Much was discussed at this year’s 4th Annual Hedge Fund Ops & Tech conference in NYC! Our chairperson for the day, Dan Strachman, Author & Strategist from HedgeAnswers, got the morning started off with his thoughts on the current state of the industry. From there many conversations quickly turned to SEC registration requirements. One of the biggest challenges for the hedge fund COO, according to our speakers on the COO Roundtable, is registering with the SEC. Hedge Funds are worried that with the Dodd-Frank requirements they will they have to unregister from the SEC and then re-register. A crazy thought, but still a possibility for them. Along with registering it seems that new demands and challenges for the hedge fund COO will include audits and greater disclosure, including how procedures are executed and how assets are divided.
Though, as mentioned, the overlying theme of the day was the issues around registering with the SEC, we did touch upon several other areas of discussion, including headline risk. This was a phrase that was new for me but very interesting to learn about and see how within the hedge fund industry it’s already something that keeps the Hedge Fund COO’s up at night! From what I gathered and have read on this topic since the conference, headline risk is the possibility that a journalistic news piece will negatively affect a stock’s price. Headline risk can also impact the overall performance of the stock market as well. It seems that hedge fund ops teams now have to have the inside scoop on the latest news before it hits the press because the next headline could affect how investors will react. Overall it seems like a really interesting form of risk but I still have questions — such as how prevalent is this type of risk in the industry already, and what firms currently take headline risk into account? So if anyone reading this can enlighten me further, please do!
Along with headline risk, other issues discussed throughout the day were how automation can relieve back-office tasks so staff can concentrate on exemptions and rule changes, and that the use of spreadsheets does not mean your firm is truly automated. Also mentioned was the use of the cloud vs. building an internal infrastructure and, as always, op due diligence and compliance were hot topics for the hedge fund industry and were discussed in detail at the event.
Overall it was another great conference and our thanks go out to all the attendees for their enthusiasm and participation in the open forum discussions. Special thanks also go out to all the knowledgeable speakers and event sponsors who included Fiserv, SunGard, Smarsh, Penny-It Works, AVID Technical Resources, Eze Castle Integration, Omgeo, Cosmos, Cobb & Associates PC, C & A Consulting LLC and BNY Mellon!
For more in-depth coverage on what was discussed at the event look out for upcoming highlights in the FTF Newsletter.
John Simone, Director at AIG, presenting on why OpRisk should be a priority for your firm.