Blog Entries from 11/2012
With the BYOD trend invading financial services firms (and companies of all kinds), the need for mobile device management solutions is at an all-time high. While hedge funds once seemed like a BlackBerry-only industry, the emergence of high-powered smartphones has prompted a shift in corporate communications. But security remains a top concern for all funds.
"Unlike BlackBerry, platforms like iOS and Android are not built with the enterprise in mind," said Phil Redman, an analyst at Gartner. "They are simply not as secure as BlackBerry, and to make them secure, companies have to spend some money."
There are a number of mobile device management solutions in the marketplace, including Zenprise, Fiberlink Communications, SAP (formerly Sybase) and Symantec. Let’s take a closer look at four such solutions we’re seeing used frequently: AirWatch, Good Technology, MobileIron and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.
On 20th November, the Eze Castle Integration team in London hosted a joint breakfast seminar with Simmons & Simmons looking at future IT and employment considerations for hedge fund managers.
We know building a hedge fund post successful launch is a challenging experience and requires a methodical approach and expert guidance. There are many factors to manage post launch including continuing capital raising, fulfilling investors’ performance and reporting expectations, meeting regulatory requirements and keeping technology systems running at peak levels.
You can watch a replay of the seminar here.
This week marks the unofficial kickoff of the 2012 holiday season. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we've been thinking about what we’re truly thankful for this year.
As you might recall, we've had a lot to be thankful for the past few years. In 2010 we acknowledged our thanks to some of our favorite charitable organizations such as Hedge Funds Care and Big Brothers Big Sisters. We also shared our gratitude for our awesome network of partners and clients around the world.
Last year, we asked our employees what they were thankful for and videotaped their responses. Since that was a such a big hit, we thought we'd ask some other employees that same question this year. Take a look at what they had to say:
Hedge funds and investment firms are making the move to Asia, evidenced by the industry’s expansion to a record number of funds in Q3 2012 (according to Hedge Fund Research). With a healthy flow of both new startup funds and existing firms expanding their presence to the region, the Asian hedge fund market has quickly become the go-to locale for financial services.
Asia can be a challenging market to tap into, however, particularly as regulations take center stage. In addition to local regulations, Asian funds also need to keep an eye on what’s happening in the U.S. and Europe. According to HFMWeek, legislation handed down by the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) “could make it very difficult for Asian managers to access European capital, affecting diverse facets of a fund’s operations including remuneration, leverage and custody.”
Technology is also on the minds of regulators – and investors too. HFMWeek states that “investors and regulators have shown little tolerance for allowing a fund’s infrastructure to ramp up over time, instead insisting that they feature best practice systems and processes at launch.” So if funds need to have a robust technology in place from day one, what are their options?
Stricter regulations and calls from investors for greater transparency are leading hedge fund managers to up their game and enhance their technology infrastructures to become more operationally efficient.
The growing regulatory environment -- Dodd-Frank and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive Level 2 (AIFMD) -- is pushing more and more hedge funds to consider adopting cloud computing as the operational burdens around reporting and transparency continue to grow. To refresh, in April 2009, the European Commission proposed a Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) with the objective of creating a comprehensive and effective regulatory and supervisory framework for AIFMs at the European level. The proposed Directive was aimed at providing harmonised regulatory standards for all AIFMs within scope. ESMA was requested by the Commission to provide technical advice on the implementing measures of the AIFMD (Level 2).
Regulators and investors have played a significant role in the way the alternative investment industry behaves, in return influencing the evolution of technology. Regulatory change and due diligence are the largest drivers of change in the hedge fund space. Even if the changes proposed in your organisation are not regulatory driven in nature, hedge funds need to ensure that internal operations or outsourcing projects are organised is such a way that their output will easily satisfy both existing and future legislative requirements.
Categorized under: Cloud Computing
Hurricane Sandy created a path of devastation, disrupted countless lives and businesses, and taught us many lessons. Over the last week, here at Eze Castle Integration we have reflected on what we learned now that the lives of our employees and clients are slowly getting back to “normal.”
Communicate Openly & Often.
With Hurricane Sandy we had the “luxury” of knowing the storm was approaching, however, that isn’t always the case. Companies must have a communication plan that can be quickly initiated should an unforeseen disaster occur. We encourage clients to look into Automated Messaging Systems that allow notifications to be sent to all employees or clients simultaneously across multiple devices (i.e. home phone, work phone, cell phone, email).
Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning
Are you thinking of launching a new hedge fund? Considering relocating your existing fund to a new office? Is it time to undertake significant enhancements or renovations to your existing office space? Or – if your firm is growing rapidly – are you thinking of building out another office to expand into a new geographic location?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a major technology project is likely in your near future. If your firm is currently working with a reputable IT partner, they should be able to assist you with this project. If your technology is being managed in-house, or if you’re a new shop that’s just starting out, you may want to seek the guidance of a third-party project and technology management consultant to ensure the project is completed correctly and in a timely manner.
From technology infrastructure concept development, to construction administration, to telecommunications and market circuit procurement and systems installation/implementation management, there are many crucial aspects of an IT build-out, relocation or expansion project.
Last week, we revealed the results of our 2012 Hedge Fund Operations & Technology Benchmark Study, which surveyed over 300 buy-side firms about their front, middle and back office technology and vendor preferences. This year’s findings underscore the need for investment firms to employ robust systems to support trading operations and meeting increasing regulatory and investor demands.
Below is a summary, but you can download the full report here.
Within the financial services industry, Eze Castle surveyed 320 firms including hedge funds (61%), investment managers or investment banks (12%), private equity firms (7%), fund of hedge funds (4%), broker/dealers (2%), and venture capital firms (1%). Additional firms included in an ‘Other’ category include family office, legal, real estate, endowment, quant, biotech and insurance brokerage.
Firms surveyed fell into three asset classes: 30 percent reported their AUM as $100 million and under; 32 percent fell between $101 and $500 million; and 38 percent reported over $500 million in assets under management.