personal Information Security, Incident Response, etc.), and, of course, employing layers of security across infrastructure, employee awareness and training is the last critical piece of the puzzle.
Paul concluded by describing the five most common mistakes new launches make during the start-up phase, and how to avoid them. You haven’t fully considered the multiple roles technology plays in your current work environment. 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. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make as a new investment manager is how to set up your hedge fund. Based on these structural decisions, you’ll need to determine your tax implications as well as regulatory requirements.
Once upon a time, hedge fund marketing was generally frowned upon, and in some cases, illegal. During the initial marketing phase when a new launch is looking to secure startup capital, it’s important that firms understand their key selling points. Every successful hedge fund needs smart partners on their side, therefore deciding what service provider your firm is going to engage with is one of the most critical decisions your new startup will make. Positively, using best-in-class vendors will say a lot to investors about the value you place on your firm. 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. 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. 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.
If you’re the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or IT Manager, your responsibility is determining the infrastructure choices that are going to best suit operations at your firm.
So how exactly do you go about getting the buy-in from your firm’s CFO when it comes to moving to the cloud?
How will the transition to the cloud shift the company's costs from capital to operating expenses?
How does our current IT cost structure compare with a public cloud strategy and a private cloud strategy? Will transitioning to the cloud ultimately lower our costs and allow us more flexibility in approaching new business opportunities?
Hedge funds, just like most financial firms, need staff to run their technology, handle special projects, build (and manage) complex applications and, of course, execute core business activities. Permanently staffing an IT department for absolute peak capacity, by hiring standby employees to fill in for absent team members, just doesn’t make sense. Rather than building an internal IT department, an investment firm can hire an outside provider to take ownership of its entire technology function.
Outsourced vendors can also assume responsibility for the hedge fund’s technology management and planning, helping to make budget forecasts more accurate and predictable.
A hybrid model consists of at least one in-house IT professional supported by additional staffing resources provided by an outsourced vendor. This approach allows a fund to employ its own IT resources and provides access to the knowledge base of an outside vendor for research and development, instead of depending entirely on the skills and experience of a small in-house staff.
Even an in-house IT department that successfully supports day-to-day operations may encounter special challenges beyond its capabilities. At the same time, it can also help make budgets and schedules more predictable compared to tackling the same complex, unfamiliar projects in-house. Like other value-added solutions, custom technology outsourcing offers a hedge fund access to raw IT resource power, as well as a repertoire of specialized skills. HFMWeek catches up with Eze Castle Integration’s executive director, Dean Hill, to discuss the importance of selecting the right business service providers and the key technology factors new funds must consider when starting out in the EU.
HFM: What do you see as the greatest regulatory challenges facing new hedge funds in the EU? DH: Overall compliance and regulatory stipulations driven down from the SEC and ultimately picked up by the FCA are driving significant changes in the way that new, and indeed existing, hedge funds operate. HFM: There are a number of factors that play an important role in the success of a hedge fund. DH: Selecting the right service providers is probably the most important decision a new or established hedge fund will make. DH: Investors are ultimately driving the initial success and setting the precedent with new launches and established firms. HFM: How can emerging managers leverage technology as a competitive differentiator against larger, more-established firms? 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.
In today’s cloud-powered environment, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems have become a powerful option for hedge funds and investment firms to employ. Many IT service providers have partnerships with telecommunications companies and can assist you in selecting the appropriate options for your business. Our in-house Management Training courses will help your staff run the business more effectively, by improving core management and leadership skills. Investment in personal development contributes not only to individual productivity, but also to the performance of the overall team and organisation. Our in-house Personal Development Training courses will help energise your operations by improving staff productivity and effectiveness.
We can deliver targeted business games, workshops and activities - to actively promote team building, leadership, communications and much more besides.These energising and fun sessions can be run as stand-alone events or integrated into a management conference or corporate training event. T1 Business Training provides quality in-house training to companies in the areas of management and personal development.
For all who integrate BOTH worlds as human business beings - to benefit themselves, their work and the world. In the UK we have plenty of experience dealing with stress, from The Blitz, to losing at all the sports we invented to the daily hassles of the unreliable weather and rail.
In my family home and in several organisations I have worked in whenever anything bad happened someone immediately said…”I’ll put the kettle on then and make us all a nice cup of tea”.


Sometimes discussing feelings ad nauseum sitting in circles and and passing a talking stick is OK, and sometimes its better just to chap-up and get on with it.  While this is not appropriate for traumatic stress (several 7-7 bombing survivors were in fact at pains to point out at a conference recently that the the notion of the legendary upper lip was highly damaging to survivors) for minor life hassles just getting on with it can be very effective.
This attitude to competition that it is about taking part that counts is highly beneficial for stress management. It also helps counteract our aversion to touching, sex and honesty which can be highly beneficial to stress management.
This is distastefully stressful and should be discouraged even when abroad with stern looks and judgemental tuts. Humour is a great stress management aid and let’s face it Americans take themselves FAR to seriously and Europeans are just odd.  While US sincerity and German toilet humour is admirable too much is clearly a bad show. Redesigning the organisational structure, giving people new titles, and producing slick presentations can help produce the illusion of change, but what’s really different?
Most change programmes are logical in approach – actions are decided, milestones planned, fancy reporting graphs are prepared, and sometimes, just sometimes, success criteria and evidenced outcomes are identified. This means understanding what motivates people, what they value, and what they fear losing.
Often these are outside the control of those leading or designing the change, so alliances, negotiations and stakeholder planning is key to changing the environment, and helping people to change what they do. In times of change peoples’ capacity to hear and understand is often reduced, so keep reinforcing the message, publicise quick wins, and be honest about what’s causing problems. They have become very thorough in their operational due diligence process, understanding exactly what cloud providers provide from an operational, management and security perspective. Employee awareness and training are arguably the most important factors in preventing a workplace security incident, but let's not overlook the technology must-haves. Enacting and employing policies to mitigate security risk is critical, but documenting those policies is equally as important -- not only to meet the demands of the SEC, but to demonstrate to clients and investors that your firm takes cybersecurity preparedness seriously. Policies can be documented, Paul explained, but if employees are not trained to identify and mitigate cyber risks, the policies will be ineffective in protecting a firm. In reality, a successful approach means negotiating, purchasing and deploying multiple systems from multiple service providers. Before you commit to any tech solutions, envision how your fund will look in the long term.
Consider the work you’re doing as an employee, and consider which systems supported that work. Acknowledge that you will require IT systems to build servers, manage networks, and handle day-to-day needs. 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.
Be sure to come back to Hedge IT next week as we reveal more of our key considerations for starting a hedge fund. Your organizational structure will typically reveal itself as a limited partnership (LP) or limited liability company (LLC). In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), under the Dodd-Frank Act, requires asset managers managing more than $150 million in AUM to register and hence meet a host of reporting requirements. It wasn’t until the JOBS Act was enacted in 2013 that hedge funds finally had the opportunity to shed their fears of noncompliance and publicly market and advertise their funds. As a new firm, you won’t be able to manage all aspects of your operations internally. If you outgrow your vendor quickly, it can be a significant operational disruption to transition to a new one.
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! 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.
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.
Before you can make the pitch to your CFO, you need to realize the costs your firm is currently incurring for technology infrastructure (and personnel if that will be affected by your infrastructure decision).
One of the greatest benefits to cloud solutions is the transition of Capital Expenditures (CapEx) to Operational Expenditures (OpEx). 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.
As an alternative, hedge funds often turn to outsourcing to cover employee vacations and sick time or to supplement a team during special projects. For a hedge fund manager, this approach offers relief from the daily burdens of managing an in-house staff and provides a cost-effective way to access best-of-breed technical skills. In addition, they can take the lead in training a hedge fund’s staff on IT systems and tools. It differs from the supplemental staff model because it represents a permanent, strategic arrangement rather than a temporary, ad hoc remedy. For the arrangement to succeed, the hedge fund manager and vendor must work together to coordinate planning and activities.
Custom projects can range from new application development to Web design, and from developing new technology to enhancing existing platforms. I think going into 2016 we will see an increase in terms of the amount of new hedge fund launches across the UK and European markets. From the prime broker to fund administrator, auditor, legal counsel, and technology provider, how important is it to work with the right key service providers? All too often we advise funds not to cut corners in their technology operations, as this has a direct impact on the long-term success and reputability of their business.
COOs are often overwhelmed with differences between private, public or hybrid owned cloud solutions.
We manage the Eze Private Cloud, for example, from end to end so we can give clients confidence that the solution will perform as promised. 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. VoIP services are relatively inexpensive and can therefore be attractive to firms initially short on capital.
Note that your costs will depend not only on the functions you need, but also how many users your fund will have. Do they have the confidence and skills to lead, manage and motivate those around them? All of our training courses are delivered onsite at your company premises – saving you valuable time and money! We have learnt to cope with this in some highly effective ways which I’d like to highlight in this article. Sitting down and reflecting for a moment before jumping into action is highly beneficial and the familiar social ritual of making tea is an excellent stress management intervention. There is a word for someone who expresses all emotions and all times without self-management – toddler. Why get stressed when you can be in control of “success beyond success” meaning that no matter what the results of life’s challenges are if you have done your best you still “win”. While of course “knowing your place” has some negative class connotations a really positive side as the acceptance that came with this philosophy.
I also suspect if we gave each other more real empathy and positive action in the UK there would be less moaning…but this great national sport exists for a purpose so let’s celebrate it. Then identifying just what support, training, and occasionally strong guidance, is needed for people to begin to behave in ways that underpin the change. As a general rule, you need to triple your planned communication to make it really sink in.
And while the thought of hosting IT offsite was once a worry for allocators, today's investors find comfort in knowing hedge fund and alternative investment firms are focusing on their investment priorities and leaving the technology decisions to the experts. This has allowed managers to become much more comfortable at appointing a cloud provider to deliver an infrastructure that will perform well in any type of trading environment. One of the most common mistakes new launches make, according to Paul, is assuming that they only require the basic bare minimum in terms of technology. Brand and reputation, long lasting relationships with clients, and industry experience are some of criteria Paul feels are most important when selecting a service provider.
The goal of a WISP, Paul continued, is to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical information, information assets and sensitive materials for your firm and those of your clients. 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. You may also consider a master-feeder fund structure, which could provide favorable benefits, and a domestic or offshore choice may also come into consideration.
There are a variety of communication options firms can use to solicit investors – from traditional print and websites to social media, video and email marketing. Determine what exactly your marketing pitch will be and how you plan to go about promoting it. Again, your CRM system comes into play here and will assist you in tailoring your messaging for future communications. The due diligence process plays an important role here; you should thoroughly vet service providers to ensure you have the information necessary to assist you in the decision process. From a technology perspective, investors will appreciate that you’ve made an investment in systems and processes that support your business and trading operations, and it will give them peace of mind knowing your IT vendor is equipped to handle any issues that may arise. 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.
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.
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. IT doesn’t always have insight into the financial ramifications of an operations decision of this magnitude. Once you have even a rough figure, you’re better equipped to approach your CFO with a cloud proposal and can outline the various cost-savings the firm is likely to incur as a result of the move. Make sure you’ve thoroughly evaluated all of the appropriate cloud solutions available to you and compiled the necessary research to present to your CFO.
With the cloud, firms no longer need to drop tens of thousands of dollars on costly hardware to power operations. So explaining hypervisors, MPLS and intrusion detection systems shouldn’t be your first priority.
If the vendor uses dedicated resource pools, its staff can build a deeper understanding of the fund’s business processes.
Take caution though -- before entrusting your entire technology platform to an outside party, be certain that the vendor thoroughly understands the financial industry and operates from a position of financial strength and stability. Outsourcing is an affordable way to tap into top expertise and best practices in these disciplines. However, because of their mission-critical nature, they require the same vigilance with regard to vendor experience and financial strength. The selected provider should be able to handle all phases of a development effort including requirements, design, usability, development, testing, deployment and hosting. Not only are these launches coming more frequently, but their size, structure and launch AuM is greater than anything we have seen in the last two-to-three years. I think the biggest challenge that COOs are now facing is that they are now much more accountable for areas of their business and operations where they may not have significant insight. Funds are trying to attract institutional investment from other regions, and investors are looking to work with individuals with a solid pedigree and companies that have a solid background in providing proven solutions.
Investors expect firms to maintain institutional grade IT environments regardless of their size. Ultimately a fund is putting its trust in an outsourced provider to deliver a service that ensures the business is up and running at optimum performance levels for the longest time possible. Since selecting a technology partner is one of the most important decisions a firm can make, we encourage clients to conduct thorough due diligence, which includes inquiring about what services are outsourced. 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. Added VoIP benefits include high levels of redundancy, seamless connectivity across multiple office locations and critical functionality for financial services firms. A fund with fewer than 40 users might pay anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 for basic telecommunications services. Fees vary and are determined by your offering mix, user base, remote access method and real-time pricing requirements.
Our professional business trainers can travel to your offices anywhere in the UK, bringing with them all the necessary training workbooks and materials. Tea itself of course in moderation (and we British are nothing but moderate) is also good for your health. Americans say “loser” like it was an insult which ultimately makes them all ghastly, ghastly losers. Thinking you’re special can be very stressful when life clearly indicates you’re not, so let’s have some humility and let go of this one.
Beyond industry experience, take note of a service provider's reputation in the industry. Wouldn't it be easier to engage with a provider that features solutions and services to complement your firm's entire IT foundation?
In selecting a cloud services provider, you want a partner who can grow with your firm, even if today that firm is only made of a handful of employees. He urges new managers to pick an IT solution with operational growth in mind -- considering the business not at the onset, but in three to five years. 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. Many of these decisions will be impacted by the assets you plan to launch with or if you’re using or planning to solicit seed or acceleration capital. Regardless of how, firms should build comprehensive marketing plans that will support their business beyond the launch phase. During this initial period, consider investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to help you monitor and track investor communications.
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. Instead they are typically focused on the other benefits including personnel reallocation, workflow efficiencies, etc. Rather, costs are broken down into predictable, monthly (generally per user) fees that are simple to calculate when adding or removing users. Instead, focus on operational benefits and challenges and how the infrastructure decision supports the business as whole, not just the IT department.
It also provides the fund with a ready backup contingency plan, as well as the flexibility to scale up resources as needed.
We see a lot of service provider companies coming into the market with little or no experience and no concept of what it takes to service a client in such a demanding and fast-paced environment. We have had clients that have been attacked, and we have seen it happen to other companies in the marketplace. The proliferation of private cloud services has had a marked impact in levelling the playing field. Once launched, a start-up should also commit to conducting annual risk assessments of their technology partners. PaaS is great for firms creating or managing their own applications or looking for testing and development environments. Keep in mind your requirements for redundancy, voicemail-to-email setup, branch offices, and call accounting and call recording systems.
However, it’s likely you will want additional services including advanced mobility, integration with trading systems and modular messaging. They may acknowledge the big ideas, the proposed benefits, and project plan, but what they are really interested in is “what’s in it for me?”, or even more often “what have I got to lose?”. And this is at all levels – change really does need to be modelled from the top and support (and change!) from the very top of the organisation is crucial. If their resume touts long-standing relationships with clients just like your firm, that's a telling sign. Think: disaster recovery, email archiving, information security planning, telephony services. If all goes well, that number will grow over time, and you'll need an IT solution to grow along with you. Fortunately, experienced IT providers have the ability to invest heavily in security protections that can detect and prevent outside cyber threats and can even help train your staff to ward off internal incidents. The service provider should not only address day-to-day operations but also anticipate potential problems down the road.
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. Firms can no longer act in silos, but must share information with industry peers (including competitors) to protect the entire sector. Cyber security should be taken as a serious consideration for any firm that could be perceived as an easy target for fraudulent or malicious attack. But, we always caution clients that there are differences between cloud offerings so they must conduct due diligence on the service providers to ensure all resiliency, security and service level requirements are met or exceeded.
The most effective way to achieve 100% uptime is to select a service provider that has as much ownership and control of the service that you are buying into as possible.
When you factor in these features, your costs can rise to a range between $30,000 and $80,000. 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.
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. We will continue to do so through our dedication of servicing to the alternative investment industry. Criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated in their approach to corporate fraud and extracting money from victims. Typically risk is added when a service provider relies on other third parties to provide some or all of their solutions, as they effectively become an intermediator.
If start-up firms can demonstrate the same or better results through technology, they have the ability to shock older, more established, institutional firms to take note of what they are doing. What we are seeing across the market, in terms of hedge fund launches, is the selection of the right partners and providers across all aspects of the business is absolutely critical. This creates a situation where they have little or no control over the service being provided. At Eze Castle Integration, for example, we have built layers of security into our Eze Private Cloud solutions to help ensure user data is protected from the data centre to the desktop.



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