Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Dimensional Fund Advisors LP and its affiliates (collectively, “Dimensional”) have defined procedures for responding to an emergency or natural disaster that could affect Dimensional’s normal operations. The Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan (BCP) includes written guidelines designed to carry on time-critical functions and to restore daily processes as soon as possible. 

Summary

Dimensional’s plan seeks to address the results of various causes of a business disruption. Business disruptions include any event that prevents access to Dimensional’s primary office space, limits Dimensional’s use of its technology, or affects Dimensional’s communication ability.

With any disruption, Dimensional’s first priority is quick resumption of trading, fund operations, and telecommunications. The Crisis Management Team, consisting of key executive, technology, legal, trading, and operations personnel, will direct the recovery. In a short-term outage, alternate offices may be used to complete pre-defined critical processes and take on essential functions. In a longer outage, staff at the affected site may be deployed to other Dimensional sites. If the outage adversely affects client communication, or if the disruption is severe enough to cause clients’ concern over Dimensional’s operational abilities, the team will facilitate alternate communication methods and provide clients with status messages as needed. During an event, all Dimensional departments are responsible for ensuring completion of their critical processes and for maintaining communication with their clients and stakeholders. Department plans contain procedures and contact lists to help meet this responsibility.

Dimensional sites include three US offices in Austin (headquarters), Santa Monica, and Charlotte. Trading and operations offices are also in London, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. Satellite office locations include Amsterdam, Berlin, Melbourne, Toronto, and Vancouver. We have a primary datacenter and a secondary disaster recovery datacenter in separate locations. All sites are connected by an MPLS network with backup/redundant data connections at each site. The secondary datacenter houses redundant critical systems and data that provide failover in the event that the primary datacenter is incapacitated. A corporate-wide VoIP system, with failover and forwarding capabilities, provides telephone communications globally. For communication outages outside of the VoIP system, telecom carriers provide disaster routing to handle incoming calls. This technology diversification enables Dimensional to continue operations even if one of the offices or datacenters is disabled or experiences an outage.

In the event of a large technology loss, the BCP outlines the tiered restoration of systems. Those that support mission critical processes are restored first with a recovery time objective (RTO) of two to four hours; the remaining systems are restored according to their relative priority. Lower tiered technologies that are business necessary, but not time critical, have an RTO of three to seven days. Dimensional’s data backup policy aims to have data and systems backed up daily, stored offsite, and maintained for up to seven years depending on regulatory requirements.

Each year, Dimensional conducts multiple exercises to help validate that the components of the plan are relevant and process details are current. Annual exercises test technology recovery solutions, office outage recovery, emergency communications, and Crisis Management Team activation.

In case of an event that disables access to a Dimensional office, other offices may assume certain operational functions. Various offices may be reached at:

Austin: +1 (512) 306-7400
Charlotte: +1 (704) 448-8000
Santa Monica: +1 (310) 395-8005
London: +44 (20) 3033-3300
Sydney: +61 (2) 8336-7100
Tokyo: +81 (3) 6267-1600
Singapore: +65 6340 1300

The BCP was approved by the Board of Directors of Dimensional Fund Advisors Inc. (now known as Dimensional Fund Advisors LP) when first adopted as part of the company’s overall compliance policies and procedures. Since adoption, the Board has been briefed on material changes to the BCP. The BCP is updated annually and reviewed by senior management with the goal of enabling our firm to meet its obligations to clients in the event of a business disruption.

The recovery plan and this summary are subject to revisions. A hard copy may be obtained on request. This statement was updated July 25, 2016.