We don’t need to tell you how bad it is for hedge funds at the moment, but a new view of the carnage is provided by John Williams, the managing director of Lumina BPO.

Williams swears there is one shop out there where the receptionist is now also helping with the books. As the outsourced finance department for several funds managers, Lumina has been at the front line of industry cost-cutting efforts, with Williams’ firm being called on to drag extra incentives out of landlords, and police the petty cash tin like never before. 

On a serious note, Williams says it’s scary how many boutiques might be in breach of their AFS licence requirements and not even realise. After all, one condition of managing other peoples’ money is to have enough cash to cover three months’ expenses plus contingencies, as well as ‘surplus liquid funds’ of at least $50,000. When you’ve made your secretary the CFO, there’s a good chance yourfirm might be a little short of that. 

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