It is becoming cliché to say, but the investor due diligence process has truly evolved from a ‘check the box’ activity to a detailed and analytical process. Today, hedge fund investors want to see a tested investment strategy coupled with institutional-grade business processes.
Here at Eze Castle Integration, each year we help more and more hedge fund clients complete the Technology portion of investor due diligence questionnaires (DDQ). So we thought it would be helpful to share some of the more common technology related questions we are seeing. Not surprisingly you’ll see security and disaster recovery questions on the list.
As you consider your responses to these questions, keep in mind that in some cases investors are more concerned with your decision process as opposed to seeing the “right” answer. The reality is that often the “right” answer varies from firm to firm and depends on a number of factors, including investment strategy.
Last week, we hosted a webinar covering AIFMD’s impact on US based hedge funds. The event featured Bill Prew, Founder of INDOS Financial Limited, and provided a high level overview of the changes that AIFMD will potentially bring to the alternative investment industry. Prew specifically focused on how US based managers will be impacted by this legislation. Read on for a summary of the main topics covered during the event, including an overview of AIFMD and the considerations and upcoming changes for US managers.
About the Expert
Bill Prew is the founder of INDOS Financial Limited. Before founding INDOS, he was the chief operating officer at James Caird Asset Management, a hedge fund with offices in London and New York. He has also served in various senior roles at Barclays Global Investors and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Following a summary of the information presented by Mr. Prew during our recent webinar.
Brand Equity. It sounds important. It sounds like you should have it. But what exactly is it? And why does it matter?
We recently conducted an internal training to talk about just that, and we thought we’d share some of our insights and tips with our Hedge IT audience!
Brand equity is commonly defined as a set of assets linked to a brand’s name and symbol that adds to the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or its customers. Traditionally, branding elements include a company’s name, logo, images and perceptions.
For example, Eze Castle’s brand can be seen throughout our corporate website (pictured here) in the logo, colors and fonts we use.
Last week, I held an internal training session to educate my fellow Eze Castle employees on how to leverage the social networking tool LinkedIn. I think the information is valuable for anyone, however, so I’ve decided to share it with you, too!
With over 135 million members, LinkedIn has grown exponentially since its inception in 2003 and is the most respected “professional” social networking site in the industry. And regardless of what your reason is for using LinkedIn (recruiting, prospecting, job searching, etc.), it is essential that you put your best foot forward through your personal profile and activity.
The presentation below outlines a few tips to help you get the most out of LinkedIn, including:
- Building Your Personal Profile
- Customizing & Organizing Your Profile
- Making & Soliciting Recommendations
- Adding Applications
- Joining & Participating in Groups
Last week, we hosted a breakfast seminar New York City for emerging hedge fund managers and new hedge fund launches. Our goal was to provide attendees with actionable takeaways they can use as they get their fund off the ground.
Our expert panel of speakers provided great insight into the hedge fund industry and the key considerations for new managers who are launching funds. Panelists included Tim Kennedy, Senior Vice President at Eze Castle Integration, Ron Geffner, Partner at Sadis & Goldberg, Robert Becker, Head of Capital Introduction at Jefferies & Co., and Bryan Borgia, Managing Partner at Topwater Investment Management.
Below is a summary of the key topics discussed at our “Launching a Hedge Fund” event:
During a lively technology talk last week with a group of hedge fund CTOs and IT Managers, the topic of social media monitoring came up. Several group members expressed concern over whether they should be tracking (and potentially limiting) their employees’ activity on social media sites.
Whether you are a small start-up or an established firm with hundreds of users, you should take the time to consider what your company’s position is on social media and the extent to which you want to regulate or restrict employee activity.
Not sure how to determine what kind of social media policy, if any, to implement? Ask yourself these questions:
Later this week, Eze Castle will be taking part in Reuters’ HedgeWorld Fall Fund Services Conference in New York, a conference that we have had the pleasure of participating in in years past. HedgeWorld is a great conference for hedge fund professionals looking to get up-to-speed on the latest trends and challenges in the industry. We’ve been looking through the agenda, and we’ve identified a few of the key topics that will likely resonate with attendees at this year's conference.
Compliance & Regulations: The first panel of the day may well be the most interesting, as hedge fund regulations are still very much top-of-mind for funds. Panelist George Cannellos of the SEC will certainly be a big draw in that first time slot, as he will be able to offer great perspective on the Dodd-Frank Bill and its impact on the investment industry. In addition to Cannellos’ view on the regulation itself, other panelists will speak to various topics related to the legislation, including registration (HedgeOp Compliance), technology (Eze Castle Integration -- our very own Bob Guilbert!) and customer database and backup (Sesame Software).
This article is contributed by Richard Wilson of Hedge Fund Blogger and provides unique hedge fund marketing tactics that managers should investigate further while attempting to raise capital for their funds. The topics covered include public relations management and educational marketing.
Public relations has to be one of the most ignored marketing tools of hedge fund managers today. I have worked with over three dozen hedge funds on their marketing plans and capital raising efforts. So far, the most intense public relations effort I have seen set forth was a single press release over a four-year period. This is not to say that any hedge fund that is not publishing at least four press releases per year is doing something wrong. However, many could benefit by simply making themselves more available to the press.
The media is hungry for real time opinions of hedge fund managers, traders and marketers. They need comments on current market conditions, trends in hiring and firing of traders and portfolio managers and what prospects lay ahead for the industry as a whole. Many hedge fund managers shy away from contributing to stories in the press. I would strongly encourage you to speak with your legal counsel and see if they would approve of your discussions with the media if you stick to industry trends, general market trends and long-term movements you are seeing within the industry.
Good relationships should be a key goal for any manager because they help secure and retain clients. In a previous blog entry on how to prepare for investor meetings, we cited two pillars of relationship building: credibility and rapport. A lack of credibility will give potential investors a reason not to do business with you. Strong rapport will give them every reason to do business with you. Since investor decisions often hinge on the meeting, the in-person contact that leads them to trust – or not to trust – the hedge fund manager with their money, building credibility when making a presentation is crucial. In our last blog entry, we outlined specific steps to build credibility. Today, we’ll do that for rapport, excerpted from our most recent Strategic Commentary, “It All Comes Down to the Meeting.”
Understand, and be understood. Accurately appraising and connecting with your prospect/client/investor’s situation, needs, and goals is crucial to the sales process, and will directly affect their ability to understand you. Learn to actively listen, to ask for clarification, to stop talking and answer questions. A caveat to the advice above about preparing talking points is to be prepared to go “off book” to address questions and concerns from the other side of the table. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them. If you want their money, you have to give them their due.
Good relationships should be a key goal for any investment manager because they help secure and retain clients. In our previous blog entry on how to win and retain assets, we cited two pillars of relationship building: credibility and rapport. A lack of credibility will give potential hedge fund investors a reason not to do business with your firm. Strong rapport will give them every reason to do business with your firm.
Since investor decisions often hinge on the meeting, the in-person contact that leads them to trust – or not to trust – the hedge fund manager with their money, building credibility when making a presentation is crucial. Today, we’ll outline specific steps to do just that, excerpted from our most recent Strategic Commentary, “It All Comes Down to the Meeting.”
Know your audience. What are the roles of the people you’re meeting with? Their responsibilities, decision-making powers, place in the pecking order? Being familiar with this most basic of data points will not only help you pitch, it will communicate interest and respect. Know their level of sophistication so you can gear your language appropriately. How difficult is a quick Google search before the meeting to discover any relevant issues or unknown (to you, anyway) connections?
Know your goal. What message do you want to get across? Remember, there are tactical messages that are explicit (our operational efficiency has increased, your hedge fund portfolio is now poised to recover losses, etc.) and there are meta messages that are implicit (we are hedge fund professionals who take our business seriously, we are not in panic mode, etc.). Close with a call to action: what is the next step you want them to take?
- New Considerations for Launching a Hedge Fund: Insights from the experts
- Corporate Essentials for Successful Hedge Fund Startups
- Recapping a Busy Week in Cyber Security Across the Globe
- What Do Hedge Fund Investors Ask About IT? A Technology DDQ cheat sheet
- Webinar Recap: What Investment Firms Need to Know about Social Media Compliance
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