Archive for October, 2015

Cloudonomics 2014: Financial Services Adoption Accelerates

To help maintain perspective, InvestCloud periodically reviews the key underlying trends in the adoption of cloud delivery in financial services.  While we are still in the early stages of this wave, in this last year, some of the key drivers continued to accelerate leading some to suggest that we have now hit a “tipping-point”.   Although the macro numbers are important, with IT spending in financial services globally projected to exceed $430 billion in 2014 and grow to over $500 billion annually by 2020, what is compelling is the share of those budgets moving toward the cloud.  Some 70% of firms are saying that mobile and online delivery channels will be where their most important investments will be made.  An even higher number, 89%, plan to offer custom tablet banking and reporting applications to customers in the next three years.

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Helvetica and the Art of Financial Web Design

The leading designer of advisory and asset management websites in the US, InvestCloud believes each of these design trends will be useful in creating more competitive and engaging sites.  This is more important than ever as it is now the case that prospective clients are more likely to visit your website before they meet you.  Likewise, current clients will likely visit your site many, many more times a year than they will visit your office. Click here to read more about the article.

InvestCloud Secures $45 Million Growth Equity Investment

InvestCloud has built a proprietary technology platform that offers the investment community the ability to easily build and customize an end-to-end digital experience. Their platform uses highly configurable modules, viewed via a single dashboard, integrating dozens of disparate internal/external financial systems, accounts and products, and enabling unique reports, views of data and workflows. InvestCloud serves a wide range of investment managers, including wealth advisors, large family offices, asset allocators (pension funds, endowments), and asset services providers (hedge fund administrators, independent wealth platforms). Providing over 4,000 different digital user interfaces, InvestCloud’s modules include client communications (document reporting, client reporting, client portal, mobility), client management (CRM and content management system/integration), portfolio management (decision support, performance reporting, attribution, order management, research), operational management (compliance, accounting, billing) and platform repository (data warehousing, aggregation). InvestCloud has over 650 clients on the platform with 150,000 users, and now supports over $1.4 trillion in assets.

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How can financial advisors boost their social media profiles in just 3 steps?

At InvestCloud, we emphasize the concept, Design First. We believe in having more designers than programmers. This means that we understand the importance of having a well-designed, intuitive, and presentable website, as well as a social media profile page that will help with your company’s digital experience.

In order to ensure that your profile looks good, you should have control over the way you want your photos to be presented. Often times, advisors face the problem of having images that look funky due to the inability to fit into the frames perfectly.  Don’t ruin a great photo or image by uploading the wrong resolution.

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SEC Announces the 2nd wave of Cyber Security Audits for Investment Advisors and Broker Dealers

The SEC’s examinations concentrate on 6 audit items;

1.  Governance and Risk Assessment – Oversight of client data that is specific to a firm’s organization and business model and not just an off-the-shelf solution. Since every firm is different, the SEC likes to see firm specific procedures for the firm’s data security practices.

2.   Access Rights and Controls  How is the firm controlling application users and their levels of permission to access client data. For example, should the unregistered receptionist have access to the Order Management System? (The answer is no).

3.   Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – DLP consists of best practices and security tools which reduce the leaking of client data outside an organization’s control. Sending a client account number over non-secure communication like personal email accounts would be considered a high-risk item in a DLP Audit. Enterprise grade DLP systems react to these messages in real-time and prevent restricted data from leaving the firm’s environment by blocking delivery of the data.
4.    Vendor Management – An organization’s cloud application provider(s) should understand and manage security but the advisory firm is required to review and validate these provider’s disaster recovery plan (DRP), encryption standards, and information security policies. InvestCloud’s Chief Architect, Vincent Sos, is a specialist in cloud security and offers advice to RIAs when engaging cloud solution providers; “Ensure that your cloud vendors have regular security tests and can provide you with the results. For key vendors you may want to engage your own security specialists to verify or even “ethically hack” your cloud vendor’s solution.  Your cloud vendor should always be open to assist you in that exercise.

5.  Training – A firm is required to have a program that trains employees to identify threats and protect client information.

6.   Incident Response – There are many types of security incidents that all require a specific set of employee roles and responsibilities. A firm needs to have a plan for who is doing what if there is a breach or loss of client data?

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InvestCloud, Inc Appoints John Stuart as Their Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Hybrid Solutions

Stuart brings over 12 years of experience in the financial services and technology industries to InvestCloud. Prior to joining the firm, Stuart was Director of Operations at City National Rochdale, the multi-billion dollar Investment Management Division of City National Bank, where he oversaw operations of the firms’ West coast footprint as well as strategic technology initiatives. Prior to that, Stuart held the Chief Information Officer position at Beverly Hills Wealth Management.

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The Art of Software Generation

John Wise, CEO of InvestCloud, expands on the benefits, adding, “In my previous company we had hundreds of offshore programmers coding away, creating applications that would be hardcoded and difficult to change.  It is the ‘difficult to change’ that really causes the problem.  Relatively small changes would cost significant sums and time, and in the end, the business users would be unhappy and just accept the solution as inflexible.  InvestCloud has fixed this problem.”

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