A few months ago, we took our readers on a tour of the newly released Microsoft Office Suite. This updated version of such tools as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook made it easier for users to take advantage of tablet and mobile computing devices. Now, with the recent release of its new Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft is continuing its foray into the mobile computing environment.
We’ve been receiving questions on Windows 8 from several clients and other industry professionals (What new features are included? What’s changed since previous versions?), so we’ve done some research and tapped our internal experts to provide you with an overview of Microsoft’s newest release.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Starting a hedge fund is a thoughtful and time-consuming process that requires skillful considerations and supportive collaborations to drive success. But with the changes that have swept through the industry of late, now seems like as good a time as any to launch a new fund.
We recently hosted a webinar with KPMG to examine the current hedge fund landscape for startups and determine whether 2013 is the right time to begin the launch process. Below is a short summary of the topics discussed. To watch the full event replay, click here.
Forming a Hedge Fund
There is a wealth to consider when launching your first (or second or third) hedge fund. From organizational and personnel matters to grappling with regulatory and compliance requirements and infrastructure needs, the list seems to never end. With the help of experienced prime brokers and service providers, however, managing these tasks has never been easier.
It’s that time of year again: time to take a look ahead and make predictions for the top technology trends of 2013. I don’t think any of these trends will come as a surprise to you, but let’s take a closer look.
I know - we had this topic on last year’s list, too. But it’s so important, it deserves another nod. Smartphones and tablets have invaded the enterprise world like never before, and we’re seeing companies work more diligently to manage the use of these devices. Strategies such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) give firms the ability to allow employees to use personal devices for work purposes. While this provides employees with flexibility in terms of which devices they can use (and eliminates the need to carry more than one), it also highlights the importance of enhancing security measures to protect sensitive company information from getting into the wrong hands. Speaking of security…
With the holiday season just around the corner, we’re reminded to take a moment to appreciate what we have, and give back to those who may not be quite as lucky this year.
In keeping with the spirit of the season, we’d like to take this opportunity to recognize the amazing work of one of our favorite nonprofit organizations, Hedge Funds Care. This group is committed to preventing and treating child abuse by raising money to fund programs that support victims in their local communities around the world. These noble efforts are made possible by the generous support of individuals and companies throughout the hedge fund industry. We encourage you to learn more and consider becoming a supporter by visiting the Hedge Funds Care website.
Last month our friends at eSentire published a Cloud Security Checklist to provide hedge funds and alternative investment firms a guide when evaluating a cloud provider such as Eze Castle Integration. The Checklist asked the question, “How can you know if your Cloud Service Provider has your best risk management interests in mind?”
Since here at Eze Castle Integration we are big proponents of secure cloud computing, we thought we’d be the first cloud service provider (that we know of!) to complete eSentire’s checklist.
1.0 Physical Security: Does the cloud provider have a rigorous physical access protocol?
Yes, yes and yes. Eze Castle has detailed Access Control and Premise Access policies that extend from physical to virtual environments. Following are some of the key physical access control protocols we have in place:
- 24x7x365 manned lobby with visual verification of identity
- Two-phase authentication of visitors (card and biometric)
- Secured access at all entry points, including doors and elevator banks
- Monitored security cameras as well as door, motion and camera sensors
- Visitor logs closely monitored and escorts required at all times
- Key-locked cages and cabinets at all data center facilities
With the BYOD trend invading financial services firms (and companies of all kinds), the need for mobile device management solutions is at an all-time high. While hedge funds once seemed like a BlackBerry-only industry, the emergence of high-powered smartphones has prompted a shift in corporate communications. But security remains a top concern for all funds.
"Unlike BlackBerry, platforms like iOS and Android are not built with the enterprise in mind," said Phil Redman, an analyst at Gartner. "They are simply not as secure as BlackBerry, and to make them secure, companies have to spend some money."
There are a number of mobile device management solutions in the marketplace, including AirWatch, Zenprise, Fiberlink Communications, SAP (formerly Sybase) and Symantec. Let’s take a closer look at three such solutions we’re seeing used frequently: Good Technology, MobileIron and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.
On 20th November, the Eze Castle Integration team in London hosted a joint breakfast seminar with Simmons & Simmons looking at future IT and employment considerations for hedge fund managers.
We know building a hedge fund post successful launch is a challenging experience and requires a methodical approach and expert guidance. There are many factors to manage post launch including continuing capital raising, fulfilling investors’ performance and reporting expectations, meeting regulatory requirements and keeping technology systems running at peak levels.
You can watch a replay of the seminar here.
This week marks the unofficial kickoff of the 2012 holiday season. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we've been thinking about what we’re truly thankful for this year.
As you might recall, we've had a lot to be thankful for the past few years. In 2010 we acknowledged our thanks to some of our favorite charitable organizations such as Hedge Funds Care and Big Brothers Big Sisters. We also shared our gratitude for our awesome network of partners and clients around the world.
Last year, we asked our employees what they were thankful for and videotaped their responses. Since that was a such a big hit, we thought we'd ask some other employees that same question this year. Take a look at what they had to say:
Hedge funds and investment firms are making the move to Asia, evidenced by the industry’s expansion to a record number of funds in Q3 2012 (according to Hedge Fund Research). With a healthy flow of both new startup funds and existing firms expanding their presence to the region, the Asian hedge fund market has quickly become the go-to locale for financial services.
Asia can be a challenging market to tap into, however, particularly as regulations take center stage. In addition to local regulations, Asian funds also need to keep an eye on what’s happening in the U.S. and Europe. According to HFMWeek, legislation handed down by the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) “could make it very difficult for Asian managers to access European capital, affecting diverse facets of a fund’s operations including remuneration, leverage and custody.”
Technology is also on the minds of regulators – and investors too. HFMWeek states that “investors and regulators have shown little tolerance for allowing a fund’s infrastructure to ramp up over time, instead insisting that they feature best practice systems and processes at launch.” So if funds need to have a robust technology in place from day one, what are their options?
Stricter regulations and calls from investors for greater transparency are leading hedge fund managers to up their game and enhance their technology infrastructures to become more operationally efficient.
The growing regulatory environment -- Dodd-Frank and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive Level 2 (AIFMD) -- is pushing more and more hedge funds to consider adopting cloud computing as the operational burdens around reporting and transparency continue to grow. To refresh, in April 2009, the European Commission proposed a Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) with the objective of creating a comprehensive and effective regulatory and supervisory framework for AIFMs at the European level. The proposed Directive was aimed at providing harmonised regulatory standards for all AIFMs within scope. ESMA was requested by the Commission to provide technical advice on the implementing measures of the AIFMD (Level 2).
Regulators and investors have played a significant role in the way the alternative investment industry behaves, in return influencing the evolution of technology. Regulatory change and due diligence are the largest drivers of change in the hedge fund space. Even if the changes proposed in your organisation are not regulatory driven in nature, hedge funds need to ensure that internal operations or outsourcing projects are organised is such a way that their output will easily satisfy both existing and future legislative requirements.
Categorized under: Cloud Computing
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- The New CIO: From IT Manager to IT Innovator
- New Infographic: Criteria for Evaluating Colocation Providers
- What Not to Do When It Comes to Your IT
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