Next week, the Alternative Investment Technology Executives Club (AITEC) will hold its first annual charity golf event. Anthony applauds its efforts.
It started out as handful of hedge fund technologists getting together to chat about IT issues over dinner. Four years later, AITEC has grown to about 120 CIOs and CTOs from a wide array of hedge funds, private equity firms and asset managers.
This informal group of techies still gathers for dinner on a quarterly basis, even if the size of the facility had to be expanded to accommodate everyone. They discuss IT and regulatory issues that are causing the greatest headaches—things like Form PF compliance, data warehousing, mobile device management and security.
Every now and then, AITEC invites a vendor, or in one instance, a government agency like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to come in to give a presentation. All members pay their own way for the dinner, but one person volunteers to coordinate the next dinner and everyone votes on the topic that will be discussed.
Not only are these meetings informative, they serve as valuable networking opportunities. To be sure, vendors from all over would love to get in front of this group. I'm sure there's been some pestering to present at one of their meetings.
While that may not happen at one of the quarterly dinners, AITEC did find a way to bring these two worlds together.
As AITEC has grown, it decided that it might be worth giving back for a good cause, and in the process connect the vendor community with a swath of CTOs. And with that, the 1st Annual AITEC Charity Golf Event was born. This year the event will support the Wounded Warriors Project.
"As with most charity events, our golf outing was born in response to a social awareness, which impelled action. Specifically, that action was to cull together our AITEC members so that we could use our expertise and resources to benefit the community at large," says Hans Bleuel, CTO at Conatus Capital Management. "Because we are in a service-based industry, we felt that that service should begin at home, with those that protect our lives and the freedoms that we cherish. Wounded Warriors was a natural selection for our group and we are extremely proud that they will be our first recipients, in this, our First Annual AITEC Golfing Event."
Bleuel says that thanks to the great outpouring from both vendors and AITEC members, the group had raised $150,000 as of last week.
"A day on the golf course, surrounded by intelligent dialogue with meaningful vendor presentations will happily advance our product knowledge while also helping to secure the health and happiness of our wounded warriors," he says.
There will be about 100 people participating in the event, which will take place on Tuesday, June 18, at the Leewood Golf Course in Eastchester, NY. There will be raffles and the group will auction off prizes for things like lowest score and "closest to the pin." The event will be followed by a cocktail reception and dinner.
Hedge funds coming together for charity events are not new. Most notably, there's Help For Children, formerly known as Hedge Funds Care. But this is the first time that the technologists of the industry are coming together to give back.
"It's a unique event," says Marshall Saffer, whose firm, MIK Fund Solutions, is a sponsor of the event. "I think it's great to see all these people pulling together to try and make a difference. The Wounded Warrior Project is a great cause and it's a good group to get together with."
Events like these—in conjunction with a group like the Wounded Warriors Project—are so important, especially considering how difficult it has been for returning veterans to receive aid from disability claims.
AITEC didn't technically “give back," as it's not a for-profit organization. It is a simple group of technologists that get together a couple times a year. But it is making the effort and its members deserve some applause for helping a good cause.
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