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Acceptable Use Policy: A Recipe for Success

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Here at Eze Castle Integration we have a pantry full of thoughtful policies that help ensure we keep everything in tip-top shape.  In past Hedge IT articles, we’ve shared our recipes for creating security incident policies, BYOD policies and social media policies.
Today, we are going to share our recipe for creating an Acceptable Use Policy, which governs how a company and its employees use computing resources.  The SANS Institute, which has policy templates galore, also has an Acceptable Use Policy template that you can find HERE and is the foundation for our award-winning recipe.Acceptable Use Policy - Recipe for Success
First, define the purpose and scope of your policy by answering questions including:

  • Why are the rules in place (i.e. protect firm from virus attacks, compromising of the computing network, etc.)?

  • Who does the policy apply to (i.e. employees, consultants, contractors, etc.)?

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Security  Hedge Fund Operations 

Why Should I Choose Private Cloud Services Over Free File Sharing Services or Public Cloud Tools?

By Eze Castle Integration,
Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Public cloud tools and free file sharing services are wholly owned and managed by third-party providers. Because infrastructure costs are spread across all users who are employing the service, each individual client is able to operate at a low cost. Public cloud tools are typically larger in scale than private enterprise clouds, which providecloud email services users with seamless, on-demand scalability.
These factors may seem to support the belief that public clouds and free file sharing services would suffice for a business’s basic infrastructure and file sharing needs. However, upon closer examination, it is clear that there are a number of areas in which these tools fall drastically short of meeting the crucial business needs of investment management firms.

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations 

Why Start-Up Fund Managers and Private Equity Firms Need a Website

By Frank Serebrin, InCapital Marketing (guest contributor),
Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

This post was contributed by Frank Serebrin, president and founder of InCapital Marketing.

If you don’t have a website, you don’t exist.
That’s the takeaway from…well, I can’t cite a study, but it’s my opinion.

Less than a generation ago, few businesses would consider not having their phone number published in the yellow pages. (Remember them?) Today, search engines have replaced phone books as the place most go for research and information. How can your potential new clients search you if you don’t have a website or social media presence?
Yet fifty-five percent of small businesses don't have a website, according to a 2013 survey of more than 3,800 small businesses conducted by Google. That's a slight improvement from the year before, when 58 percent said they didn't have a website.
You may think of yourself as a start-up hedge fund manager, or a Registered Investment Advisor, or a real estate private equity manager. And you’re still also a small business, too, at least as defined by the SBA.
Here are ten reasons why you may not have a site yet, and what you may do to correct the oversight:

1. I Don't Have the Time

Is this you? "I'm too busy trading…I’m on the road making sales calls…my partners and I have full time corporate jobs, too.” With all the demands on your time, a website can help sell your story while you build relationships and multi-task.

2. There’s No Money in the Budget

Is it that you don't have the money, or you haven’t figured out what your marketing budget should be? As a start up, your focus might understandably be on the legal costs of a private placement memorandum, and administrative, accounting, technology, trading, office space, and sales expenses.
How much capital are you looking to raise, and it what period of time? Is it $25 million? $50 million? $250 million or more? And you want to raise that from professional and sophisticated investors without the credibility of a website?

Categorized under: Launching A Hedge Fund  Hedge Fund Operations  Communications  Trends We're Seeing 

Hedge Fund PR Management and Educational Marketing 101

By Richard Wilson,
Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

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.

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Due Diligence 

Hedge Fund Marketing Essentials: Materials, Strategies and a CRM

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Effective hedge fund marketing strategies and materials allow firms to capitalize on new opportunities and stand-out from the crowd. However, crafting a unique story that reaches and motivates investors is challenging.

Today I moderated a webinar with speakers from Ovis Creative and Ledgex Systems looking at the current marketing landscape, marketing pitchbook best practices and the role of a hedge fund CRM platform.

Below you can watch the whole webinar or download the slides HERE.

To pique your interest, here is expert advice from Ovis Creative’s Creative Director, Lauren Colonna, about hedge fund pitch book best practices:

  • Don’t go overboard on the content. Create a cohesive but succinct story (total of 20 to 30 pages)

  • Focus on key pages with greatest opportunity for impact

  • Avoid overused terms; remember if a concept or phrase sounds generic to you... they are even more so to an investor who has heard the same theme over 1000 times

  • Maintain a consistent style, voice and tone (reflective of your pitch); Employ perfect grammar, succinctness,  clarity and a consistent message

  • Use bulleted form rather than full text paragraphs; Consider a call out/side bar to enforce a key takeawayShe also covers what’s in a pitchbook, the role of a website and much more.

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Operations  Launching A Hedge Fund  Hedge Fund Insiders  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Communications  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 

Four Scary Signs You'll Outgrow Your IT Service Provider

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, October 29th, 2015

To quote our latest Tech Tips video, "when things are good, they’re good. 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. 

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Project Management  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 

Five Myths about Voice over IP (VoIP): Hedge Funds Take Notice

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Our Eze Voice (think financial services grade VoIP) is now available to firms across the United States and United Kingdom. In honor of this global availability, we want to debunk some common myths associated with VoIP for financial services forms. 

Voice over IP has come a long way especially in the business world, but many financial services firms still have hesitations about making the switch. Check out these five common myths about Voice over IP.

MYTH 1: Poor Call Quality – Everyone will know I’m on VoIP

Call quality is a key concern and can be impacted by a number of items including the network, available bandwidth and even the type of phones being used. However, a well-designed business-caliber VoIP system can deliver quality of service comparable to an in-house phone system. In business settings, where calls are made over private IP connections, Quality of Service (QoS) can be monitored and guaranteed because the entire IP connection is controlled by the party making the call.

When evaluating VoIP services, it is important to inquire about the underlying network and how voice traffic is prioritized and routed. You want a provider that has full control over network traffic and can ensure high quality of service. For added confidence, ask to speak with existing VoIP customers (over the phone!) to hear about their experiences first-hand.

MYTH 2: VoIP is Unreliable – I’ll Experience Downtime

A natural extension of the call quality concern is the reliability concern. While consumer-grade VoIP services work over the Internet to deliver low cost services, Business-grade VoIP services often use the Internet as a backup and have private IP point-to-point lines for primary connections. If Internet is the primary transit, be sure you are working with a VoIP provider who manages the entire network and has control over traffic prioritization. In most cases you want to ensure voice traffic takes precedent over data or travels on a different network.   

Categorized under: Communications  Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Hedge Fund Operations  Infrastructure  Real Estate 

Tips to Establish Effective Crisis Communication Plans for Financial Firms

By Matt Donahue,
Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Many building tenants have a daily interaction with their building’s management. The interaction may be a friendly “good morning” or “goodnight”. Perhaps you’re on a first name basis with some of the front desk employees. Typically, that is where the relationship ends, and if so, that can potentially lead to some issues in the future.

Being able to quickly communicate and respond in the case of an emergency or interruption can make a big difference to building management and tenants alike. Additionally, having each other’s contact information can be extremely helpful during regular business hours, as well as, off-hours or holidays and weekends.Hedge Fund BCP, Emergency Communication Plan

During regular business hours, building management has several options to notify tenants. Depending on the type and severity of an emergency, facility management may choose to utilize passive notification, such as email, or they may use more aggressive notification like public announcement (PA) systems or alarms. While alarms and PAs might help grab the attention of tenants, they aren’t the most effective tools to communicate long or detailed messages. Even planned drills, such as fire drills during regular business hours, are not fool-proof. During this commotion, it may be difficult to locate members of building management and even harder to efficiently communicate.

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Disaster Recovery  Security  Hedge Fund Operations  Communications  Trends We're Seeing 

4 Disaster Recovery Tips for This Hurricane Season: Tech Tips Video

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, October 8th, 2015

We’re in Hurricane Season so let’s look at some best practices to ensure you and your employees are prepared for the unexpected. Remember, these four Eze Tech Tips are great for the next Snowmageddon too.

Want more Disaster Recovery Tech Tips?

Here are your options:

  1. Contact Eze Castle Integration (HERE)

  2. Puruse our Disaster Recovery Blog Category (HERE)

  3. Download our Disaster Recovery Guidebook (HERE)

Categorized under: Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Infrastructure  Business Continuity Planning  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 

What's the Difference between Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery?

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Business continuity planning. Disaster recovery. BCP. DR. You know the terms. You know investors are looking for them. But do you know what the real differences are between them?DR versus BCP Guidebook

Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery have the same goal: to implement procedures that will enable a business to recover in the event of a disaster or disruption. But each has its own focus. Business Continuity Planning revolves around people. A hedge fund business continuity plan should identify the steps necessary to get operations up and running as it relates to business functions and personnel. BCP plans usually identify mission-critical services, communication strategies, employee recovery procedures and training methods.

Disaster Recovery Planning is directly related to the technology and infrastructure that supports business operations. In developing a disaster recovery strategy, hedge funds typically examine what applications and services they have in production and which ones are mission-critical. File shares, email, accounting and trading applications and voice capabilities are often the first that come to mind, but firms should evaluate which are most essential to them. The two most important factors associated with disaster recovery planning are the recovery point objective (RPO) and the recovery time objective (RTO).

Categorized under: Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Business Continuity Planning 

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