Big banks are not the only ones taking a stronger interest in the cloud.
Cloud-based platforms are on the rise among both large banks and the financial departments of North American companies. Higher regulatory hurdles and staffing costs are a big factor, according to recent news reports. But so is a growing sense of comfort with the technology on the part of business leaders.
Successful bosses at RIAs and broker-dealers have been known to track technology trends unfolding at national and global corporations. In addition to gaining insights about innovative operational processes, wealth management leaders can strategize about how to adapt the most suitable of them for their firm’s needs.
Your firm’s cybersecurity deserves more than a trusting handshake and a blind eye.
Trust is the foundation of any worthwhile relationship, and wealth management is no exception. So it may feel odd to implement stringent controls over user-access permissions to your firm’s operating system. Instead, view this as a valuable method of protecting people you care about. It could save your firm from costly cyber breaches, embarrassing reputational scandals and onerous regulatory pressure in the future.
This blog post is for those advisors who are contemplating the big move, leaving the big institution behind, and setting up for themselves.
Perhaps you’re joining forces with a small band of like-minded associates, or maybe you’re going it alone. Whatever’s brought you to this point (frustrations with your employers inflexible business model, the limitations of their proprietary solutions, a wish for greater compensation or a better work/life balance) a common factor among entrepreneurial advisors is the desire to start with a clean slate. New RIAs invariably want their operations to be more personalized, more adaptable, and more efficient.
Still on the fence about whether it’s time to switch to a cloud-based IT solution? If you’re like most leaders at elite RIAs and broker-dealers, you want to use the technology that meets all the operational and financial needs of your business, while not putting your firm in security or compliance risk. However few financial experts are also technology experts, so deciding what your firm needs and how much your firm should spend on IT can be baffling.
We urge financial executives to do a thorough cost analysis of how building a robust IT solution in-house compares with outsourcing those needs to an elite provider of secure cloud computing. Look at current actual expenditures as well as those mandatory investments needed to be productive, secure and compliant over the course of six years. That’s how long the average in-house solution lasts before new technology emerges, at which point firms often conduct major IT overhauls.
On September 15th, the SEC issued a new Risk Alert that registered broker-dealers and investment advisors need to follow very closely, or face regulatory scrutiny.
The leaders of growing RIA practices cited “the need to work on and in the business simultaneously” among the leading threats to their business. In a survey conducted by WealthManagement.com, this challenge came out ahead of market competition, managing clients, pressure on fees, and losing staff.
Cloud computing is providing RIAs and Broker-Dealers with a cost-effective, low-hassle means of enhancing the capabilities of their IT infrastructure at the same time as resolving business-critical issues, such as regulatory compliance, security and remote access.
The business world is usually quick to adopt new technologies that enable it to be more innovative, efficient, and profitable. All manner of industries are reaping precisely these rewards following their investment in the latest in information technology: cloud computing. IT infrastructure and services delivered over the Internet – the basis of cloud computing – are helping businesses to accelerate growth by facilitating more flexible and productive ways to work at the same time as reducing the expense and distraction of managing technology.
How did your firm compare with the RIAs and broker-dealers who were examined as part of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) cybersecurity sweep? The findings, published earlier this year by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), revealed plenty of good practice but also that it is patchily applied.
In a recent blog post we offered guidance on how to write a secure password. It’s sound advice: every RIA, broker-dealer and asset manager reading this would do well to make it company policy. However, a new report by Recorded Future, a data mining firm, has highlighted the inherent inadequacies in IT security based on a single password – no matter how carefully constructed.