CQS lists cyber-threats among top concerns

Michael Hintze, founder and owner of London’s CQS, has told investors in the $11bn asset manager that cyber threats are one of the five matters that concern him most.

In a move that surprised some clients at a recent event hosted by the hedge fund-turned diversified investment manager, Hintze said security against external attack was one of a handful of things that “keep me awake at night”.

Three of the other four were investment-related, while the fifth was the potential for an escalation in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Hintze cited recent, costly attacks on Sony as reason for his concern, and suggested fund managers should not be asleep to the possibility of being targeted, either.

“It is no longer about guys messing around in a dorm room, and as managers of businesses you have to be cautious.”

CQS is well known for the strength of its systems and internal processes, and Hintze’s comments surprised some delegates at the conference.

One said, on the basis of anonymity: “The investment themes did not come as much of a shock, but cyber-threats being on his mind was interesting, and that hedge fund managers are thinking that way.”

The delegate added hedge fund managers might store information on markets, their strategies, and even trading program code that would all be of use to a rival, or investors more generally.

Hintze added, however, fund managers could also benefit from other chief executives being concerned, and acting on their own worries – by investing in companies helping secure systems.

He cited Check Point as one active in helping corporations defend themselves against cyber threats, and therefore being of interest to him as an investment, as well.

David Walker

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