Cybersecurity and compliance must be two of the hottest topics of discussion in the average alternative investment business, but when coupled with all the other elements involved in running a successful firm; valuation, asset pricing, business continuity, due diligence, risk management, personnel recruitment and retention, interest rates, rising fees, liquidity, they do not always get the focus they deserve.
George Ralph, Managing Director here at RFA believes it is the duty of specialists like RFA to ensure they have the necessary skills and attributes to meet and exceed client’s requirements in these areas. “As a technology partner to the financial services sector, RFA is continually updating its accreditations and skill sets to ensure we can pass on the best advice to our clients and to give them the assurance they need. We recently added to our cybersecurity accreditation portfolio with the IASME Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus standards, which has the UK Government’s stamp of approval. IASME is a risk based standard, which takes a holistic view of cybersecurity to include aspects of physical security, staff awareness and data backup.”
RFA is an active member of the alternative investment community in London, and has also recently become a member of AIMA. Ralph says, “Staying abreast of updates and intelligence is vital as we continue to bring industry professionals together for regular updates and discussions on compliance and regulatory issues. We have set up a Quarterly event which focuses on a different topic, with invited “subject matter experts” who can stimulate useful peer to peer engagement. The last topic was MiFID II and we are now looking at AIFMD and the implications for data management strategies. I’m seeing real focus on AIFMD and whilst it’s a huge topic, I think there are still specific areas that could benefit from some shared learning.”
For many firms, the knowledge that their specialist partners were completely immersed in their sector, fully up to speed with the latest news and developments, and could highlight important trends, would be a huge benefit. Look out for industry standards, accreditations and stamps of approval from official bodies, which show that suppliers have made the investment and take your business seriously.