Westwind Capital needed a secure and compliant IT infrastructure to ensure it could satisfy the due diligence requirements of future investors, and approached Doherty Associates for the job.
Following decades working in large institutions and driving growth in smaller firms, Daniel Gorzawski and Mark Terry took the decision to create a business of their own. With backgrounds in real estate and finance, they created Westwind Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on real estate investments for the life sciences and living sectors. Founded in 2022 in London, the business needed to quickly build a secure and compliant IT infrastructure to ensure it could satisfy the due diligence requirements of future investors.
Westwind reached out to Doherty Associates to manage its technology estate and, within two weeks, launched a cloud-based environment that met the necessary industry regulations and security standards. Westwind can now safeguard its data, support flexible working across the globe, and easily scale up operations as it grows.
Building a dynamic and trustworthy operation
Gorzawski and Terry knew that before they could seek the first round of investment for their new PE firm, they needed a solid IT foundation that would be compliant with all relevant financial and data regulations, and maintain a high level of security for personal information and funds transfer.
They wanted to create nimble and dynamic ways of working, while also building a trustworthy reputation. “One of our biggest challenges as a new business is getting global institutional investors to trust that we’re operationally secure. Everything from how we transfer and store information to our processes and technologies needs to reflect our reputation as a firm that can deliver services comparable to larger, more established institutions,” explains Mark Terry, of Westwind Capital. “Working with Doherty Associates, we don’t need to worry about operational IT – and that’s how we want it. Whether we’re travelling or in the office, everything just works.”
The founders also wanted Westwind’s operations to scale easily as the company expands and to support the team’s need to work from anywhere in the world.
Understanding the security and compliance needs of a PE firm
Westwind chose Doherty Associates to set up its IT infrastructure from scratch. Doherty conducted a thorough evaluation of Westwind’s business and technology needs, through its SmartPath programme. “From the start, we could speak to the Doherty Associates team in operational terms,” says Terry. “They understood the high levels of security and compliance required in the financial sector, and the flexibility we needed as a young company, and came up with a complete plan that would support those goals.”
Doherty recommended an IT environment that’s secured at the edge and runs all applications in the cloud. Doherty Associates also provides remote hardware and software support on an ongoing basis, so technical help for Westwind’s team is only a phone call or email away.
Within two weeks of commencing the initial engagement, Doherty Associates launched the new Westwind IT environment.
Forgetting about IT – and focusing on investments
Working with Doherty Associates, Westwind quickly commenced operations in a scalable and resilient IT environment. Its data and devices are secure, and all processes are compliant with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company also meets the standards of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) Cyber Essentials scheme, with certification confirmed shortly after the initial engagement.
Westwind now has a solid platform on which to grow, with little input required from staff. New team members receive corporate laptops and are up and running within hours, while Gorzawski and Terry can focus on raising funds and locating investment opportunities. “Working with Doherty Associates, we don’t need to worry about operational IT – and that’s how we want it,” says Terry. “Whether we’re travelling or in the office, everything just works.”
During staff travel, Westwind is protected against the risk of losing laptops or other corporate devices. Through remote device deployment, Doherty Associates can delete corporate data and applications from the devices, as soon as they’re reported missing.
‘Within two weeks, we went from working on unmanaged personal PCs, to a fully compliant, secure, and scalable IT infrastructure,” Kelly adds. “We know we can rely on our technology to help us do our jobs better, win confidence from investors, and compete with organisations much more established than ourselves.’
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer
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