RFA Announces two UK Data Centres Ahead of London Launch

RFA Announces two UK Data Centres Ahead of London Launch

By Chris Matthews, HFMWeek

Technology advisory and security firm Richard Fleischman & Associates (RFA) is set to launch its first two data centres in the UK, with the official launch of RFA in January 2015, HFMTechnology has learned.
The clustered active-active models will be run from two data centres in South-West England, with ownership of the data centre facilities in partnership with a global data centre provider selected for highest levels of certification and standards, and will operate off a VMware infrastructure owned and managed by RFA.

Extending the company’s processes in New York (the company headquarters), RFA also has locations in Boston and Texas (one of the three US Data locations for the RFA-owned data centres and BCP break out centres), hedge fund managers will be able to utilise a number of different cloud solutions in the UK.

George Ralph, managing director for RFA in London and the person charged with building its UK team since the transition began in July, said it was important to base the centres outside of the capital.

“There can be power issues with data centres in London. You may grow to a certain size, at which point you are pushed to buy more racks because they don’t have as much power per rack,” he told HFMTechnology.

“Whereas outside of London you have much more stability in power, freedom of individual cages and there is more space plus more power per rack. It is easier therefore to manage quick enterprise expansion with a reduced footprint and the obvious security benefits of being in a lower risk target zone.”

The firm now employs nine people in its Mayfair offices and Ralph says the headcount will rise to around 50 by the end of 2015. “We are working hard to ensure we have the best people in order to provide the best service and have clear career paths for all of our teams”

“We have grown quicker than expected – we’ve had to ramp up the team much faster than envisaged. Over 50 of our clients in the US have a presence in London and have expressed a desire to work with us here due to our unique service levels, this has been one of our starting points for building the London office,” he said.

“There are more than 2,000 financial firms in Mayfair so I’m sure there will be far more growth in the future. Our plan for London is to build the headquarters for our EMEA operations.”

Although in an embryonic stage in the UK, RFA’s presence is much more wide-reaching in the US. Focusing on hedge funds, asset managers and numerous other financial firms, the company serves over 520 clients across the Atlantic with over £600bn ($944bn) AuM.

Alongside its cloud products, RFA also provides cyber-security, disaster recovery, consultancy and network design services. “We provide a unique board level engagement service to ensure our clients have a firm understanding of their technology needs and planned direction.” Ralph said the firm is confident its US successes can be replicated here in the UK as it prepares to publically launch in January.

He said: “Working in the hedge fund and asset management space where people are paying a premium for high level IT service, they expect high level IT service – and that is our aim to allow them to get what they are paying for and to become a Technology partner with service excellence at the heart of everything we deliver from clear and transparent direction, thought leadership and best of breed service.”

Exclusive: RFA announces two UK data centres ahead of London launch (HFMTechnology, November 13, 2014)