The following is an edited transcript of a seminar hosted by Simmons & Simmons and Eze Castle Integration.
Andrea Finn - Simmons & Simmons (AF): In terms of the issues which I think are key for hedge fund managers and which we’ll touch on through the questions today are questions of status: employees and members and how managers make decisions as to whether an individual should be a member or an employee. Issues of remuneration are a very hot topic because it affects people very personally, as everyone will be aware. There’s a lot of regulation on this, primarily from a European standpoint but also being implemented into the UK.
Then thirdly, there’s business protection. There’s a lot of effort and money that goes into building up businesses and generating revenue and that sits in the heads and hands quite often of individual employees. So when we look at how hedge fund businesses can protect themselves from employees when they move on, we look at things like their contractual arrangements, but also practical things around how the business is operated and with a slight tie-in to what Simon and Alex might talk about, IT protection, and what I’m told are called ‘Intrusion Detection Systems’ which allow you to pick up misuse of IT.
Alex Brown - Simmons & Simmons (AB): We have a dedicated group that deals just with technology and outsourcing contracts. But also advisory areas like data protection. We do a lot of work in the financial sector and also for our funds clients.
I think it’s a very interesting area to work in, because it’s a constantly evolving set of factors that we have to think about. Current hot topics of course are things like cloud computing and how you reconcile those technologies with data protection legislation, which in the UK stems from about 12 or 13 years ago, very much before the inception of these sorts of technologies.