Yesterday marked exactly five years since the infamous Bernie Madoff was arrested for executing the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. As a result, Wall Street and the investment community has undergone a plethora of changes designed to avoid such scandals in the future. Let’s take a look at the lasting impact of Madoff and what changes we can still expect to see in the future.
Unless you’ve been living under a cave for the last several years, you’ve heard the name Bernie Madoff and understand its association with all things negative: scandal, fraud and disgrace. The former NASDAQ chairman and founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) swindled billions of dollars and affected more than 12,000 investors, faking investment returns over the course of multiple years.
Amidst the nation’s most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, we all learned of Madoff’s devastating scheme. He eventually turned himself in at the urging of his sons and is currently serving 150 years in federal prison for his crimes.
At last week’s Hedge Fund Launch 2.0 seminar, the topic of the malicious Cryptolocker malware that is circulating was highlighted as a wakeup call for why backup and security are nonnegotiable IT components. Questions abounded about this new evolution in malware so today’s post aims to address the who, what, when and where of Cryptolocker as well as a few other common Qs.
What is Cryptolocker?
Cryptolocker is a new variant of ransomware that restricts access to infected computers by encrypting them and demanding that the victim pay the attackers a ransom in order to decrypt and recover their files. Some versions of Cryptolocker can encrypt local files as well as external hard drives, network file shares and even cloud storage services that allow local folders to sync with online storage. The malware is severe and a real threat. If a company becomes infected and does not have their files backed up the files may be lost.
At Eze Castle Integation we have had clients become infected. Thankfully in these cases the clients had the appropriate backup systems in place and were able to restore the files to the pre-infection state. As of this time, the US-CERT says the primary means of infection appears to be phishing emails containing malicious attachments. The attachments may look like legitimate emails, so it is important to remind users not to click on any email links if they do not know the sender.
As we look forward to 2014, we can expect that the hedge fund and investment management industry will continue to evolve and experience change as in years past. As more and more new funds launch, the competition for investors will increase and firms will be hard-pressed to live up to the successes of the top performing funds in the industry.
Earlier this week, we gathered several panels of experts in Boston to share their insights into the hedge fund landscape for startups in 2014 and the tips and advice for firms looking to compete in the changing marketplace. Following is a brief recap of the event.
Building a Hedge Fund is Like Building Any Successful Business
When starting a new firm, it’s critical to think about all aspects or forming a new business. Yes, your investment strategy is important, but if the foundation of your business is not critically thought out, it will wreak havoc for your firm. Following are a few areas you shouldn’t overlook as you go through the launch process.
Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning Cloud Computing Hedge Fund Due Diligence Hedge Fund Marketing Hedge Fund Operations Hedge Fund Regulation Infrastructure Launching A Hedge Fund Outsourcing Privacy Compliance Security Trends We're Seeing
Last week, the Eze Castle Integration London team along with industry experts from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Investment Management Association (IMA), HSBC, and Simmons & Simmons got together to address the FCA’s “Dear CEO” letter on outsourcing, which was issued to CEO’s of asset management firms back in December 2012.
In the “Dear CEO” letter, the FCA identified that the asset management industry outsources a number of activities to service providers and the FCA’s major concern was if a service provider was to face financial distress or serve operational disruption, the UK asset managers would not be able to perform regulated activities.
Our panel of experts gathered together to discuss the letter in more detail and what practical steps asset managers should adopt, including reviewing contingency plans to ensure managers are minimising risk and have a continuity strategy in place. Let’s take a closer look at what was discussed.
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and like always, we are reflecting on what we are truly greatful for. This year, we thought we’d ask some of our Boston employees what they’re thankful for this holiday season.
View our slideshow below to see their answers!
Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing
As hedge funds continue to grow and prosper, the need for a “one-stop shop” IT
provider is becoming increasingly necessary. As a fund manager, your job is demanding enough; therefore, finding one company that can hone in on your technology needs and quickly provide solutions is a smart investment, as well as a good relief. Here are a few of the main benefits firms can realize in working with a single, all-inclusive IT provider.
As a hedge fund or investment management firm, you’re juggling a lot. Hedging bets, pitching investors, running day-to-day operations – there’s a lot on your plate. That’s why working with an experienced cloud services provider can offer benefits beyond just infrastructure.
Let’s take a look at three different ways your cloud services provider can de-stress your busy life and provide you with much needed value.
1. Free up your space.
One of the beauties of a cloud computing environment is the near elimination of physical hardware and equipment on-site at your office. When managing your own server room or Communications (Comm.) room, you are responsible for housing a variety of equipment such as servers, UPS units, networking equipment and cables, spare parts, etc. Not to mention you need the real estate for it all. And don’t forget – much of this equipment runs on a three-year refresh cycle, which means you’ll have to upgrade everything in the near future.
Categorized under: Cloud Computing
We all have “to-do lists,” and we all have our own way of managing how and what gets done. Having BCP on my to-do list is easy; this is what I think about every day and all day. But not everyone has the same responsibility. However, business continuity is like health insurance; it needs to be active. We all need it, but it’s not something we think about every day.
Disruptions can occur at any time and without warning, which is why we should always be thinking about what we need and how we would respond during a disaster. Let’s not forget the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004 during the holiday season. Thousands of foreign tourists were in Thailand during that disaster, and many were unaware of the risks within the area, evacuation routes and how to receive assistance.
Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning
Starting a hedge fund is an intensive task and there are many aspects of the business that a portfolio manager must consider. Expectations are higher than ever, and investors want to see that new hedge fund startups are taking the right precautions and steps to ensure that both the investment strategy and business operations are sound.
There are a wealth of considerations to review before starting a new hedge fund, and truth be told, most of these points are just as important to keep in mind if you are an established fund. Take a look and you’ll notice these best practices apply to more than just new launches.
Last month, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said the most significant threat we face as a nation is cybersecurity. That’s a pretty jarring statement given the threats our country faces in terms of terrorism and war, for instance. But the reality is, cyber networks have become the gateway for risks both on the global terrorism front as well as within our internal circles at our places of business.
With watchful eyes geared towards security threats, interest in cybersecurity insurance continues to rise. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Commerce have identified cybersecurity insurance as a viable opportunity to thwart the effects of security breaches and attacks by:
- Promoting widespread adoption of preventative measures;
- Encouraging the implementation of best practices by basing premiums on an insured’s level of self-protection; and
- Limiting the losses that companies face following a cyber-attack.
- Five Years Later: How Bernie Madoff Has Transformed the Investment Industry
- The Who, What, When and Where of the Bad, Bad Cryptolocker Ransomware
- Expert Tips for Launching a Hedge Fund in a New Environment
- Answering the FCA's Dear CEO Letter on Outsourcing with Some Practical Steps
- Reflecting on What We're Thankful For This Thanksgiving
- business continuity planning
- cloud computing
- data loss prevention
- disaster recovery
- eze castle milestones
- hedge fund due diligence
- hedge fund marketing
- hedge fund operations
- hedge fund regulation
- help desk
- high frequency trading
- launching a hedge fund
- privacy compliance
- project management
- real estate
- startup & relocation
- trends we're seeing
- videos and infographics