Eze Castle Integration

Hedge IT Blog

Giving Hedge Fund Start-ups a Helping Hand

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, January 29th, 2015

HFMWeek Catches Up with Eze Castle Integration’s Managing Director, Vinod Paul, To Discuss How Technology Can Help Tackle the Challenges Facing Hedge Fund Start-up Firms. 

HFMWeek (HFM): Are you seeing a healthy market for new hedge fund launches in the US? Eze Castle Integration’s Managing Director, Vinod Paul

Vinod Paul (VP): 2013 and 2014 were very strong years for start-ups in the US. Our US pipeline is also quite healthy for 2015 in terms of start-ups, which is a little different to Europe, where there aren’t as many launches. In terms of overall US business, 50% of the clients we brought on in 2014 were start-ups; this is up from 40% in 2013. There are several factors that have contributed to this, some that we cannot control, such as how the wider market performs. Institutional money coming back into the market is causing some of the start-up activity. Many of the start-ups we have been able to bring on were funded by larger institutions. HFM: How are today’s start-up funds different than those from five years ago?

Categorized under: Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Software 



Blizzard 2015: Business Continuity Tips and Reminders for Disaster Events

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

If you live in the Northeast United States – anywhere from DC to Maine – you’re likely living through the Blizzard of 2015 right now. Snow and heavy winds are pounding the East Coast, with snow totals expected to exceed 2 to even 3 feet in many areas and wind gusts to reach hurricane strength.
 
During weather events such as this, it’s critical that firms take precautions to ensure that not only do their technologies work and their businesses remain operational, but that their employees are safe, connected and receiving constant communications. We’ve experienced many events such as this in recent years – Hurricane Sandy is probably the most memorable – but the Blizzard of 2015 is an important reminder to firms about employing comprehensive business continuity plans and disaster recovery systems.
 
Here are a few reminders to get your firm through this latest weather event:

Communication

Communicating effectively with your employees is especially critical before, during and after disasters and other weather events. Be sure to keep your employees in the loop on what’s happening and what’s expected of them. Should they work remotely in the event they can’t get to the office? Are non-essential personnel expected to use paid time off? When can they expect updated communications regarding next steps?
 
If your firm employs a comprehensive BCP, you’ve likely already shared regional Quick Reference Cards so your staff is aware of evacuation locations, remote access policies and instructions and other communication essentials.

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



Tips for Healthy Flu Season Operations

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

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), "All national key flu indicators are elevated and about half of the country is experiencing high flu activity." So here are some tips to keep your firm operating smartly during flu season. Watch, read and learn.

  1. Monitor the flu situation.

  2. Get a flu shot.

  3. Limit exposure to others if you have flu symptoms.

  4. Limit onsite meetings.

  5. Keep contact information current.

  6. Review BCP and DR activation procedures.

  7. Update employee DR materials.

  8. Communicate flu policy.

  9. Supply disinfecting wipes for all offices.

  10. Stay home if you have the flu.


Contact us to discuss in more detail the role flu preparedness should play in your BCP.

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



Hedge Funds: It's Time to Get Bullish On Social Media, LinkedIn

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Trying to avoid social media is increasingly futile, even for hedge funds. We live in a ‘sharing’ culture, so it’s time to embrace it and control (or at least contribute to) your online profile.

In its 2015 predictions article, third-party marketing firm Agecroft Partners listed increased social media usage by hedge fund managers and investors as a key trend, and here’s why:

“…Social media is being used for research, to build stronger relationships and help promote a firms’ brands in the market place. Some managers are also using it to promote their investment ideas in order to create a catalyst for a security. The most commonly used social media is LinkedIn, which is broadly used throughout the industry. In 2014, Twitter was used by many people in the industry for the first time and this is expected to increase in 2015. Finally, we are beginning to see some use in YouTube where organizations are creating videos that can be posted on websites, distributed through social media or emailed to a distribution group…”(Source: Top Hedge Fund Industry Trends for 2015 by Don Steinbrugge)

Getting the Basics Right: LinkedIn

If a hedge fund manager has time for only one social media outlet, LinkedIn is the one. Over 332 million people use LinkedIn, and new members join at a rate of 2 per second. Additionally, 40% of users check LinkedIn daily (source: Digital Marketing Ramblings).

And from a search perspective, your LinkedIn profile is almost guaranteed to come up on the first page of results for a Google search of your name. So let’s look at how hedge fund managers can enhance their LinkedIn profiles.

LinkedIn Profile Basics

  • You need a picture. People won’t take you seriously or want to connect with you if they can’t see what you look like. Plus, your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you have a picture.

  • Write a summary. This is an open space that allows you to hone in on the key qualities, attributes and skills you want to highlight.

  • Include all (relevant) job experience. When you add your company, be sure it is linking to the firm’s LinkedIn page as this is an easy way to direct your connections back to your firm’s page after viewing your profile.

  • Add skills. From a personal brand perspective, adding skills is an easy way for people to find you.

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



Happy New Year! Employee Resolutions for 2015

By Katie Sloane,
Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Happy New Year, all!

As we embark on the New Year, there is no better time to reflect on 2014 and set new goals for the future, both personal and professional. We’ve asked a few of our employees at Eze Castle Integration what their aspirations are for 2015. Check out what some of their responses were below.2015

  • "Eat out less and cook at home more often." - Jim Bove, Systems Engineer
     

  • "To learn more about technology. You can never learn enough!" - Tim Macdonald, Product Manager
     

  • "To travel more." - Elizabeth Martin, Resource Coordinator

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Hedge Fund Operations  Communications  Project Management  Software 



Business Continuity Tips for Recovering from a Workplace Violence Incident

By Matt Donahue,
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

BCP ChecklistRecovering from a scene of workplace violence can be a tricky situation. Not all situations would necessitate the need to activate business continuity plan/procedures. But for the situations that do, it is important to be able to account for employees, communicate, assist/provide resources and resume business operations as quickly and sensibly as possible.

OSHA defines workplace violence as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors.

Evacuation/accountability

During instances of workplace violence, it is important that employees can react to obstacles or changes in the evacuation plan - whether it be utilizing an alternate route on your way out or going to the secondary evacuation site. In some instances, such as with an active shooter, choosing not to evacuate and exposure yourself to the shooter can be the safest decision.  Managers/floor wardens who are tasked with ensuring employees have exited the building need to be able to complete their jobs to help building management and responding agencies have a better understanding of how many people might still be in danger.

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning 



A Proactive Approach to Cybersecurity for Hedge Funds, Investment Firms

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, January 8th, 2015

This article originally appeared on TABBforum and was contributed by Steve Schoener, senior vice president of client technology at Eze Castle Integration.

Cybersecurity certainly made its mark on the hedge fund and alternative investment industry in 2014. Threats consistently increased in frequency, sophistication and form. With the release of the SEC’s Cybersecurity Risk Alert this past April, firms were forced to react swiftly and leave their outdated security practices behind.  2014 was a reactive year for hedge funds, but we envision a shift in trends for 2015.

PhishingPrior to heightened regulations and detailed due diligence and IT security questionnaires, the majority of financial firms were drawing their curtains closed when it came to facing the reality of the threat landscape. But it was only a matter of time until businesses no longer could turn a blind eye to threats and investors knocking at their front doors.

Over the past year we have witnessed an unceasing number of cyber-attacks and potential threats, as well as heightened security regulations placed upon hedge funds. Consequently, we’ve all read the headlines and best practices guidelines when it comes to cybersecurity. While these resources are all helpful, there is an untapped core that lies beneath this hot topic’s surface layer. That is, the ever-evolving future and forthcoming trends for hedge fund information security. So what do we at Eze Castle Integration forecast for cybersecurity in 2015?

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



New Year, New Resolutions for Hedge Funds

By Katie Sloane,
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

It’s officially 2015! With the New Year upon us it is important to set new goals for the future. In today’s post, we offer five resolutions hedge funds should consider to help pave the pathway for another prosperous year. 

Resolution #1: Prepare for CybersecurityHedge Fund Resolutions

In 2014, hedge funds were revamping their IT policies and upgrading their methods of preventing, detecting and responding to cyber threats. However, this push to overhaul and enhance security was largely reactive to the several breaches we witnessed in 2014. Among those companies affected were Sony, Target, JP Morgan Chase and Home Depot. In 2015, we predict cybersecurity will remain at the forefront of headlines. That being said, hedge funds should prepare ahead of time and have detailed information security policies in place.

Resolution #2: Avoiding Common Cloud Mistakes

When it comes to hedge fund operations and technology, there is no margin for error. Common mistakes range from not sizing bandwidth adequately to business needs to not planning proactively for applications and assuming deep security safeguards are in place. Hedge funds that take the proper precautions and do their research when cloud shopping save themselves from preventable stress and inflated issues down the road. 

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Operations  Disaster Recovery  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Regulation  Business Continuity Planning  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 



Happy Holidays from Eze Castle Integration!

By Katie Sloane,
Monday, December 22nd, 2014

With the holiday season upon us, we'd like to wish all of our clients, partners, friends and colleagues a happy and successful 2015! May it be filled with joy and good fortune!

Happy Holidays from Eze Castle Integration!

 
















 

Categorized under: Eze Castle Milestones 



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