Asset management firms across the industry are scrambling to maintain business continuity during the current crisis. While disaster recovery plans are critical and required, they cannot anticipate every potential business threat. Even three months ago, no one could have imagined that the US economy would be thrown into the turmoil it is today.
With stay-at-home orders striking New York City in particular, finance firms are challenged to fulfill their crucial economic role while also grappling with their own workflows to achieve that. When it comes to alternative investments, workflow automation can improve a hedge fund’s complicated demands for transparency, compliance, and communication
Workflow Automation can Improve Hedge Funds Risk Control Strategies
By their nature, hedge fund strategies carry higher risk in order to produce the returns for which they are famous. They often are more nimble than mutual funds that strive for long-term gains with a more market neutral approach.
When economies become unstable, the investment risk of hedge funds can become more volatile due to rapidly changing environments such as the one the US finds itself in currently. In such a case, firms need to focus on their investment strategies and not get bogged down in the minutiae of process matters that they may have previously relied on.
Decision-makers at all levels, from lone mavericks to large firms, need to evaluate the entirety of their workflow process to ensure that everything continues to run smoothly. What worked in the past is being challenged today since many processes have depended on immediate face-to-face communication.
Third-party applications have now become problematic with their lack of online shareability. Investment strategies that require real-time inhouse response are suffering critical lag-time issues. Siloed spreadsheets and personal databases are not accessible to others who need their information.
Client anxiety is at an all-time high and providing reassuring information has become a critical need. Hedge funds should pull as much of their workflow processes into a single, flexible platform that provides information to everyone within the chain of a transaction. Starting with the initial decision of a strategy execution, through trading desks, operational risk control and compliance, to marketing and client service, and on to reporting requirements for regulatory entities.
Moving to Workflow Automation Can Improve Hedge Fund Efficiency
A host of back-office responsibilities arise with any investment strategy. Valuations, investor relations, compliance, operations, and performance measurement to name just a few, all play their roles in the investment process and customer journey.
A one-source data management platform, cloud-based for universal access regardless of location, will increase control and oversight of these functions. Now more than ever, mitigating operational risk and avoiding operational failures have become critical to maintaining solid client confidence as well as attracting new clients even in this troubled environment.
Hedge funds, particularly those with offshore interests, can be especially exposed to a lack of data and transparency. Governments and regulatory agencies around the world are equally stressed to maintain integrity and compliance.
Investment advisors, however, are the ones responsible for maintaining workflow automation for hedge funds within their own firms. They need the proper tools to oversee far-flung investments and keep their own dispersed teams in fine-tuned collaboration.
Automation Secures Critical Data
Risk management and governance benefit from an automated process that feeds into a single platform by reducing errors that human intervention can cause. Task-tracking and notification systems alerting that an event has occurred, and the next event is initiating allows team members to focus on productivity. Time spent manually confirming tasks have been completed is eliminated.
Reporting functions can draw from these more efficient data management tools without the need to create redundant information sources. Verification and confirmation become assured with workflow automation for hedge funds and establish a comprehensive audit trail for every event and every interaction by a team member.
A data management platform can be thought of as “team captain” for such administration, prompting task execution, distributing information, reminding of reporting needs, and notifying clients with an efficiency that unrelated third-party services and siloed departments cannot match.
As the world adjusts to the current stressful environment, hedge fund managers should be aware that once the acute crisis passes, they will have to operate in a different world than the one prior to 2020. By moving to a more efficient workflow automation for hedge funds now, they can achieve a competitive edge with their existing clients and attract new ones by demonstrating they can weather the storm.