Blog Entries from 05/2011
If someone were to ask me which project management skill is most crucial to the success of a hedge fund project manager, I would say communication. Take it a step further and ask me which part of a project initiative is most important to a project’s success, and I would say project structure.
I am a big proponent of transparency. Project structure serves as a base for the assignment of project tasks to team members because it greatly increases transparency across all levels. When done effectively, it helps control costs, analyze risks, measure performance and break project complexities into manageable parts (building blocks). Breaking a project down into applicable building blocks of structure (called “work packages”) is most effective because it forces the project manager to know something about the essential aspects of project planning.
Discussions around the Dodd-Frank Act continue to dominate the media as investment advisers await clarity on what is expected of them and concrete deadlines.
On May 12, 2011, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro stated in a testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that "Under Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act, hedge fund advisers and private equity fund advisers will be required to register with the Commission, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2012." While the extension has yet to be made official, it is expected.
Without the extension, the current 2011 Dodd-Frank Act deadlines for investment adviser filings are:
Earlier this month Eze Castle Integration officially announced the expansion of our cloud computing and hosted application offerings to London. To create awareness and educate hedge fund managers, the London team hosted a cloud computing seminar on 18 May 2011.
The seminar featured a panel of Eze Castle Integration experts and covered a variety of topics including security, virtualisation and disaster recovery. Below are some of the key points that were touched upon at the London cloud computing event.
Last week, we introduced you to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and gave you an overview of how it works. Now that you know what VDI is, let’s talk about why it may or may not be right for your fund.
According to Gartner, the market for VDI is expected to grow to 49 million units by 2013, up from just 500,000 in 2009. With such an enormous jump in VDI users, it’s important that firms who are thinking about adopting this technology understand both the potential benefits as well as the potential concerns of VDI. We’ve outlined some of them here:
Recoverability & Disaster Recovery
With VDI, there is the option for local recovery if a desktop fails; you can easily swap out the thin client with little to no disruption and significantly less downtime than if desktops were not virtualized.
Many internal and custom applications may be updated frequently, so replicating your virtual desktop will ensure that the DR version is identical to your exact desktop.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a topic discussed regularly by IT departments at large enterprises where desktop management, data security and remote branch management are expensive and complex undertakings. A 2010 InformationWeek survey found that of the 430 respondents, 42% were either actively using or testing VDI and another 35% were assessing the benefits of VDI.
This said, “smaller” organizations certainly don’t have it easy either, but in the past VDI was often an overly complex solution for smaller firms. Today, VDI is increasingly moving into the conversations of mid-sized financial services firms, including hedge funds and other alternative investment firms.
In this article we’ll help define Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and explore, at a high level, how it works. Next week we’ll look at the pros and cons of VDI focusing on use at hedge fund and investment firms.
Despite BlackBerry’s recent release of its Playbook, Apple is expected to continue its dominance of the tablet market, even for enterprise businesses. Apple’s Mac products (desktop and notebook) also continue to gain popularity in the office setting, and many businesses are replacing their desktop PCs and traditional laptops with iMacs and MacBook Pros.
I recently attended an Apple demonstration led by a senior Eze Castle engineer. Here are a few interesting facts I learned:
Earlier this week Financial News wrote an article on financial institutions being “spooked” by social media. While financial firms are slow to leverage social media, more and more are exploring what benefits these evolving communications vehicles can bring to an organization. The first place to start is implementing a social media policy; from there you should look at the various tools available to monitor activities and participate.
One social media tool that just about every professional has is Microsoft Outlook – yes, that email application that most people view as “strictly business” has some nice features that enhance the utility of social media. I started using the Microsoft Office Social Connector when I upgraded to Outlook 2010 (plug-ins for Outlook 2007 and 2003 are available) and find it’s a great tool for gaining a consolidated view of the various ways I have interacted with a contact. I’ve connected my LinkedIn account but you can also connect to Facebook, Sharepoint and Windows Live.
While the celebrity award season may have run its course already, hedge fund services award season is in full swing, and we’re honored and excited to be a part of it.
So far this season, we’re proud to announce we’ve been nominated for four separate awards, each of which speaks to our continued commitment to providing our investment firm clients with services and solutions to meet their daily business needs.
We were recently named a finalist for HFMWeek’s European Service Provider Awards in the “Best Advisory Firm” category. As hedge fund consultants, we work closely with firms to assist them in determining what operational and technical systems and processes are best fits for their companies, and this nomination is a testament to the hard work our international service team has put into working with our clients to meet their technology requirements.