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Align Managed Services provides technology infrastructure solutions and managed IT services tailored for the alternative investment sector. Vinod Paul, President, and Chris Zadrima, Managing Director, chat to Hedgeweek about some of the challenges and opportunities facing the company and its clients and the future drivers of growth for the business…

What are the greatest risks facing both your business and your clients at present?

VP/CZ: Increasing cyber risk is a constant and it has only been accelerated by the new frontier of permanent hybrid and remote work that a large portion of companies have adopted. The distributed workforce introduces a number of security risks that firms must be well equipped to handle in order to safeguard sensitive information regardless of the location of their teams. Align’s Managed Services Platform was designed with a distributed workforce in mind, and with built-in cybersecurity services, we have continued to ensure our clients are able to operate their firms seamlessly and securely – whether centralised, distributed, nimble or enterprise – all while addressing prevailing compliance, technological, security and governance requirements.  

VP/CZ: Align is the industry’s most extensive Managed Services Provider to offer a full suite of Cybersecurity Advisory Services, which are provided by a unique team of subject matter experts. Our focus on the alternative investment industry means that our team is well versed in not only the cyber threats that this industry normally faces, but is also uniquely/thoroughly familiar with the ever-changing regulatory and compliance requirements set forth by the SEC and other governing bodies. 

VP/CZ: Over 85% of our clients are Registered Investment Advisors and we are also the premier service provider for the Service Provider community supporting the greater global alternative investment community.  The largest technological challenges that face these clients stem from regulatory requirements and the changing cybersecurity threat landscape. These changes both in the financial sector and throughout businesses have created an entirely new set of consideration for clients; from annual proposed SEC changes in regulations to the shift in the workforce from largely in-person to more hybrid or remote work.

Where do you see the most significant opportunities for growth in the coming year?

VP: Our clientele expects top-tier service from their partners and service providers. At Align Managed Services, our commitment has always been to prioritise our clients. We firmly believe in achieving a continuously enhanced customer experience while ensuring the predictability of our IT services.

CZ: Alongside our double recognition in cloud computing, we have taken strides to enhance our longstanding Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Security Operations Center (SOC) platform, Align Guardian, powered by Adlumin, within the last year. We have also begun to leverage AI support services and launched an “out of the box” onboarding experience through automation and AI that allows our clients to seamlessly deploy solutions efficiently.

CZ: From fundamental support functions to Cybersecurity, we have incorporated automated SOAR (Security Orchestration, automation, and response) functionality and are extremely proud of the accomplishments our teams have made. 

VP/CZ: We see opportunities with emerging technologies of Artificial Intelligence and Next Generation MDR (Managed Threat and Response) solutions.  The best cybersecurity solutions leverage a client’s entire technology footprint, vs older MDR technology solutions which were often software agent or network appliance based.  Our team provides Next Generation MDR solutions that go past an agent/appliance that also looks at an entire customer’s ecosystem/telemetry data to safely protect our clients.  Emerging next Generation MDR solutions enable MSP’s to cast a wider layer of protection across a platform vs the old manner across a device/network. 

Can you outline the most impactful drivers of client demand in the coming year?

VP/CZ: The current growth within our existing client base and our strong vertical focused strategy. We have seen turmoil with legacy service providers that are servicing our vertical which is leading to more opportunities for Align.  Because of our niche vertical focus, we have been able to gain significant reputation in the vertical for high customer satisfaction and high customer retention

What have been the biggest drivers of growth within your business?

VP/CZ: Given the ever-changing regulatory requirements and current threat landscape, our newly developed cybersecurity services have been one of the most significant changes we made to drive success – we needed to adapt our offering to ensure we continued to meet and exceed expectations and safeguard our clients. 

What role can technology play in portfolio risk management?

VP/CZ: By harnessing the power of AI throughout our support services, including both foundational processes and cutting-edge Cybersecurity, we elevate our operational efficiency to new heights. Automated SOAR functionality serves as our intelligent shield, enabling swift and informed reactions to security incidents, ultimately fortifying our defenses against ever-evolving threats.



Vinod Paul, President, Align Managed Services – Vinod Paul brings over 20 years of in-depth financial services and technology experience to his role as Align’s President. Vinod’s responsibilities include the strategic development of Align’s Managed Services offerings, including oversight of Align Cybersecurity™, the company’s comprehensive cybersecurity risk management solution. In his current role, Vinod is also responsible for managing senior client relationships with alternative asset managers, providing ongoing guidance with respect to industry best practices and forward-looking trends in Managed Services. Widely known as a luminary in the financial services sector, Vinod previously led and innovated a leading Global Managed IT Service provider in its customer-facing engagements, including service delivery and business development on a global basis. Over his 13 years as Managing Director, Vinod helped establish this firm as a premier Managed Service provider in the financial services space. Prior to that, Vinod was a director of technical services for Martin Progressive where he supervised an engineering staff supporting 6,000 customers, as well as a management and engineering consultant to IBM Global Services, Lucent Technologies, Tyco Submarine Systems and Penguin Putnam Publishing. Vinod serves on the global board of directors for Help for Children/Hedge Funds Care, a worldwide nonprofit dedicated to supporting efforts to prevent and treat child abuse. He attended Rutgers University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. 

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