Blog Entries from 03/2012
Last month, we proudly announced the promotion of one of our veteran company leaders to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Chris Holden, who previously served as our senior vice president of finance, has been with Eze Castle Integration for nearly a decade, and has led our efforts to expand the organization’s global reach. In his new position, Chris will continue to focus on corporate growth, while leading the way into new markets and regions around the world.
I recently sat down with Chris to pick his brain on the importance of continued international expansion, as well as to get his thoughts on some important lessons that he’d like to share with other CFOs and organizations that may be undertaking similar growth strategies.
Here at Eze Castle, we believe knowledge is power.
Having an understanding of your firm’s technology needs will take you far, particularly when it comes to satisfying increasingly technology-savvy investors. But gaining that knowledge can sometimes be a challenge for fund employees who are pressed for time and busy focusing on strategic goals.
We’ve made it our mission to be a constant source of information for our hedge fund clients and partners - our Hedge IT blog is a prime example! In addition to our wealth of blog posts, we have a dedicated Knowledge Center devoted entirely to helping educate investment professionals on what’s new and exciting in hedge fund technology. Below are a few of our most popular knowledge centers, easily configured by category to help you find exactly the information you’re looking for.
2012 is a big year for the UK, starting with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The London Festival, World Pride, and the Olympics. There are many advantages to hosting major events including a considerable boost to the economy, urban regeneration and increased tourism. However, there are also many logistical and technological challenges the hedge fund and alternative investment industry must plan for to ensure their businesses doesn't experience disruptions.
The number of people for the Olympic Games is expected to rise by 300,000 with the number using public transport increasing by over 80,000. Transport networks will be stretched as hundreds of thousands of people use public transport, which means staff may not be able to get to work as easily as usual.
The countdown is on as the March 30, 2012 deadline for hedge fund and private equity managers to file their registration forms with the SEC, under the Dodd-Frank Act, is just around the corner. In reality though, most firms filed their Form ADV back in February to satisfy the 45-day review period.
However, the Dodd-Frank Act continues to spark change and much debate throughout the financial services industry. Just today the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) “completed Dodd-Frank Act rules requiring swaps brokers to decide within minutes whether to clear a trade in an effort to reduce risk in the $708 trillion global swaps market,” according to Bloomberg news.
Dodd-Frank also requires that swap entities establish and maintain written business continuity and disaster recovery plans designed to enable them to resume operations with minimal disturbance to counterparties and to recover all required documentation and data.
Earlier this week – Tuesday, March 13 to be exact – sections of Boston lost power because of an electrical transformer fire that occurred behind the Back Bay Hilton Hotel. Approximately 21,000 people were without power Tuesday night and as of late Wednesday afternoon about 4,000 people were still without power including hundreds of Boston companies.
Companies whose power came back Wednesday morning experienced minor inconveniences, such as having employees who worked late Tuesday night have to travel down 46 flights of stairs since the elevators weren’t working. Other companies who were without power all day Wednesday weren’t so lucky. As of 3:00 p.m. today (Thursday) power is still out at Boston’s Prudential Center.
This unfortunate incident is precisely why disaster recovery and business continuity planning are so important. So important in fact that we are going to re-run an oldie but goodie from our interview last year with Lisa Smith, a Certified Business Continuity Planner at Eze Castle Integration.
In honor of our 200th post here on the Hedge IT blog, we thought we'd do something a little different. So, we've gathered some of the most popular articles according to our readers, as well as a few of our personal favorites.
Are you tired of talking about the cloud yet? Good. Neither are we. In fact, we recently devoted our first webinar of the year to the topic. You can download the webcast replay of the event here. A summary of the key topics discussed during the webinar is below.
Increased Adoption of the Cloud
According to our managing director, Vinod Paul, over 80 percent of the new clients we brought on board last year are utilizing the cloud in some way, shape or form. As hedge funds continue to battle for institutional dollars, the smaller firms, in particular, are able to leverage the cloud for enterprise-level technology at an often reduced cost.
Speaking of cost, it’s one of the main drivers for firms moving to the cloud. Three to five years ago, hedge funds typically had to pay $300-500K dollars to set up an initial IT environment. In today’s rapidly changing landscape, firms are looking to pay less money out-of-pocket, as well as decrease their initial deployment times. With the cloud, resource deployment and allocation only take days or weeks instead of months.
In the fast-paced, volatile world of financial services, constantly maintaining normal business operations is crucial – even in the event of an unexpected disaster. Even just a few moments of downtime could be extremely costly, so it is essential that firms implement sound business continuity procedures.
Since we frequently work with our alternative investment clients on developing comprehensive business continuity plans (BCPs), we feel it is important to review and test our own BCP procedures on a regular basis to ensure they will meet our most current business needs in the event of a disaster. To this end, Lisa Smith - one of our certified business continuity professionals - and her team recently conducted a BCP table top exercise with our management team here at Eze Castle. After this successful meeting, we thought it would be valuable to share some insights on the BCP table top exercise process with our readers to spotlight the importance of this activity.
Before making the decision to move your IT infrastructure to a data center or colocation facility, there are a number of important criteria to evaluate. Let's review some of the most important.
Tiers – Data centers can occupy one room, one or more floors, or entire buildings. They are classified in terms of Tier Levels from Tier I to Tier IV, with Tier IV being the most advanced in terms of redundancy, security and availability.
Energy costs – As the cost of energy increases, analysts predict IT energy costs today are but a fraction of what future costs will be at current growth rates. Additionally, current trends indicate that server operating costs have the potential to equal their capital costs within three to five years.
Design innovation – Data center design is becoming increasingly important for improving operational efficiency. The foundation of data center design philosophy contains five core values: simplicity, flexibility, scalability, modularity and sanity.