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A Checklist for Starting a Hedge Fund in 2015

By Anna Wendt,
Thursday, May 21st, 2015

ChecklistYesterday, we hosted a webinar called “A Checklist for Starting a Hedge Fund in 2015,” which focused on structure and strategy considerations for hedge fund startups as well as focus areas for your technology infrastructure and cybersecurity systems. Marni Pankin, partner at Marcum LLP, and Vinod Paul, managing director at Eze Castle Integration, shared their expert knowledge on what they consider to be the top priorities for hedge fund startups in 2015.

Pankin started with a checklist of her own, including what an emerging manager should look for when launching a new firm. We'll cover Eze Castle's portion of the webinar in Part Two next Tuesday, May 26th.

Categorized under: Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Communications  Outsourcing  Business Continuity Planning  Trends We're Seeing 



Cybersecurity, the SEC and You: Hedge Fund Symposium Highlights

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

We were honored to be invited to participate in an exciting event in Boston recently hosted by KPMG. The event, Hedge Fund Symposium 2015, featured a lively panel on cybersecurity to kick off the afternoon. Featuring speakers from Eze Castle Integration, Morgan Lewis and The Baupost Group, the panel discussed the changing cybersecurity landscape for hedge funds and alternative investment firms and shared best practices on how to mitigate risk in this evolving climate. Following are some of our favorite highlights from the event.Hedge Fund Security

  • Malware is seemingly the most common threat to financial firms and can infect a firm’s network as a result of improper use of removable storage media (USB devices), opening of suspicious hyperlinks and attachments or more advanced ransomware technology (think Cryptolocker virus).
     

  • Spear-phishing and social engineering campaigns are also extremely prevalent and can cripple even the most technology-savvy firm. Ultimately, these campaigns are best prevented through proper user training and awareness around information security.

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



Cybersecurity and Hedge Funds: A Manager's Experience

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

This article first appeared on Opalesque as part of a four-part series on cybersecurity.

Ruane, Cunniff and Goldfarb, Inc. used to have their own IT infrastructure. Todd Ruoff, Executive Vice President in charge of trading, operations and technology, was responsible for its maintenance. Then he started looking at outsourced providers a couple of years ago, as he wanted a better disaster recovery solution, the equipment was ageing and the firm was planning an office relocation. His firm is now using Eze Castle Integration’s Private Cloud, the ECINet private Internet service and Eze Castle’s Vault backup and recovery service. He tells Opalesque how that works for him.Ruane Cunniff Talks with Opalesque

Ruane, Cunniff and Goldfarb is an investment advisor and broker-dealer in the US, which manages an $8bn mutual fund, a '40 Act company called the Sequoia fund. The firm has around $5bn managed in hedge funds, and another $15bn in separately managed accounts run for HNWIs and institutions.

"As a broker, we need the ability to trade," Todd Ruoff says. "We are a long-term investor who invests in large, concentrated positions, focused on a few securities. It’s important that we have access to real-time market data, which we get from various sources, as well as access to our trading systems for execution and order management. As an advisor, we need to be able to report for our clients, as well as internal portfolio management teams. All of our research is done in-house, through an organic internal process, whereby our analysts work on the subject companies, which are publicly traded equities. We invest primarily in common stocks in the US, Europe and Asia."

Categorized under: Security  Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Outsourcing 



Making a Case for the Cloud to Your CXOs

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, April 30th, 2015

As your hedge fund’s IT Manager or Chief Technology Officer, you may be tasked with evaluating and directing the strategic technology initiatives at your firm. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean that you have the final say on how and when your firm makes technology-related decisions. That responsibility, in many cases, falls to the Chief Operating Officer or Chief Financial Officer, and in many cases, that individual does not have a technology background. It’s up to you, then, to ensure you provide your CXOs with the right information to make an informed decision about your firm’s technology foundation.Selling the Cloud to CXOs
 
We asked our own CFO, Chris Holden, to talk through some of the primary considerations C-level execs will weigh when evaluating a move to the cloud. Read a recap of his thoughts here or scroll down to listen to the full replay of our conversation. 

Cloud Drivers: Is Cost Always the Primary Factor?

According to Holden, the best way to justify a new technology to someone non-technical is to provide a sound and logical cost comparison. And when it comes to the cloud, yes – cost is a big factor and a serious selling point.

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 



What Do Hedge Fund Investors Think of the Cloud?

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, April 16th, 2015

It’s a question that many folks in the financial services industry have been asking for a few years now. Are potential investors comfortable with the idea of hedge funds leveraging cloud services? In Part 1 of our cloud webinar series, The Investor Perspective on Cloud and Security, we asked Ashley Gimbel, Senior Vice President at Dyal Capital Partners, to share her thoughts on evaluating the operational and infrastructure decisions of hedge funds and alternative investment firms and if investors are truly comfortable with the cloud. Click here or scroll down to watch the full replay of our conversation with Gimbel.cloud computing
 
The simple answer is ‘yes.’ According to Gimbel, investors are and should be at ease with hedge fund clients using cloud infrastructures to support their daily operations. In fact, she says, hosted infrastructures often make more sense for firms with little to no IT resources in-house.
 
With a few caveats, of course. Firms should ensure outsourced cloud providers have proper Service Level Agreements (SLA) in place and are conducting appropriate oversight of their provider(s). A few other technology must-haves:

  • Well integrated data and systems

  • Established policies and procedures

  • Comprehensive disaster recovery

  • Cybersecurity protections

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing 



Opalesque TV Exclusive: Cybersecurity Threats Facing Hedge Funds in 2015

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

In this Opalesque.TV video interview, Bob Guilbert and Vinod Paul from Eze Castle Integration discuss the cybersecurity landscape of the investment community, specifically the risks facing hedge funds and alternative investment managers in 2015. Both spend the majority of their time educating their client base on internal and external risks, protecting them against the “Activist Hacktivists” looking for any means of entry into funds.

These hackers will spend weeks, months, and sometimes even years trying to get access, most often with the goal of triggering illicit wire transfers out of the fund.

Today, the usual efforts of employees to avoid clicking links or opening files and password protocoling aren't enough. Everyone should be aware of new techniques employed by hackers like “spearfishing” and “whaterhole” attacks which, with more institutional dollars flowing into hedge funds, will become more frequent. Unless funds have the right Written Information Security Policy (WISP) and processes in place, together with true intrusion detection that monitors what is coming into the firm and what data and information is going out of the firm, they can be at risk of a cybersecurity attack.

Categorized under: Security  Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Communications  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 



Winter Weather Preparedness: Considerations for Keeping Your Firm and Employees Operational This Winter

By Matt Donahue,
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Anyone who lives in a region that regularly receives snow knows (and expects) that every winter brings the potential for experiencing disruption, delays, cancelations and closures to roads, buses, trains, boats and subways that transport people to and from work. (If you’re in the Boston area, you’re experiencing this today with the MBTA shutting down all rail service to clean up from more than 70 inches of snow in the last three weeks.) Snow storms don’t just affect transportation though; weather events can cause power outages, force evacuations, impact deliveries, and as we saw recently with Winter Storm Juno, can cause entire states to ban travel.Snowstorm

Impacts of heavy snow if traveling to work

Let’s consider some of the issues firms can face even if a travel ban isn’t in place and employees must attempt to make their way to the office.

Most people who commute to work know that adverse weather can have a major impact on their travel to and from the office. Regardless of the manner of transportation (car, rail, subway, boat, bus, etc.), all will most likely experience delays and present challenges for commuters during a snow storm. Delays, breakdowns, cancellations, and longer commuting times are very common throughout a storm and can still impact travel days after a storm concludes, leaving employees largely unable to work effectively if at all. 

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Hedge Fund Operations  Help Desk  Infrastructure  Communications  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing 



The Best in Hedge Fund Technology: Hedge IT 2014 in Review

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

2015 Happy New YearIt’s been quite a year, and as always, it’s hard to believe it’s over. In 2014, Hedge IT continued to thrive in its goal to provide advice and insight into hedge fund technology and operations. The financial services industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and we’re evolving our topics and conversations to keep up. Across 100 blog posts this year (not including this one), almost half of them – 49 to be exact – addressed the topic of security, which is undoubtedly one of the single most important focus areas for hedge funds and investment firms today. In addition to security, we covered everything from tips for starting a hedge fund to avoiding cloud mistakes to hiring for IT roles.
 
Looking ahead to 2015, we plan to keep the conversations tuned in to what really matters to hedge funds when it comes to technology, and we’ll share as much content as we can in as many formats as we can. But before we get too ahead of ourselves – it’s not quite 2015 yet – let’s take a look back at 10 of our most popular blog posts from 2014.

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Outsourcing  Real Estate 



A How-To Guide to Selling the Cloud to Your CFO

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

handshakeIf you’re one of the seemingly few firms who has yet to make the move to the cloud, it could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you want to maintain total control of your IT environment. Or maybe you’re waiting for a tech refresh to motivate you. Alternatively, it could be that you just haven’t made the proper case to management for switching to the cloud – and many times the one who really needs convincing is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
 
If you’re the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or IT Manager, your responsibility is determining the infrastructure choices that are going to best suit operations at your firm. But those priorities may not line up exactly with those of the firm’s CFO. IT doesn’t always have insight into the financial ramifications of an operations decision of this magnitude. Instead they are typically focused on the other benefits including personnel reallocation, workflow efficiencies, etc.
 
The CFO, on the other hand, is ultimately tasked with ensuring the company’s financial decisions are appropriate, and therefore, it’s often advantageous to at least attempt to speak his/her language when pushing for an IT change.

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Hedge Fund Operations  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing 



Common Information Security Mistakes (Video)

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, November 20th, 2014

As hedge funds and investment management firms shore up security practices in an effort to comply with the SEC cybersecurity expectations and other industry and investor standards, it can become overwhelming to sort out what's required and how firms should go about achieving compliance. It can also be easy to make mistakes. We asked Eze Castle's Business Continuity and Data Privacy Manager, Lisa Smith, to tell us about some of the common information security mistakes she witnesses firms make and how to avoid them in the future. Here are some of the key questions Lisa answers:

  • Where are you seeing the most deficiencies in cybersecurity preparedness?

  • What goes into an effective Written Information Security Plan?

  • What common mistakes do you find firms are making when it comes to information security safeguards?

Take a look at Lisa's answers!

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



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