MAIA was a gold sponsor at the recent HFM European Technology Summit, where we connected, debated, and shared insights with senior leaders from the hedge fund space.
The sessions covered the most critical industry developments and trends of the moment, from cyber security innovation to utilising advanced machine learning, helping attendees to take advantage of the opportunities available in this fast-moving space and address the challenges of managing technology in their firms.
MAIA’s CEO Mark Veevers facilitated a roundtable discussion on Paving the Way for Digital Transformation, in which we heard from and debated with hedge funds and asset managers about the challenges of introducing advanced technology in their respective businesses.
During one of the main sessions, our head of business development Rob Forkan took centre stage with other leading-edge tech companies for a quick-fire ‘innovation showcase’ exploring emerging technologies set to disrupt the industry.
But what insights did we take away from the event ourselves?
- Cyber security is close to the top of the agenda for many hedge fund COOs, which is in response to both historic and current geo-political events. The Deputy Director, Incident Management, National Cyber Security Centre highlighted a generally higher threat level and increased prevalence of ransom attacks. The focus of these has evolved to include the threat of exposing private data as well as deletion. Organisations must protect their data with high-quality automated detection and response software, and by implementing internal processes such as staff training.
- There were several insightful discussions around the increased usage of complex data sets to support the investment process of discretionary, bottom-up managers. This shift in style has become known as “quantamental”. The key outcome of this is a need for new technology that can leverage elastic storage, process unstructured data, and have an open, API-based approach.
- Crypto is still not mainstream but in a poll carried out during the conference, 15% of participants indicated they had evaluated crypto as an asset class (most were running global macro strategies) and 5% indicated that they currently or historically had a position. This was a significant shift from a similar poll two years ago where the result was close to 0%. The general view was that unless you are a crypto hedge fund, it would not form part of a mainstream strategy, or it would be a very small allocation as a diversifier.
The common thread across all these topics is that advances in technology continue to be a priority consideration for all firms in this space. The adoption of public cloud continues apace, and firms are actively seeking SaaS solutions for mission critical services and software.
In summary, the challenges faced by the industry today are very different to the challenges of yesterday. As the amount and complexity of data continues to grow, there is an increased demand for providers to deliver performant, scalable and flexible solutions.