By George NW Ralph, Managing Director of RFA UK
Last week saw me attending the Hedge Fund Startup Forum in London, which was a real eye opener and another great example of a well-executed, thoroughly useful event.
The Forum provided those with fledgling businesses, or those who were considering investing in or starting up their own hedge funds, crucial information about sourcing investment, meeting regulatory requirements and even pointers for how to take it beyond year one.
I met a number of potential clients, who showed a great interest in our private cloud services, particularly the starter packages, which are perfect for a new hedge fund that needs to hit the ground running. The packages provide a ready made, enterprise class architecture on which to run trading systems and middle and back office systems. Predictable costing and a scalable architecture are the real selling points of our private cloud solutions, coupled with the essential high performance and availability that a hedge fund requires.
The speed-networking session worked really well, giving me the chance to talk to a huge number of people, albeit briefly, about the issues that they were facing and the biggest challenges in starting a new fund. Compliance, again, was a big talking point and once again, AIFMD and Basel III featured.
I further banged on the cybersecurity drum, which resonates loud and clear with startup funds that are acutely aware of the effect that a data security breach can have on a firm’s reputation. It is important to remember that whilst security breaches do occur at a network level, they often come in via employees, so firms need to dedicate time to train employees on how to identify and respond to potential threats.
The Virtual Chief Information Security Officer services that we offer at RFA can provide hedge funds with network security assessments and strategies for improvement, on a consultancy basis, which could be ideal for a startup firm.
In addition to meeting potential clients, the forum was a great platform for finding strategic partners and the continued immersion into the world of the hedge fund, both established and startup, gives me a greater insight into the challenges that we, as a technology partner to the financial services sector, need to be addressing.