Our IT Director was brought in to this hedge fund to deliver bespoke software solutions that would help the organisation expand, seeing the process through from the design stage through to implementation.
A group of former portfolio managers founded this multi-million convertible arbitrage hedge fund in the early 2000s.
The business had offices in the UK and USA. They shared data through email and managed portfolios on shared spreadsheets. The existing system processes were insecure, outdated, and unsuitable for enterprise growth.
What Our Director Did
Software Solutions Design
Starting with an overview of what the company wanted to achieve, the IT Director drew up an IT Roadmap. This included a re-design of the portfolio and risk management systems. In addition, a back office automation systems, a security review, disaster recovery planning and business continuity tools.
One of the key achievements of the project was the bespoke software, designed and built with the Director. Off-the-shelf packages were available, but none of them provided the functionality the company required. By building bespoke portfolio and risk management systems, the company had full control over the features and functionality they wanted to use.
With custom-developed back office software, much of the back office transaction processing was now automated. The Director built systems that managed trade reconciliation, funding payments, forex balancing and trade hedging, which helped keep staffing head counts low for the business, and therefore increased efficiencies of the current staff.
Having multiple offices both in the UK and USA meant keeping data in sync across all sites was an important and complex task. At the time of the project, the concept of data centres was new and a dedicated fibre line was grossly expensive and outside the company’s budget. The Director conducted research to scope out the fastest internet connections for each office, and subsequently connected them all over VPN appliances.
The new systems that were designed and built by the Director helped the company grow from $300m under management at the outset to over $3bn at its peak.
Efficiency wise, the company’s total head count never exceeded 24 members of staff across four offices. The ease of use of all new systems also meant that staff were able to jump across roles to help fill in when colleagues were on holiday or off work; it wasn’t uncommon to see back office staff managing the portfolios and the IT staff performing back office tasks after the systems were implemented.
The office connectivity gave the company business continuity, with every office backed up and synchronised across the network continuously.