Tag Archives: hedge fund information

Hedge Funds and Bloomberg

Many hedge fund managers were introduced to the Bloomberg terminal when they began their trading careers.  The terminal, with its iconic user interface which has changed only by small increments over time, can be found in most large asset management companies as well as in smaller groups like family offices, fund of hedge funds, hedge funds and even single manager investment advisory firms.  The breadth and depth of the Bloomberg services may be matched by other similar financial information and news services (like Thompson/Reuters), but managers and traders seem to be drawn to the Bloomber services nonetheless.  Below is an overview of information we compiled on the Bloomberg services – please feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below.


Bloomberg Terminal Information Overview

What is Bloomberg?

The Bloomberg terminal is a computer system that enables financial professionals to access the Bloomberg Professional service through which users can monitor and analyze real-time financial market data movements and place trades. The system also provides news, price quotes, and messaging across its proprietary and secure network. Most large financial firms have subscriptions to the Bloomberg Professional service, and many exchanges charge their own additional fees for access to real-time price feeds across the terminal.

What services does Bloomberg offer?

Bloomberg offers financial professionals access to a top-of-the-line financial, regulatory, and market database. The system is of particular benefit to investors, as it allows them to simultaneously:

  1. access, process, and store information on the companies they wish to monitor;
  2. teleconference with colleagues around the world; and
  3. monitor the relationship between domestic and foreign currencies.

The activities for which Bloomberg users most commonly subscribe to the service include, but are not limited to:

  • Earnings Estimates
  • Analyst  Recommendations
  • Related Securities
  • Various graphs of a company’s stock price
  • Stock screening search: Search for equities based on user-defined criteria
  • Corporate Actions: Calendar of events that might impact markets
  • Corporate actions of a specific company
  • Broad information on U.S. Treasury and Money Markets
  • U.S. Economic surveys and releases
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Home Page
  • Current news and deals

Bloomberg Mobile, which is a free mobile application for iPhone and Blackberry users,  doesn’t offer quite the same level of functionality as the full Bloomberg terminal, but it is a beautifully designed app that provides up-to-the-minute news, stock quotes, company descriptions, and price chart and market trend analysis. The My Stocks feature is a more detailed replacement for Apple’s Stocks app. Additionally, Bloomberg Mobile takes full advantage of the iPhone’s position sensor by providing larger charts when you rotate the phone to a horizontal position.

The Bloomberg Platform & Equipment

The Bloomberg terminal implements a client-server architecture with the server running on a multiprocessor UNIX platform.  Although the look and feel of the Bloomberg keyboard is very similar to the standard computer keyboard, there are several enhancements that help a user navigate through the system.  Originally a self-contained operating system running on custom hardware, the Bloomberg Terminal now functions as an application within the Windows environment.  There are essentially three levels to the system:

(1) The Core Terminal:

This is the original system, consisting typically of 4 windows, each containing a separate instance of the terminal command line. By entering tickers and functions, data can be displayed and programs run to analyze it. This seemingly large number of windows allows users to call up several entirely different sets of data, and compare it quickly; for those users who have more than one computer display, each terminal window can be assigned independently, creating, in effect, four terminals.

(2) The Launchpad:

Launchpad is a customizable display consisting of a number of smaller windows, called ‘components’, each of which is dedicated to permanently displaying one set of data. A typical user would be a stockbroker who wishes to keep a list of 30 stocks visible at all times: Launchpad creates a small component which will show these prices constantly, saving the broker from having to check each stock independently in the terminal. Other functions, such as email inboxes, calculation tools and news tickers can be similarly displayed. The Instant Bloomberg messaging/chat tool is another Launchpad component that allows brokers to communicate instantly with other Bloomberg users.

(3) Application Programming Interface:

The final level of the Bloomberg system is the ability to export data from the terminal to 3rd party applications, such as Microsoft Excel. A user might wish to use Bloomberg data from the terminal to create his or her own calculations; by exporting the live data into another program, they can build these formulae. Bloomberg supports this through a range of add-ins which are packaged with the terminal software.

How much does Bloomberg cost?

While Bloomberg offers a great variety of services, it is relatively expensive.  Monthly rates can be as high as $1,500 – $1,800 per month.  However, as Bloomberg saw a decline in revenue over 2007 and 2008, it is to be expected that the rates will come down  by the end of 2009.  Although Bloomberg has become an institutional cornerstone in the finance world, leading competitors for electronic financial data provision include Thomson/Reuters, Morgan Stanley, FactSet Research Systems, Jackson Terminal, Advantage Data Inc., Fidessa and Dow Jones.


Bloomberg Terminal currently caters to more than 300,000 users worldwide, and is highly regarded by financial professionals as a powerful data-warehouse for institutional investors.  Since the relatively high ongoing cost makes it unfeasible for individual investors with relatively small amounts of capital to purchase, the product targets a unique subsector of investors with the purchasing power to enjoy the benefits of comprehensive access to the financial marketplace.


Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to start a hedge fund.  Other related hedge fund law articles include:

Hedge Fund Law Blog Statistics | June 2009

Most Read Hedge Fund Law Articles for June

I wanted to take a little time to thank all of the people who read this blog and who take the time to comment on articles or send me questions – your interaction helps make this site more informative and a better resource for everyone.  If you have any questions related to any of the articles, I ask you send them to me through the contact form.  If you have an RSS reader, please consider subscribing to the hedge fund law RSS feed to stay up to date on the new content posted in this site.

Hedge Fund Visitors for June 2009

According to Google Analytics, the following is the information on the number and people who have visited the website during the past month:

  • Visits – 14,744  (of these 10,472 were new visitors)
  • Absolute Unique Visitors – 11,415
  • Pageviews – 33,031
  • Top Nations – United States, United Kingdom, India, Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Australia, Singapore, Germany

Top 10 Hedge Fund Law Stories for June 2009

According to Google Analytics, the following is a list of the most popular hedge fund articles for the month of June:


Bart Mallon, Esq. runs hedge fund law blog and has written most all of the articles which appear on this website.  Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund.  If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund, please call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-296-8510.

MFA Releases Sound Practices Guide for Hedge Funds

Guide Focuses on Hedge Fund Risk Management and Other Operational Issues

Unfortunately the new world of hedge fund investing and hedge fund due diligence has become more complicated and hedge fund management companies now need to increase their focus on operational and business issues.  While many managers are happy to attend to their trading strategies and risk management procedures, the managers who will be able to grow their AUM most successfully in the coming years are those managers who focus on many of the business and operational issues which investors are now wholly concerned with.  The updated 2009 Sound Practices guide by the Managed Funds Association (press release below) provides an outline of the major issues which managers should address with respect to their businesses.

Overview of Sound Practices Guide

The Sound Practices guide is similar to the President’s Working Group report Hedge Fund Best Practices, but also includes more information for managers.  I skimmed through the Sound Practices guide (it is 277 pages) and found that much of the information is extremely useful.  One of the overarching themes of the guide is that it does not ask managers to take the “one size fits all” approach, but asks managers to individually assess whether or not a certain practice is appropriate for their particular business.

I found the section dealing with the disclosures and hedge fund offering documents particular good.  As a reminder to hedge fund managers, offering documents should be updated at least annually, or more frequently if there are material changes in the fund’s investment program, structure or management company.  Additionally, any changes to offering documents should be communicated to all existing investors (either by sending out a new PPM or through another type of disclosure).

Other sections I was particularly interested in were: (i) the section dealing with investor letters and communications, (ii) side letters and parallel separately managed accounts (which are becoming more popular), (iii) valuation and policies, (iv) risk management, (v) due diligence, (vi) AML.  A due diligence guide for hedge fund investors was also included, but I felt like this was a pretty weak DD questionnaire – managers are likely to receive much more detailed requests for information.

Recommendation for Hedge Fund Managers

I recommend that hedge fund managers who are immediately seeking capital from institutions and high net worth investors read through this Sound Practices guide and take notes.  Managers should reach each practice and asses whether it applies to their fund operations and, if so, how such a practice should be implemented.  Managers may want to highlight certain items and ask their attorney what they should do.  These sound practices will help managers to create strong businesses which are able to grow over the long run.



Managed Funds Association Takes Steps to Restore Investor Confidence with Enhanced Best Practices & Investor Due Diligence Recommendations

WASHINGTON, Mar 31, 2009 — Managed Funds Association (MFA) today took steps to restore investor confidence in the markets with the release of its newly enhanced Sound Practices for Hedge Fund Managers, including a due diligence questionnaire for investors to use as they consider whom to trust with their investments.

The 2009 edition of Sound Practices, MFA’s fifth version of its pioneering guidance that was first published in 2000, incorporates the recommendations provided in the final President’s Working Group’s (PWG) Best Practices for the Hedge Fund Industry Report of the Asset Managers’ Committee plus additional guidance that goes above and beyond the scope of those recommendations.

Richard H. Baker, MFA President and CEO, said, “The hedge fund industry has a strong role in helping to restore financial stability and investor confidence, and to hasten economic recovery. While policy makers consider sweeping regulatory reforms in the U.S. and abroad, and economic leaders gather for the G-20 in London, on April 2, the hedge fund industry is taking steps to restore investor trust through the promotion of sound business practices and tools for investors to use as they conduct ongoing due diligence of money managers.”

Sound Practices is the cornerstone of the Association’s initiative to collaborate with international organizations with the goal of establishing uniform global principles and guidance. MFA, the PWG Asset Managers’ Committee and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) have committed to providing the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) with a set of unified principles of best practices before April 30, 2009.

“The hedge fund industry recognizes its responsibilities as liquidity providers and risk dispersers in the markets, and continues to take the lead in its approach to disclosure and investor protection as well as active market disciplines such as risk management and valuation which contribute to market soundness and investor protection. This latest edition of MFA’s seminal Sound Practices concludes many months of diligent work by leading hedge fund managers, service providers and MFA staff to provide updates and revisions for voluntary adoption by hedge fund managers.

“MFA has a decade-long tradition of robust Sound Practices. Today, more than ever before, investors will benefit from our due diligence questionnaire as they undertake robust diligence when considering an investment in a hedge fund. Investors can also benefit from reviewing the recommendations in Sound Practices as they consider operational, governance and other matters as part of their diligence when making an investment.” added Baker.

The 2009 edition of Sound Practices provides comprehensive updates in every area of guidance including recommendations for disclosure and responsibilities to investors; valuation policies and procedures; risk management; trading and business operations; compliance, conflicts of interest, and business practices; anti-money laundering; and business continuity and disaster recovery practices.

Major Revisions

Sound Practices is a dynamic blueprint written by the industry, for the industry, to provide peer-to-peer guidance to:

  • Strengthen business practices of the hedge fund industry through a strong framework of internal policies and practices;
  • Encourage individualized assessment and application of recommendations on one size does not fit all; and
  • Enhance market discipline in the global financial marketplace.

The revised edition includes substantially updated and expanded guidance in seven areas:

  • Disclosure and Investor Protection: Establishes practices intended to assist a hedge fund in fulfilling its responsibilities to its investors;
  • Valuation: Establishes a framework, governance and policies and procedures for valuations of assets;
  • Risk Management: Establishes an overall approach to risk monitoring, measurement and management. Also describes types of risk and recommendations on management thereof;
  • Trading and Business Operations: Establishes policies and procedures for management of trading operations including relationships with counterparties, use of service providers, accounting, technology, best execution and soft dollar arrangements;
  • Compliance, Conflicts and Business Practices: Establishes guidance for the adoption of a culture of compliance including a code of ethics, compliance manual, record keeping, conflicts of interest, training/education of personnel and more;
  • Anti-Money Laundering: Updates MFA’s seminal AML guidance; and
  • Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery: Establishes general principles, contingency planning, crisis management and disaster recovery.

Baker noted that, “Ultimately, each hedge fund manager must determine whether and how to tailor these Sound Practices to its individual business. We believe that the strong business practices in Sound Practices are an important complement to a smart regulatory framework and that strong business practices and robust investor diligence are critical to addressing investor protection concerns.”

For a copy of Sound Practices please visit: www.managedfunds.org

About Managed Funds Association

MFA is the voice of the global alternative investment industry. Its members are professionals in hedge funds, funds of funds and managed futures funds, as well as industry service providers. Established in 1991, MFA is the primary source of information for policy makers and the media and the leading advocate for sound business practices and industry growth. MFA members include the vast majority of the largest hedge fund groups in the world who manage a substantial portion of the approximately $1.5 trillion invested in absolute return strategies. MFA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with an office in New York. For more information, please visit: www.managedfunds.org


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