A prominent global-macro and quantitative strategies hedge fund based in Connecticut had grown significantly over the last five years. The firm had weathered the financial crisis of 2008 and their investment strategies rebounded and posted good results in 2010 and 2011. As a result, assets under management had grown from a low of $2.5 billion to their current levels of $7 billion. The number of investment strategies jumped up from 2 core strategies focused on US interest rate and foreign exchange products to 5 different strategies with additional exposure to Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The team had grown from 65 people to over 225 professionals.
This resulted in an exponential growth of the data needs and applications that were being supported. However, the firm’s technology platform had not kept pace and the core trading systems, infrastructure architecture, and technology operational processes had not matured. The firm’s technology group was severely short staffed and was depending on the extreme efforts of a few talented team members to support the business day-to-day. However, these deficiencies were resulting in severe outages that were affecting the firms trading and daily operations. The firm’s CTO believed that a plan needed to be developed with the involvement of his business users and senior management; however, his team was consumed with daily operations and simply did not have the bandwidth to develop a coherent strategy.
- Developed a tactical plan and technology strategy in-conjunction with the CTO that would put them on the course to smooth daily operations and provide a foundation for continued growth.
- Helped identify immediate tactical solutions and then recommended two pointed vendor solutions that would help alleviate the immediate production issues.
- Worked with technology staff and leveraged vendor relationships to facilitate decisions and implementations to rectify deficiencies with the trading platform, including the back-end network infrastructure and enterprise data storage systems.
- Implemented improved processes to help manage changes in the production environment, deliver quality end-user support, and improve disaster recovery procedures.
- Assembled a team of key stakeholders at the firm from their business groups along with their technology group. Through a dialogue with them, we gained an understanding of the business requirements, technology environment, and future growth projects. Through these discussions, developed a longer-term strategic roadmap that would guide project work.
- Recognized that the technology team required additional skills and helped recruit new key hires. We recommended a staff re-organization and re-alignment of reporting lines.
- Specifications were developed for enhancements to the infrastructure to leverage newer technologies and to the firm’s data management, trade processing, and analytics systems, providing a blueprint for the firm’s technology strategy.
- An efficient, stable, and secure technology environment that minimized trading interruptions and mitigated potential trading losses.
- Successful implementation of core systems provided a solid foundation for continued growth and provided detailed project roadmap to achieve technology and business goals.
- Technology strategy and roadmap that demonstrates firm’s commitment to a sound trading infrastructure to external stakeholders e.g. investors and regulators.