The Ashley Madison hacking outed the personal information of millions and jeopardized their reputations. The historic data breach represents one type of reputational threat that hedge fund managers face. A firm’s most effective response to digital reputational threats is content optimized to populate the first page of search results and created by the firm ahead of a reputation crisis. Hedge funds and many other financial services firms are rarely in control of the first page of search results that appears in response to a search of the firm’s name. This is because financial advisory firms have traditionally refrained from publishing digital content about themselves. As a result, they are vulnerable to brand-damaging content that may be published by third-party websites which wind up appearing on the first page of search results.

Key Points

  • Website hackings such as the Ashley Madison breach jeopardize the reputations of millions
  • People learn about hedge funds from content that appears in search engine results
  • A hedge fund that has not created sufficient content about itself is not in control of its search results and vulnerable to damaging content created by a third party
  • The most effective way of handling a reputation crisis is by preparing for it in advance by creating content designed to appear in the first page of search results e.g., a Wikipedia page, a LinkedIn page.