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A Hedge Fund's Guide to Preparing for Hurricane Matthew

By Eze Castle Integration | Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

As of Wednesday, October 5, 2016, computer models continue to show Hurricane Matthew traveling along the southern eastern states starting in Miami early Friday morning and reaching Norfolk, VA early Monday morning.  At this point, it’s too early to determine if Hurricane Matthew will head out to sea once it reaches Virginia or continue up to the Northeastern states. 

Whether you’re in the south or north, now is the time to prepare your office and home for a potential impact of the storm.  The following is a high level review of continuity steps you should consider:

Communicating with Employees

If you haven’t already, create a communication process to ensure you can notify your employees and/or clients.   For internal communications, you can use an employee call tree which can be created in word or excel, create a distribution list in your mobile device or subscribe to an automated notification system.  Firms must ensure messages are communicated to employees (or clients) properly and in a timely manner.  Using a process will ensure all employees receive the same message immediately via email, phone call and/or text message.  Whichever method selected, ensure there is a dedicated employee that is aware of their role and prepared to send the communication when appropriate.

Employees’ Work Locations 

If your plan is to have employees work remotely should an incident occur, steps should be taken to ensure that employees will have access to all required resources for performing their daily tasks.  This includes checking to see that the company has adequate Citrix licenses and having employees do a test run.
To avoid questions and confusion, work location procedures should be clearly communicated to all employees in advance to ensure that any unexpected challenges are dealt with before any disaster.  

Employee Remote Access Test

Before Hurricane Matthew reaches your office or home, validate employees have all of the required resources to work remotely.  You can validate this process by having key employees do a remote access test to ensure any issues are addressed before an incident impacts your office.  Here are some recommended steps to have your employees follow as part of the testing process:

  • Validate successful communication to internal and external dependencies

  • Confirm full functionality of required applications

  • Perform all critical  business functions

  • Confirm access to vital records (key files and documents)

  • Ensure employees can receive incoming calls, while working remotely, by activating phone recovery procedures or using phone redirect instructions 

  • Disaster Recovery Activations

Depending on the impact of Hurricane Matthew, some firms may need to activate their disaster recovery systems.  We recommend you review the activation procedures now to ensure a smooth transition of the systems, if needed.

Leading Business Continuity Prep Questions

As you assess your business and the potential impact of Hurricane Matthew, following are some key questions to consider:

  • A business continuity plan typically identifies a few key individuals who will activate the plan. Will these individuals be available to execute the necessary steps? Now is the time to ensure they know how to activate BCP responsibilities. 

  • What will be the criteria for allowing employees to work from home? Who will have the power to make that decision? 

  • Do you have enough Citrix or VPN licenses to accommodate all employees working from home?

  • How will you communicate business continuity procedures to employees, and who is responsible for the communications?

  • What type of employee assistance will you offer should an incident occur? How will employees access this information (i.e. call HR or go to third-party)?

  • Are there employees who are traveling and could be stranded? What type of assistance will be provided to them?  How will you track their locations? 

Eze Client Support

Eze Castle Integration is here to support clients as necessary. Please contact our Global Support Desk or your primary contact with any for questions regarding business continuity and disaster recovery procedures.

To Learn More about Business Continuity for Hedge Funds + RIAs:

RIA's Guide to Business Continuity

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