Last week, the Eze Castle Integration London team along with industry experts from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Investment Management Association (IMA), HSBC, and Simmons & Simmons got together to address the FCA’s “Dear CEO” letter on outsourcing, which was issued to CEO’s of asset management firms back in December 2012.
In the “Dear CEO” letter, the FCA identified that the asset management industry outsources a number of activities to service providers and the FCA’s major concern was if a service provider was to face financial distress or serve operational disruption, the UK asset managers would not be able to perform regulated activities.
Our panel of experts gathered together to discuss the letter in more detail and what practical steps asset managers should adopt, including reviewing contingency plans to ensure managers are minimising risk and have a continuity strategy in place. Let’s take a closer look at what was discussed.
We all have “to-do lists,” and we all have our own way of managing how and what gets done. Having BCP on my to-do list is easy; this is what I think about every day and all day. But not everyone has the same responsibility. However, business continuity is like health insurance; it needs to be active. We all need it, but it’s not something we think about every day.
Disruptions can occur at any time and without warning, which is why we should always be thinking about what we need and how we would respond during a disaster. Let’s not forget the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004 during the holiday season. Thousands of foreign tourists were in Thailand during that disaster, and many were unaware of the risks within the area, evacuation routes and how to receive assistance.
Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning
There has been a lot of discussion about, “best practices” lately when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery planning, especially as we approach the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. In fact, I had to pleasure of speaking about some specific DR and BCP best practices earlier this week during a webinar, 10 Signs It’s Time to Rethink Your Approach to DR/BCP. You can listen to the replay here.
If you do a Google search for “business continuity and disaster recovery best practices,” you’ll get several options to choose from. However, if you are in working in the financial industry, the first resource you should consider taking a look at is the best practices guide published by the SEC, FINRA and CFTC in August 2013.
Sandy was a remarkable storm that affected many businesses along the East Coast, including hedge funds and investment firms based in the tri-state area. Post-Sandy, regulatory bodies including the SEC, FINRA and CFTC met with several registered advisors to ensure they were prepared for future disasters. Based on the findings, these organizations developed a four-page best practice guide for investment firms.
We teamed up with a couple of Eze Castle’s DR and BCP experts earlier today to discuss 10 signs it’s time to reevaluate your firm’s approach to disaster recovery and business continuity. Steve Banda, Product Manager, and Lisa Smith, Business Continuity Manager (and Certified Business Continuity Professional!), joined us for a live webinar to share their expertise.
Let’s take a look at the 10 signs they outlined. If you’d prefer to listen to the full webinar replay (it’s only 24 minutes long!), you can do so here.
Are you like one of the millions of people pondering the answer to ‘what is hypervisor-based replication and how will it change my disaster recovery approach’? I know I was.
So, let me help you with that!
Our technology experts here at Eze Castle Integration spent some time in the lab testing and evaluating hypervisor-based replication and recently incorporated it into our Eze Disaster Recovery 2.0 offering. We think it delivers excellent benefits, but let’s start with the basics.
What is hypervisor-based replication?
TechTarget defines hypervisor-based replication as “a technology that automatically creates and maintains replicas of virtual hard disks or entire virtual machines (depending on the platform that is being used).” Analyst firm IDC goes on to say that this replication approach “protects virtual machines (VMs) at the virtual machine disk format file level rather than at the LUN or storage volume level, thus replication can be done without the management and TCO challenges associated with array-based replication.”
Welcome back to Hedge IT! Now that you’ve read Part I of our Cloud Survey Findings recap, let’s take a look at some of the other results we found.
One of the most interesting findings our 2013 survey revealed was the level of satisfaction investment firms have with their current cloud deployments. Over 90 percent of respondents indicated their clouds (whether public, private or hybrid) were meeting or exceeding expectations in each of the following areas:
- Reducing IT costs
- Improving users’ IT experience
- Simplifying management of IT
- Allowing firms to reallocate resources to more valuable activities
- IT performance, scalability and resiliency
- Providing a high return on investment
Earlier this week, we announced the findings of our 2013 market survey: Examining Cloud Usage within the Investment Management Industry. If you haven’t already, check out our infographic here.
If you’re not up for reading the full report yet, here’s Part I of our Cloud Survey Recap. Be sure to come back next Tuesday for Part II!
As a follow up to our 2012 Cloud Adoption Trends Survey, we wanted to take a closer look at how and why hedge funds and investment firms are leveraging cloud services in today’s marketplace. Working again with IDG Research, we surveyed 101 investment firms across the U.S. about their current and planned cloud usage.
Firms covered a wide range of asset bases: 38 percent reported less than $100M; 20 percent fell between $100 and $499.99M; 19 percent between $500M and $999.99M; and 20 percent said they had more than $1B.
Would you be ready if there were an emergency today? Would your employees know what to do? September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) which is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s The Ready Campaign in an effort to increase awareness for individuals, businesses, families and communities. NPM aims to encourage the public to make preparedness a part of their daily lives and stresses the importance of being ready for the unknown.
Why should you focus on being prepared?
By teaching your employees why to prepare, your firm will not only demonstrate its importance, but employees will also maintain this knowledge and expertise that will help keep the business operational. Preparation can mean the difference between a successful and failed recovery, both personally and professionally. Educating your employees on what they’ll need at home, where to go, who to contact, etc. will equip them with the right information they’ll require at the time of an incident. With the proper information readily available, employees can focus on helping resume business operations more quickly.
Remember earlier this week when we said we’d be talking more about BCP communication? Well, you know we always keep our word!
A successful business recovery requires more than the ability to access critical systems and applications. It also requires effective communication. It is vital to communicate with your employees about the procedures of your business continuity plan before, during and after an incident. By doing so, you set the wheels in motion by creating the guidelines for the firm’s recovery.
Effective communication should include, but not be limited to:
1) Accounting for employees;
2) Setting workload expectations; and
3) Providing employees with recovery status updates.
Let’s take a deeper look into those strategies.
Successfully implementing your business continuity plan requires more than just ensuring your systems are operational and accessible. Success starts with your employees – those who maintain the expertise and knowledge to keep your business operational. Communicating appropriate BCP steps to your employees is essential in ensuring your business is not impacted by a disaster or disruption. But more about BCP communication on Thursday…
Following are three critical steps firms should take to find business continuity planning success:
1. Identify a specific evacuation site in the event of a disaster. Designate a safe location for employees to gather if your firm’s building is evacuated. Don’t forget to:
- Make sure the site is ALWAYS accessible. For example, don’t choose a restaurant as your evacuation site if they don’t open until 11 a.m. or are closed on Mondays.
- Communicate the evacuation site details to all employees, including those who work at client sites. Because not all employees will necessarily be in the office when a disaster occurs, anyone off-site or returning from a meeting should know where to report to.
- Answering the FCA's Dear CEO Letter on Outsourcing with Some Practical Steps
- Reflecting on What We're Thankful For This Thanksgiving
- Finding Your One-Stop Shop: The Benefits of Choosing an All-Inclusive IT Provider
- Three Ways Your Cloud Provider Can De-Stress Your Life
- Putting BCP on Your Holiday To-Do List
- business continuity planning
- cloud computing
- data loss prevention
- disaster recovery
- eze castle milestones
- hedge fund due diligence
- hedge fund marketing
- hedge fund operations
- hedge fund regulation
- help desk
- high frequency trading
- launching a hedge fund
- privacy compliance
- project management
- real estate
- startup & relocation
- trends we're seeing
- videos and infographics