Remote working is increasing because digital technology can connect people creatively and productively wherever they are. But no-one at the start of 2020 could have foreseen the dramatic and enforced acceleration of this trend.
Work from home (WFH) became a necessity to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to ensure business continuity, and now it looks set to stay. The question is: to what extent, and for better or worse? More particularly, what will it mean for hedge
The new business reality for hedge funds
Bill Gates sounded an optimistic note in September when he addressed an online business summit organised by The Economic Times. Applauding
the success of remote working, he noted that companies are re-evaluating the amount of time that employees must spend in the office and many may conclude that less than 50 percent is enough.
However, it’s clear that something is lost as well as gained when we abandon office environments. For workers in the alternative finance sector, and specifically those running hedge funds, office collaboration generates insights that are
essential for success.
While general purpose platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams enable businesses to operate remotely, partially compensating for the loss of normal day-to-day office interactions, workers may still suffer from knowledge gaps and fragmentary
information. These platforms lack specific domain expertise and are not integrated with portfolios and markets. As a result, important insights are not easily shareable. Furthermore, because workers no longer occupy the same space,
they lack immediate access to information that was readily available when they sat with colleagues in a centralized environment.
The view from hedge funds
So, how are hedge funds reacting? A survey conducted by the Alternative Investment Management Association and KPMG,
which covered 144 hedge funds, revealed that firms are worried about the effects of long-term remote working. A key takeaway is that collaboration is a priority for firms because they must adjust to the new normal and “maintain their
differentiators in a decentralized environment”.
Innovation is essential. More than 80 percent of those surveyed are investing in technology, 50 percent are re-evaluating their cloud capabilities, and 40 percent are outsourcing their technology infrastructures. The combination
of innovative technology and a decentralized environment is viewed as an opportunity to “transform the hedge fund business model”.
Further research, from the US law firm Seward & Kissel, underlines the shift in work culture. In the firm’s survey
of alternative investment managers, 72 percent said their businesses will change their WFH policies, and 37 percent believe that the technology infrastructure will need to change. Given that the findings were published in June 2020,
and the crisis has now deepened, remote working is more than ever a fixture, so hedge funds must think carefully about their technology infrastructures.
Innovative hedge fund software for remote collaboration
WFH is now a fact of life, which means we must use technology to collaborate and share information in new ways. For hedge funds, the challenge is manifold:
• How do you share what you see in your portfolio management application?
• How do you know what your peers do within their applications?
• How do you collaborate with your colleagues when there is an event of interest (such as portfolio events/market events/user activities) without leaving the application that you use?
FundsTOTAL provides the answer. It is a collaborative, cloud-based portfolio management, risk analysis and performance attribution application suite for hedge fund managers and their investors.
With remote working becoming the norm, FundsTOTAL delivers real-time applications that are accessible and shareable any time in any location, without the cost and burden of maintaining a technology infrastructure.
Today, it’s vital to have the right sort of technology. That means tools that help you collaborate in real-time across multiple aspects of portfolio and market information. These tools will ensure you stay informed, control risks, and
can seize opportunities because you are harnessing the collective wisdom of your team.
FundsTOTAL achieves this in a number of ways:
• Real-time portfolio collaboration – share real-time application views and related comments, allowing colleagues to see and collaborate on portfolio information
• Event-driven collaboration – collaborate in real-time with your team on portfolio and market events of common interest
• Follow colleagues’ activities – selectively follow members of your team and receive instant notifications about their activities
FundsTOTAL’s patented collaboration features apply across all products:
• FundsTOTAL Manager – for hedge funds that manage portfolios of mainstream financial instruments including equities, derivatives, currencies and fixed income
• FundsTOTAL Investor - helps fund managers provide institutional investors with the desired levels of portfolio transparency in a highly secure portfolio and risk analysis portal
• FundsTOTAL Crypto – provides crypto traders and hedge funds with a consolidated portfolio view of cryptocurrencies traded on multiple crypto exchanges
To generate alpha, hedge funds depend on up-to-date and complete information. While remote working has clear benefits, such as no commuting, lower cost structures for businesses, and the advantage of employing skilled workers wherever
they are, it’s vital to maintain the cohesion and cross-fertilisation of ideas found in the traditional offices. With the right technology, hedge funds can have the best of both worlds.