With the coronavirus lockdown set to remain in place until at least April 30th, millions of Americans are working at home, many for the first time. Companies are being tested as never before, and many face significant challenges in managing a new remote workforce. Getting work done efficiently and ensuring smooth communications between distributed teams are overwhelming concerns. Millions of neophyte remote workers and a vastly increased reliance on digital tools combine with the crisis climate to create a target-rich environment for cybercriminals. While there’s no dearth of timely articles on cybersecurity in the time of coronavirus, it’s critical to look beyond popular advice to find more robust solutions to the security challenges facing your firm.
One of the most significant trends in business over the past 15 years has been the rising number of Americans working remotely. According to Flexjobs.com, the number of employees based outside the office increased by 159% between 2005 and 2017, and today close to 5 million U.S. employees work remotely. Many factors make this an attractive option for companies, particularly the benefit that comes through cost savings. However, the capacity for employees to work remotely is also critical in terms of business resilience and is a vital part of any business continuity plan. The current Coronavirus epidemic has made this abundantly clear as firms respond to rising infection rates by asking employees to work from home.
Across the financial services landscape, competition is intense, margins are being compressed, and regulatory pressures abound. Managers understand that how they meet these challenges will determine their futures. Firms of every type, from hedge funds and investment managers to pension funds and insurance companies, are looking for ways to reduce costs while increasing efficiency and mitigating risk. As part of this effort, firms are increasingly moving toward outsourcing post-trade activities. Reconciliations, settlements, and confirmations can all be handled by a third-party provider, as well as KYC/AML, reporting, and reference data management. However, there are several factors to consider when choosing to outsource.
Brokers and asset managers alike must provide best execution to their clients, and a big part of best execution is transparency – in process, practice and performance. In fast-moving markets, there are ample opportunities for mistakes to occur, no matter how skilled the trading desk. During post-trade processing, when buyers and sellers match the details of orders, change the record of ownership and make/accept payment for securities, quality execution ensures that these tasks are carried out efficiently, accurately and transparently.
Hedge fund launches are at 18-year low and emerging managers are facing an uphill battle for capital when compared to their larger, more established peers. According to the Financial Times “The composition of the hedge fund industry’s investor base has also changed over time. Allocations are now dominated by large institutional clients that have a bias towards larger managers. Competition to win seed capital is also also intense so it is increasingly difficult for new managers.”