Blog Entries from 01/2013
BlackBerry has finally unveiled the long awaited BlackBerry Z10 in hopes that this will bring them level with Android and Apple who have taken a large chunk of the market share.
With the new Z10, BlackBerry has moved away from their traditional screen and keyboard approach to a total touch screen experience. The new device is bigger and thicker at 130mm x 65.6mm x 9mm than an iPhone but has almost everything diehard BlackBerry fans have been waiting for: a sleek, modern, and professional touch-screen with an up-to-date OS to match and 4G LTE support. But what else is new? Here at Eze Castle we have done our research and bring you all the information you need.
BlackBerry has merged home-screens, widgets, app lists and a unified inbox into one slick interface, offering up an easy-to-navigate user experience.The main home-screen comprises of 'Active Frames' (mini-applications), which gives you an overview of information from a particular app and launch the full version when tapped. Users can select up to eight of these active frames, which arrange themselves in order of most recently used, with the latest app appearing in the top left position.
Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing
The latest HFR Global Hedge Fund Industry Report found that hedge fund assets increased by $60 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing total industry capital to a record $2.25 trillion. With hedge funds posting performance gains and the new year upon us, we expect to see new hedge fund launches take off.
Technology is just one of the many areas to consider when starting a hedge fund. To help jump start the process, below is a list of some commonly asked questions we receive.
Where do I start in creating a technology budget for my hedge fund?
It is important to note that whether a firm selects to go with an in-house IT solution or cloud computing there will be implications on technology budgeting. Once in-house versus cloud is evaluated, it is important to think about the workflows and systems you use to complete your work – be it email, reports, phones, market vendor applications, and/or risk systems. You can find a technology budgeting worksheet here to help with your planning.
As 2013 begins, managers of hedge funds and other financial services firms should be aware of upcoming changes within the regulatory environment. Investment firms in the US can expect to be impacted by stricter controls, laws and more detailed investigations imposed by the SEC and other governing agencies. Here’s a high level overview of some of the most important regulations to keep your eye on this year:
The JOBS Act
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, also known as the JOBS Act, was signed into law by President Obama on April 5th, 2012. It’s intended to assist eligible companies in seeking initial public offerings by simplifying the procedure for going public. This legislation eases federal regulations and allows for crowd funding – enabling individuals to become investors. As a result of the JOBS Act, small business startups will be able to collect money from private individuals without making an IPO.
Have we mentioned we dig the cloud? Well we do and we are happy to introduce you to the newest addition to our cloud family – Eze App Cloud.
Weighing in at 60+ applications, Eze App Cloud comes to us from the Eze Private Cloud and is tailor made for application vendors servicing hedge fund and investment management firms.
The App Cloud has been a long time in the making and aims to address many challenges, including the need for a central, consolidated cloud platform to run all hedge fund applications and IT services. With adoption of cloud services growing, there are many disparate cloud platforms with varying degrees of quality and customization. We are increasingly seeing clients challenged to integrate applications (i.e. OMS, Risk, CRM) all running on different cloud platforms and networks. The cloud is supposed to simplify operations, not make them more difficult.
Eze App Cloud is prepared (and designed) to be the ONE cloud platform for everything a hedge fund needs.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported high activity levels of Flu cases in 24 states, and the illness is spreading at a much more rapid rate this year than in previous winters.
So, what does this mean for investment firms? It is now more important than ever to ensure your firm can and will remain functional if it is affected by this outbreak or, worse, a pandemic. Business leaders must be mindful of the repercussions of the virus, as a decrease in staff could cause a great strain on the firm and potentially costly downtime.
We asked our Business Continuity Planning experts to give 10 tips on keeping your firm up and operational during Flu season. Watch and learn.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many hedge funds and investment firms in the Northeast region took account of their firms' operations and assessed the aftermath. Business continuity plans and disaster recovery procedures were undoubtedly put to the test as power outages and flooding wreaked havoc on the area. In a previous Hedge IT post, we discussed many of the lessons that fund managers took away from this experience. Today we’re taking an even closer look at how investment firms fared during the disaster, as agencies such as the SEC and FINRA are now conducting in-depth examinations of many such organizations.
These post-Sandy investigations are being conducted on several firms throughout the Northeast, and although they are not technically intended as a sweep exam, they’re being used as a mechanism to gather information on the lessons that were garnered through the storm. The SEC may potentially use the responses in aggregate as a basis for implementing new BCP recommendations or guidelines in the future. Additionally, these exams aim to raise awareness about the importance of having a comprehensive business continuity plan in place and conducting regular testing.
What can you expect from an SEC/FINRA exam?
Pzena Investment Management is a 16-year-old hedge fund with a solid return record and a reputation for business integrity, research excellence and devotion. With close to 70 employees between the New York headquarters and a representative office in Melbourne, Australia, the company relies upon its IT department and technology consultants to oversee its 80 computers and 30 virtualized servers. As a public company and reputable investment management firm, Pzena must be assured that its critical systems and applications, such as its portfolio accounting system, email service, Microsoft Office applications and Swift Connections, are operating properly on a 24x7x365 basis to ensure client needs are addressed promptly.
Seeking an IT Partner for the Future
In 2009, the firm decided the time had come to replace its existing technology consulting company. In its search for a new partner, Pzena reviewed the qualifications of several firms and gathered referrals from other companies in the investment management market. Based on this research and feedback, the firm chose Eze Castle Integration for its deep technology knowledge, worldwide support and the ability to leverage Eze Castle personnel as on-site system administrators.
Do you know the difference between a disaster recovery (DR) system and a business continuity plan (BCP)? Does your firm employ one or both of them? Some funds think if they have one system in place, they don’t need the other. Our team of Mythbusters recently set out to determine if a firm can operate successfully with a disaster recovery plan but not a business continuity plan. Take a look at our brand new video, and find out!
Happy New Year everyone!
2013 is off and running, and the time has come to look ahead and set goals for your investment firm to ensure a successful and prosperous year. Many of the resolutions we recommended last year still hold true, including testing your disaster recovery system, reviewing and evaluating all telcom contracts, ensuring your business continuity plan is SEC-compliant and performing a comprehensive IT systems audit.
This year, it’s time to take those resolutions to the next level. We asked some of our internal experts here at Eze Castle to share some important resolutions hedge funds could consider making for 2013. Here’s what they had to say: